ASIAN COMMUNITY LEADERS – URGENT MEETING:
Mayor Plans to Shut Down Asian Advisory Council
Hello Asian Community Leaders:
It is my understanding that the mayor will be closing down the Asian advisory board, among other minority boards, at their next budget meeting. Joyce Jeng who has first informed me of this is able to provide further details on the background story (see below).
I’ve already reached out to several Asian community leaders to see if anyone else was aware of this alarming news and received affirmative responses from leaders who attended the meeting where they first announced this. Others, however, did not know about the mayor’s plans but have wanted to support those taking a stance against this. To discuss this matter, I am attending a meeting at David Namkung’s office tomorrow to meet with the Asian Advisory Board Council Chair, Ms. Lam, and other interested Asian community leaders.
INTERESTED ASIAN COMMUNITY LEADERS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY 10/26 AT 5:30PM AT 22 W. WASHINGTON SUITE 1490. If you can attend, please let me know by the end of today.
In the meantime, since this matter is highly time sensitive with the Alderman vote taking place this Friday, any kind of MEDIA EXPOSURE (news, facebook, twitter, emails, etc.) is the Asian community’s best bet at getting our voices heard. SO PLEASE ACT NOW TO SPREAD THE WORD. I’ve already contacted the Korean media and Susana Song from CBS2 is pursuing the story.
KACC Vice President
Asian American Advisory Council Chair: Denise Lam
Right now, it’s important that our different Asian communities are aware of the situation and how it will impact them. Historically in Chicago, the Afam and Latinos get the attention, favors, dollars, etc. Where the Asian communities draw the short stick. We have the most diverse group under the umbrella name of “Asian” and we do need a voice. It is critical our Asian and AsAm voices are heard loud and clear. There is talk of all the councils being closed coming together, which is great. However, the Asian community must prepare to fight for its own share and our voice must be very loud.
Any media spotlights on the mayor and his inconsistencies in what he promised during campaigning and his actions now would be good to feature. He ran on the platform of wanting to make Chicago more a “Globalized city”. How can he do that when our diverse communities voices are having a difficult time being heard because nobody at the mayor’s office knows about us? This smacks of the contractor problem we had a few years ago where the City of Chicago wanted to quietly hand over minority contracting jobs of Asian contractors to the AfAm and Latino contractors. Reason? Asians weren’t really a minority. It’s an on-going battle and it’s getting old.
Lorene Yue at AAJA in Chicago should have posted this on AAJA’s Facebook page. We need to create awareness and lots of media attention on this. Enough attention must be drawn where the mayor realizes we’re not going to be quiet about an unfair action.
If you look at the budget, you’ll see *many* assistants working for the mayor draw salaries with 6 figures. Chicago no longer has parking revenue. City hall is not running efficiently and they are now wanting to get rid of a critical part of Chicago. The part that keeps us “global”. He’s not keeping his campaign promise. It is very short sighted. The fact that these decisions were made behind closed doors is worse.
The alderman vote is this Friday. The affected communities will be meeting together this Wednesday (tomorrow) to discuss strategy. But as you know, media coverage works a lot faster. Whether it’s numbers from hate crimes, racial issues, immigration issues…the AsAm Advisory Council and our representative (Chris Zala), addresses these issues and is our voice in Chicago. We have the Pakistani community with us. Having a direct line to the Muslim communities is crucial at this day and age and Emanuel wants to cut it all of this.
Letter from Joyce Jeng
I attended a disturbing meeting last night that the mayor will be closing down the community advisory councils due to budget cuts. When Emmanuel ran, he claimed he wanted to “Globalize” Chicago and now he wants to cut all arms off that make us global and a vibrantly multicultural city. It’s a very disturbing time for the Asian American Community since they will be cutting one of our strongest voices in the city. Our council was just notified this Wednesday and there will be a budget vote next Friday 10-28-11 to cut our advisory council.
We have needed this council and have had the budget for it for the past 10+ years. There was no prior discussion or request for input with our community and the mayor’s office has already slated an African American to run the Arab, LGBT, Latino, Disabled and Asian communities. This is just not possible for any one person to do correctly or fairly. We are not sure how this decision was made behind closed doors. I asked the commissioner and she was not given the details or was not able to share. If you know and love Chicago, you know the diverse communities and the need to understand clearly the cultural nuances in order for things run smoothly. We are very concerned and if I were to give you a 2 second sound bite, I would say “Loss of advisory councils spawns LA-like riots appear in Chicago”. There is something definitely amiss here and I am hoping you can help me find the right people to break this news before next week. I definitely would appreciate the connect.
I have been told to voice my discontent with the aldermen voting next week. But I have found media to be a better vehicle as a fair-play stabilizer in these situations. People have a right to know what is being done behind the scenes. These decisions are going to have a negative cultural and social impact on our city. No dollar amount is worth the damage this decision will incur. Won’t you please help our vibrant Chicago communities?
Please contact your alderman, forward this story to your local news stations to follow up, or call/write/email city hall and make your opinions known. Please do it quickly.