Dear Governor Kitzhaber, Legislators, and friends of OCAPIA,
The Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OCAPIA) is pleased to share their summary report for the 2011-2013 biennium as well as its strategic goals for the 2013-2015 biennium. The Commission changed its name in early 2011 from the Oregon Commission on Asian Affairs (OCAA) to the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OCAPIA). It reflects the importance of Pacific Islanders in the broader Asian community and highlights their representation by the Commission.
This biennium, growing community partnerships were the foundation of OACPIA’s work. We strengthened our long standing partnership with the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) around civic engagement and advocacy during the 2011-13 biennium with 2 successful Legislative Days, joint celebration of Asian Heritage Month in the Capitol, voter registration efforts, and issue forums. And we added a new strategic partner in the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC) with 2 successful events: training in contracting and a networking event for diversity contracting which engaged 100+ API businesses and procurement staff. We will continue to serve as a resource to the Governor, state agencies and organizations to provide insight and perspective from the Asian and Pacific Islander community of Oregon.
OCAPIA said farewell to past Commission Chairs Carol Suzuki, who served the Commission for 10 years, Liani Reeves, and Simeon Mamaril. Their leadership established the Commission as a viable bridge between Oregon’s Asian communities and state and local government. They laid the groundwork for our new, dedicated Commission leaders, Commissioners and Legislators to build upon.
Throughout this report, we highlight the Commission’s work that impacted our community this past biennium, and included two of its strategic goals that we will focus on in this biennium. With the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) population growing at the fastest rate in the US and second highest in Oregon, OCAPIA’s strategic goals are education and civic engagement of the API community. Our work in education corresponds with the Governor’s education goals for all Oregonians, for all students to graduate from high school by 2025. In civic engagement, we are focusing on all levels of civic opportunities for APIs, from serving on boards and commissions, to running for office, and voting.
The Commission is looking forward to continuing its contributions to our great state in 2013-2015.