2019 Political Newsletter #1: Hello! + API Political Internships Resource Guide
I hope wherever you are in the world right now, you’re able to spend time with loved ones and unwind before school starts up again (sad, I know). First, a warm welcome to all our new constituent groups (Penn Arab Student Society, PennCasila, and the Penn Initiative for Minority Mental Health), and a warm hello again to all. I’m Kat, the VC of PoliticalAffairs for this APSC board, and you can expect to find regular updates on issues in the larger API community in these emails, as well as action items that you can do to help! For this email, I've also attached an internship resource guide at the end!
But first...introducing the most diverse freshman class the House of Representatives has ever seen!! Let's give it up for all the ceilings shattered, misconceptions defeated, and hurdles crossed along the way, and let's continue to work together to push for more!
An easy way to stay involved: Elected members have very active social media accounts, which I urge you all to follow (it's an easy/painless way to stay up-to-date on what's going on!). Furthermore, younger members, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, talk to followers on her Instagram stories and such, so it's basically like y'all are friends.
HOW THE SHUTDOWN AFFECTS COMMUNITIES OF COLOR + LOW-INCOME FOLKS
The New York Times explores the government shutdown timeline and points out the far-reaching effects of federal agencies that have run out of money. For example, for families with Section 8 vouchers, or federal living assistance, a shutdown means a lack of access to vouchers, which could result in eviction threats. This is the latest attempt by Trump to receive funding for the wall, an issue that increasingly pits minorities against one another, allows racist and hostile sentiments to flourish, and, some claim, distracts the media and public from other serious issues against Trump.
INCREASED DEPORTATIONS IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN COMMUNITY + WHAT YOU CAN DO
What's Happening: In 2018, there were more than 350 deportations of Laotian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese immigrants, with many of these legal permanent residents who fled their home countries to escape violence and genocide. Furthermore, according to a 2008 repatriation act between the Vietnamese and American government, such deportations of pre-1995 arrivals is illegal, but the administration is operating in blatant disregard of this fact. Earlier this week, Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, led 13 senators in urging Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to "reexamine policies on the arbitrary detention and deportation of Southeast Asian immigrants who prove no threat to public safety, are interwoven into our communities, and support United States citizen families.”
What you can do to help: 1. Sign THIS PETITION organized by the Vietnamese Anti-Deportation Network to be sent to the Department of Homeland Security to let them know we are watching!
2. Follow SEARAC on various social media to stay informed about what is going on in the community and how you can help.
A COMIC ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE FORTUNE COOKIE
Did you know the ubiquitous fortune cookie could have originated from Japanese confectionery stores in the 1800s, and found their way to Chinese restaurants during the internment period after Japanese Americans sold everything they owned before they were forced to leave?
Food for thought: "To fully grasp its history, we have to reckon with our own: the good, the bad, and the unlucky."
YEAR IN REVIEW: ASIAN AMERICA IN MEDIA
In this first email, I also wanted to share a resource guide I put together for folks who are thinking about a summer internship in the API identity + politics space. THIS GUIDE has a list of paid internship activities which places you, and your fellow cohort members, into different nonprofit, governmental, or corporate spaces and offers workshops and mentorship outside of these placements as well. I also listed Penn students who have completed these internships before and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about these programs. This guide is a living, breathing document (just like our Constitution! haha), so please reach out to me if there are any other opportunities you'd like me to share.
See you all in the next email and on campus soon!