News

11.29.2021

Asian American Leaders Demand that City Council Draw an Asian American Majority Ward in Greater Chinatown in Final Citywide Map

For Immediate Release

November 29, 2021
Contact:
Grace Pai, Executive Director
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
gpai@advancingjustice-chicago.org

Grace Chan McKibben, Executive Director
Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC)
(773) 405-6770 | gracechan@cbcacchicago.org 

As City Council plans to vote on a final citywide map this week, Asian American leaders urge the Council to draw an Asian American majority ward and protect Asian American communities of interest in Albany Park and West Ridge. 

CHICAGO, IL — Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago and the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC) will hold a press conference on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 at 9:30am at City Hall to demand that City Council members include an Asian American majority ward in Greater Chinatown and preserve Asian American communities of interest in Albany Park and West Ridge. Leaders from across the Chicago Asian American community will be in attendance.

Data from the 2020 Census supports the creation of Chicago’s first Asian American majority ward in Greater Chinatown. The 2020 Census also documented the significance of the Asian American community in the Albany Park and West Ridge neighborhoods. 

In just the last week, the Black Caucus and Latino Caucus have publicly released maps that include an Asian American majority ward. We call on City Council to follow their lead by including an Asian American majority ward in the final citywide map.

WHAT: Press conference

WHOAsian American leaders and community-based organizations

Speakers include:

  • Justin Sia, Democracy, Voting Rights, and Redistricting Counsel at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
  • C.W. Chan, Founder of the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community
  • Paul Luu, Chief Executive Officer of the Chinese American Service League
  • Youngwoon Han, Senior Organizing Manager at HANA Center
  • Shobhana Verma, Executive Director of the South Asian American Policy & Research Institute
  • Anne Shaw, Principal, Shaw Legal Services, Ltd. and Member, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community Redistricting Steering Committee

WHEN: Tuesday, November 30th, at 9:30am

WHERE: City Hall, 2nd floor, 121 North LaSalle Street Chicago, Illinois 60602

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Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. Learn more at www.advancingjustice-chicago.org

Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community empowers the Chinese American communities in Greater Chicago through civic education, issue advocacy, communication with policy makers, and community mobilization. Learn more at https://cbcacchicago.org/.

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11.21.2021

Asian American Racial Justice Organization Denounces Decision to Increase Policing and Surveillance in Wake of Tragic Death of a Chinese Univ. of Chicago Alumnus

The Chicago Police Department and University Chicago Police Department recently announced plans to increase police patrols, traffic stops, and surveillance cameras in response to a recent off-campus fatal shooting. 

For Immediate Release

November 21, 2021
Contact:
Grace Pai, Executive Director
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
gpai@advancingjustice-chicago.org

CHICAGO, IL — Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago will be holding a press conference on Monday, November 22nd, 2021 at 10:00am on the University of Chicago campus to denounce increased policing and surveillance in Hyde Park and surrounding communities in the wake of two local incidents of gun violence.

On November 9th, a recent graduate of the University of Chicago, Shaoxiong ‘Dennis’ Zheng, was shot and killed during a robbery in Hyde Park. That same day, there was also an unrelated shooting spree on 53rd Street that did not result in any injuries or deaths. In response to the fatal robbery, various students, primarily Chinese international students, organized a “We want safety” rally on Tuesday, November 16th. Afterwards, the University of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) announced a joint plan to increase the presence of CPD and the private University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) patrols in surrounding areas and to install additional surveillance cameras.

In the aftermath of the death of Shaoxiong ‘Dennis’ Zheng, we have seen an increase in racist, anti-Black sentiment, especially from Asian international students and community members (statement from the Organization of Black Students). While we fully empathize with the fears and concerns following the deaths of three UChicago students or recent graduates in the past year, two of whom were international Chinese students, we also recognize that gun violence is a complex issue that our communities have been reckoning with for decades. Hyde Park is one of the most policed neighborhoods in Chicago. Increasing policing and surveillance will not deter future gun violence because policing and surveillance do not address the root causes of violence, such as decades of disinvestment, structural racism, poverty, trauma, and lack of opportunity. Furthermore, ramping up policing and surveillance will contribute to the harassment, racial profiling, and police brutality that Black students and residents already experience.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is holding a press conference on Monday to show Asian and Asian American solidarity with the Black community and support for public safety for all communities in response to recent gun violence. Residents of the Hyde Park community, Asian American and international students at the University of Chicago, and allied organizations will be in attendance.

