So I am at the Netroots Nation conference in gorgeous Pittsburgh (where its an incredibly pleasant 81 degrees which is a nice change from the swamp that DC has been for the last few days) . The conference brings together progressive activists and advocates, many of whom are particularly technologically-oriented. I thought since the conference is all about blogging and SAALT has a blog, what a natural fit!
After a short flight and a very long bus ride into the city, I barely made the Asian Pacific American Caucus session. There were about 10 people in the session and we spent most of the time identifying how we could work in issues like healthcare and Census 2010 in the Asian Pacific American community. I heard a lot of great ideas, from bringing Asian American causes to mainstream online spaces to critically analyzing how to use technology to reach audiences like school kids to get to non-technologically connected older Asians.
While it was great to be able to share the space with fellow Asian American activists and bloggers, I sometimes wonder whether these separate conversations sometimes hold us back from casting these actually mainstream, important issues as broadly as they could be. Anyways, I’ll keep posting as much as possible from beautiful Pittsburgh!
As the recession deepens and more and more people around the country find themselves jobless or stretched thin economically, its important to highlight how different communities are being affected in different ways. This excellent piece from My9 News (New York) reporter Ti Hua Chang. Chang profiles Asian Americans and South Asians living at or near the poverty level in New York. Many work for long hours for low wages and have little cushion as the economy worsens. Moreover, fewer Asian Americans use government services; one of the startling facts Chang mentions is that while Asian Americans make up 12% of the city’s population, they recieve about 1% of the government or private funding. From seniors isolated to their apartments to the Bangladeshi man working two jobs to build a better future for his children, the stories are uniformly heartbreaking and underscore how these communities are suffering. The Executive Director of an NCSO partner SAYA!, Annetta Seecharan, speaks to the importance of investing in these communities and helping them build more secure futures. Check the video out at <http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102477092076&e=001aIe-v1SY2wJtz3gLloLGdx1EKmzkq4MLylD-QY-vhvtPm4PpNI1fizuFNK7DJ9xNvqE7uIqAHfOuwQFZfhlGgbyZXU4mMQErjoOS5BY3c6v1VRiakPRE5d8nicqHS-RMP1dq69Qg8mw=>