The Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia (CAPAVA) is pleased that the first meeting of the Virginia Asian Advisory Board to the Governor will be held in Richmond on December 11, 2003.
While campaigning in 2001, Governor Mark Warner announced that his cabinet would reflect the true face of Virginia. CAPAVA is pleased that many Asian Americans are holding positions in Richmond as well as on state commissions and boards. CAPAVA is particularly pleased that Governor Warner has appointed four founding members of CAPAVA to the Governor’s Asian Advisory Board.
However, CAPAVA is very concerned about the lack of progress in many areas in which Virginia’s Asian Pacific Americans are greatly affected.
CAPAVA Chairman Toa Do, a member of the State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights, applauded the efforts of the Governor in dealing with the issue of racial profiling following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But Mr. Do expressed concern about the lack of outreach to the APA community on racial profiling.
CAPAVA President James Suh, MD, also President of the Korean Medical Association of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, cited the recent study by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) showing Asian and Hispanic immigrants contribute more than $12 billion annually into the Virginia economy but receive few targeted state services, except for health care. Dr. Suh suggested more data on APA should be collected by state agencies to see how state services were delivered to the APA community or reasons if there is a lack of service.
CAPAVA Vice Chair Rose Chu, a health economist, also raised concerns about possible disparities in health services provided to the APA population because many APA individuals and families, especially those with low income are facing cultural and language barriers.
Founding CAPAVA board member Eric Jensen, CEO of Four Horizons Development Company and a former appointee at the U.S. Department of Commerce, said while he supports Virginia’s eVA program (the state procurement online registration program), he is very concerned whether the state’s procurement program has benefited the state’s small and minority owned businesses. He added there is a lack of data showing how many state contracts were awarded to minority or Asian owned businesses.
CAPAVA applauds the formation of the new APA Advisory Committee and offers to support the efforts of the Committee, as well as the Governor, in order to make Virginia a place of opportunity for all Virginians.
For further information about CAPAVA and CAPAVA’s upcoming work plan for 2004, please visit our website at www.capava.org.