  • WHAT: Press conference
  • WHOHyde Park residents, current University of Chicago students, including members of the international student community, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
  • Speakers include:

Grace Pai, Hyde Park resident, University of Chicago alumna, and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago
A speaker will share a written statement on behalf of a Chinese international student who attended the ‘We Want Safety’ rally on 11/16/21
TBD – Violence prevention organization
TBD – Hyde Park resident

  • WHEN: Monday, November 22nd, at 10:00am
  • WHERE: 5801 S Ellis, in front of Edward H. Levi Hall, the administration building at the University of Chicago

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Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. Learn more at www.advancingjustice-chicago.org.

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10.25.2021

Asian American Leaders Call on the Latino Caucus to Include an Asian American Majority Ward

The newly released proposal stops short of drawing Chicago’s first Asian American majority ward, despite Census data showing it is possible.

CHICAGO, IL — October 25, 2021 — On Friday, the Chicago Latino Caucus released a proposed citywide map that creates 16 majority Black wards, 15 majority Latino wards, and 15 majority white wards, but no majority Asian American ward. Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago call on the Latino Caucus to make history by amending their map to incorporate Chicago’s first Asian American majority ward.

Chicago’s Asian American community grew in population by 31% and Asian Americans are the racial demographic that shows the fastest percentage growth in our city. Chicago’s Chinatown is often referred to in the news as the only Chinatown in the country that is growing, in stark contrast to other cities where gentrification has driven Asian Americans out of their historic neighborhoods. However, there is no Asian American representation on City Council nor has there been a single Asian American majority ward in Chicago’s 200-year history.

“We are disappointed that the map the Latino Caucus filed with the City Clerk does not include an Asian American majority ward. CBCAC has engaged extensively with City Council members to share several alternatives that include over 50-percent Asian Americans in the ward. The Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission’s citywide map also includes a majority Asian American ward, which includes parts of Armour Square, Bridgeport, and McKinley Park,” said Grace Chan McKibben, Executive Director of Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC). “We have shown over and over again that a majority Asian American ward is supported by Census 2020 data.” 

“Right now, Asian Americans do not have a seat at the table. Just as other communities of color have representation by their leaders, Asian Americans deserve to be able to elect an Alderperson who represents, understands, and advocates for our growing community’s needs,” said Grace Pai, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “To have a true “Coalition Map,” the Latino Caucus map must reflect Chicago’s diversity and create a majority Asian American ward.”

“When Pui Tak Center started in 1994, Chinese American students attending our ESL classes primarily came from Armour Square and Bridgeport,” said David Wu, Executive Director of Pui Tak Center which is located in Chinatown. “Now, more and more Chinese Americans attend our classes from McKinley Park and Brighton Park, demonstrating how the community has grown across the Southwest side. It’s critical for the new ward map to keep these communities together in a majority Asian American ward.” 

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Contacts:

Grace Chan McKibben, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC)

773-405-6770, gracechan@cbcacchicago.org 

Grace Pai, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago

gpai@advancingjustice-chicago.org

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Executive Assistant Contract Position

Executive Assistant Contract Position

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago and Asian American Midwest Progressives are searching for an Executive Assistant. This is an hourly contractor position of approximately 10-15 hours per week. We are looking for an individual who is highly organized, communicative, and detail-oriented. This position will be required to show discretion and handle confidential information in an appropriate manner. All candidates must be committed to our mission of building power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity.

