Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Asian American Civil Rights Organization Announces 2016 California Legislative Agenda

SACRAMENTO  Today, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-California (Advancing Justice-California) launched its 2016 policy agenda at a legislative briefing at the state Capitol in Sacramento, attended by state legislators, legislative staff, members of the California Commission on Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs, advocates, and community leaders. This briefing comes at a key moment for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. As the fastest-growing racial group in the state, AANHPIs will comprise at least 11 percent of the electorate in the upcoming November election. The golden state is also home to the nation’s largest Asian American and second-largest Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) populations. Over one in seven Californians, or nearly six million residents, are AANHPI.

“Our communities are diverse economically, linguistically, religiously, and we include undocumented workers as well as naturalized citizens and fourth-generation Americans, speaking dozens of languages, encompassing immigration statuses from undocumented immigrants to naturalized citizens, and comprise a range of economic statuses,” said Karin Wang, Vice-President of Programs and Communications for Advancing Justice-LA. “As a result, Advancing Justice-California’s policy priorities address a range of issues, including improving access to higher education, limiting local law enforcement entanglement with immigration enforcement, educating against Islamophobia to reduce bullying in schools, and protecting or improving workers’ rights.”

A growing number of AANHPIs in California live in poverty and many confront issues of wage theft, housing insecurity, language access and racial profiling. Between 2006 and 2010, the number of unemployed AANHPIs in the state grew 196%, the most of any racial group. And the number of AANHPIs living under the poverty line statewide increased by 50%.

Advancing Justice-California’s 2016 policy agenda seeks to raise a powerful AANHPI statewide voice on issues that reflect the diversity of needs and concerns facing the community. They include:

  • AB 2792 (Bonta) - approximately 13% of California’s undocumented population are Asian Americans. AB 2792, also known as the TRUTH Act, would make it harder to deport undocumented residents in the state by establishing a transparent process, including community engagement, prior to local law enforcement participation in ICE deportation programs.                                                      
  • AB 2437 (Ting) - the nail salon industry in California is overwhelmingly Asian American. AB 2437 would ensure that both nail salon workers and employers have access to appropriate information about existing wage and hour laws by requiring barbering and cosmetology establishments to post a workplace notice developed by the Labor Commissioner relative to workplace rights. This bill authorizes the Labor Commissioner to consult with the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology in translating the notice in multiple languages.
  • SB 1050 (De Leon) - California’s future depends on reinvesting in public education and ensuring that every California student has equal opportunity to attend and graduate from the state’s world class public universities. SB 1050 creates a pipeline of educational success by improving the college eligibility and college readiness of our students. SB 1050 “expands the pie” of educational opportunity by expanding University of California (UC) enrollment slots so that more California students of all backgrounds can attend the UC especially students who are low income, English learners, or foster care youth.   
  • AB 2845 (Williams) - AB 2845 supports Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian (AMEMSSA) students as well as other students in middle and high school who may face discrimination due to religion.

Advancing Justice-California is a joint project of two long-standing civil rights and legal organizations, Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco and Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. “Through launching Advancing Justice-California, our organizations seek to elevate the voices of the fast-growing but underrepresented Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, particularly around issues of racial, economic and social justice in California,” said Aarti Kohli, Deputy Director of Advancing Justice-ALC.


Andrew T. Medina, (916) 538-2770; Randy Bunnao, 213-241-0227
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice-LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice. Advancing Justice-California is a partnership of Advancing Justice-LA and Advancing Justice-ALC in San Francisco.
Monday, May 9, 2016
Press Release PDF: 


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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.