SF Coalition Wins Wage Theft Ordinance

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a ordinance August 2 increasing penalties and monitoring of employers who fail to pay their workers. Though non-payment of wages is currently illegal, the ordinance strengthens the city's Office of Labor Standards Enforcement's ability to enforce its labor laws. Mayor Ed Lee is expected to sign the ordinance. A progressive coaltion of community and workers organizations championed the new city law and had organized a vibrant campaign to win passage.

No longer the richest,

A recent analysis indicates that Asian median household wealth fell by over half between 2005 and 2009. Asian median household wealth had been greater than whites, but they now trail them significantly - $113K to 78K. Even more shocking is the low level of median household wealth among African Americans and Hispanics, less than $6K. One in five Asian households have zero or negative wealth.


On Watching A Song for Ourselves: Chris Iijima

"A Song for Ourselves" (2009) by Tad Nakamura portrays the inspiring and poignant life of Chris Iijima. Iijima was a member of Yellow Pearl (along with Joanne Miyamoto and later Charlie Chin), a folk group that were troubadours for the early Asian American Movement. The group was based in New York and were particularly important for East Coast activists, who saw so few Asian American bands. Much of the poignancy of the film came from Chris' premature passing due to a rare disease and a defiant last interview even as he faced mortality.

Nevada Republic Re-invokes Red Scare Ads

Soon to be Republican Congressman Mark Amodei of Nevada has used his new national platform to invoke fear and loathing toward China. It features among other things, the Chinese Army marching in front of the White House.

The Asian American Action Fund and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) have denounced the ad calling it "xenophobic," "racially charged" and "sinister." They asked him to take down the ad.

This is a continuation of the "Red Scare" tactics about China used by BOTH Republicans and Democrats during the past mid-term elections.

New York Observance of Vincent Chin and free version of Vincent Who?

June 23rd is the anniversary of the death of Vincent Chin. In 1982, Two white autoworkers bludgeoned Vincent Chin, a Chinese American man, to death with a baseball bat because he represented "Japanese" automobiles. Because of the local justice system, the two white workers never went to jail or paid more than a few thousand in fines. However, it sparked a nationwide campaign for civil rights for Asian Americans.