Dear Advancing Justice | Chicago friends and supporters,
I would like to share the news that at the end of June I will be transitioning out of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago to become the new Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition (PICC). A few months ago, my wife Cassie received an amazing career opportunity that is located on the East Coast. After her unequivocal support of me and my community work for the last decade – including caring for my parents in their final years – I was enthusiastic to likewise support her in this small way. It was fortuitous and perhaps destiny that shortly thereafter I was introduced to PICC and the critical challenges in Pennsylvania, many of which have national implications for the progressive movement.
For nearly the last decade, I have called Advancing Justice | Chicago home and have been privileged and blessed to learn from and advocate alongside some of the finest community organizers and grassroots leaders in the country. Together, we have built a vibrant, bold community that I have complete confidence will meet the challenges facing the Asian American community and live out a vision of active solidarity with other communities of color to work towards racial equity. We launched the Asian American Legislative Caucus (with no Asian American elected officials), advocated for life-saving state funding for Hepatitis B, strengthened Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance, and passed the Illinois TRUST Act, VOICES Act, and Automatic Voter Registration. We have also protected our communities’ voting rights with our poll watching project on election day and improved language services for limited-English voters. These are but a few of the successes that I am so humbled to have been a part of. It is a deep honor to have been entrusted with this leadership position and one that has been rewarding beyond words. And yet, the work must continue with our KINETIC youth and A Just Chi leaders, federal immigration reform advocacy, anti-hate bystander trainings, language justice work, and the chance to make history by passing the TEAACH Act into law, the first-time ever any state has required Asian American history curriculum to be taught in public schools.
I pray that in the coming months, I will have the opportunity to personally thank and meet with many of you if and when the pandemic subsides, but please know that Chicago and Illinois will always be my home and in my heart.
With much love and thanks,