Reports To

Executive Director

Responsibilities

  • Manage and maintain the Executive Director’s schedule and respond to routine correspondence
  • Review and prioritize incoming correspondence for the Executive Director, including responding on behalf of the Executive Director when appropriate
  • Collect, organize, and submit Executive Director’s expenses on a monthly basis
  • Coordinate travel arrangements as needed
  • Coordinate scheduling of Board of Directors’ Committee and Board meetings
  • Assist in preparing and coordinating Board meetings and save Board Google Drive materials onto the server on a monthly basis
  • Complete time sheets for cost-sharing agreement between Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago and Asian American Midwest Progressives on a monthly basis and hold staff accountable to completing time sheets
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications (Required)

  • Ability to work independently, communicate directly, and prioritize multiple tasks while maintaining accuracy and efficiency;
  • Proactive, detail-oriented, and extremely organized;
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality, discretion, and professionalism;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Extremely tech savvy, with full proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (primarily Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Drive, and Zoom;
  • Fluent in English (written and spoken).

Qualifications (Preferred)

  • Previous administrative support experience and/or 2-3 years of work experience;
  • Familiarity or prior experience working in coalitions or managing external partnerships.

Salary Range

  • The hourly rate is $20.00 – $24.00 per hour based on experience for approximately 10 – 15 hours per week.

Applications should be submitted electronically via email to work@advancingjustice-chicago.org and include:

  • Cover letter describing interest in the position, qualifications, and expectations
  • Resume
  • Two professional references

Please include “Executive Assistant” in the subject line of any email. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The ideal start date for this position is December 1, 2021 or sooner. Applications received by November 14, 2021 will be prioritized.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified persons are encouraged to apply, regardless of race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, age, height, weight, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital or domestic partner status, or religious affiliation.

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09.21.2021

Response to First Parliamentarian Recommendation On Path To Citizenship

Response to Parliamentarian’s First Recommendation On Path To Citizenship

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago and the Midwest Asian American Immigration Network Respond to Negative Parliamentarian Recommendation For DACA Recipients, TPS Holders, Farm Workers, Essential Workers

CHICAGO, IL — September 21, 2021 — On Sunday night, the Senate Parliamentarian issued her first recommendation on immigration. The Parliamentarian recommended against the inclusion of a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, TPS holders, farm workers, and essential workers, as written in the proposed budget reconciliation bill. 

The Midwest Asian American Immigration Network is deeply disappointed by the Parliamentarian’s recommendation, but we believe in the power of collective advocacy to win citizenship for all. This is not a one-off process and is just one step of many in our fight to win a pathway to citizenship for our communities. Some politicians and mainstream media will want to declare the fight for citizenship over, but we know this is not the case. We are confident that Senate Democrats have the power to deliver and we expect them to do so. Millions of immigrants have given so much, especially during the pandemic, so we will keep fighting to win citizenship for as many people as possible. 

Senator Schumer released the following statement yesterday regarding the Senate Parliamentarian’s Decision

“We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide lawful status for immigrants in budget reconciliation continues. Senate Democrats have prepared alternate proposals and will be holding additional meetings with the Senate parliamentarian in the coming days.” 

We call on Senators Durbin and Duckworth (IL), Peters and Stabenow (MI), Klobuchar and Smith (MN), and Portman and Brown (OH) to fight for a path to citizenship for as many people as possible. An unelected, unaccountable staff attorney for the Senate should not determine the future of millions of immigrants, especially when a bipartisan majority of voters supports citizenship for millions. 

After 35 years of inaction, this is the year we will win citizenship for millions.

The Midwest Asian American Immigration Network, comprised of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, Minnesota 8, OPAWL (Ohio), and Rising Voices (Michigan), will continue to pressure Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

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Contacts:

Kevin Hsia, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, 773-271-0899 x258 khsia@advancingjustice-chicago.org 

Montha Chum, MN8 | St. Paul, MN, 

Montha@releasemn8.org

Jona Hilario, OPAWL  | Columbus, OH, 614-787-2979

jona.hilario@opawl.org

Jasmine Rivera, Rising Voices | Detroit, MI 

917-575-4786

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