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Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association

(APICA)
2008 Annual Report

December 2008

Dear APICA Members and Supporters:

In our third year as a non-profit organization, the Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association
(APICA) continued to grow. Our membership climbed to its highest level ever in 2008—
more than 90 official members—and expanded to involve more members from the Third
House and Executive Branch.

Through the generous support of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus Institute and
Assembly Members Fiona Ma, Mike Eng and Warren Furutani, APICA completed fifteen
successful projects in 2008. This annual report summarizes these projects, which included
networking events, guest speakers, advocacy and membership services.

As my term as President comes to a close, I would like to thank you for joining the APICA
Board in helping make 2008 such a productive year for our organization. With your
continued support, we will continue to build an even stronger Asian Pacific Islander
American community in and around the California State Capitol in the coming years.

Happy Holidays and best wishes in the New Year!

Sincerely,

Kiyomi Burchill
APICA President

APICA 2008 Annual Report | Page 1


I. History and Background

In 1975, a small group of Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs) that worked in the California
State Capitol formed the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Staff Caucus. Three decades later, in
2005, the Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association (APICA) incorporated as a non-profit organization
to institutionalize this legacy and continue to support a growing community of APIA professionals
that work in and around the State Capitol. Beyond Capitol staffers, APICA’s members now include
lobbyists, legislative advocates, staff from the Executive Branch and public relations professionals.

II. APICA Board of Directors

In December 2007, APICA elected its Board for 2008:


Kiyomi Burchill, President
Sarah Takahama, Vice-President
Shirley Kim, Secretary
Francis Choi & Jonathan Tran, Treasurer*
Annie Lam, At-Large Representative
Yang Lee, At-Large Representative
Jennifer Wada, At-Large Representative

*Upon Francis Choi’s departure from Sacramento in July, the APICA Board appointed Jonathan Tran as Treasurer.

Following the Board’s appointment of the three At-Large Representatives, the Board held a successful
retreat in March in Bodega Bay, California where it developed its goals and calendar of events for
2008.

III. Constitutional Changes in 2008

APICA members voted unanimously in July to revise the APICA Constitution. The approved
amendments: modified selection of all board members to be by election and not appointment;
specified roles for all board members in the future by replacing At-Large Representatives with
Membership Director, Communications Director, and External Affairs Director; clarified that officer
terms last one year and not one legislative session; and made technical, clean up changes.

IV. Generous Support

APICA was fortunate to receive a grant for $1,000 from the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus
Institute, the philanthropic arm of the Asian Pacific Islander Joint Legislative Caucus, to support
APICA’s leadership development activities. Additionally, Assembly Members Fiona Ma, Mike Eng and
Warren Furutani became Gold Level Member Sponsors of APICA by each contributing $500 to APICA
to make its events possible.

V. Summary of Events in 2008

Annual Welcome Back Reception


On January 30, APICA welcomed back legislators to the Capitol for the second year of the legislative
session with its annual reception in the State Capitol. Board Member Yang Lee presented APICA’s
Unsung Hero Award to Gene Wong, Chief Consultant of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for his
mentoring of APIA staffers in the State Capitol and service to the California Legislature. This event
was made possible with generous support from Assembly Member Fiona Ma.

“Department of Finance 101”: Brown Bag with Tom Sheehy


On February 29, APICA held a brown bag luncheon in the State Capitol with Tom Sheehy from the
Department of Finance. Nearly a dozen APICA members attended this intimate luncheon where Mr.
Sheehy discussed his personal background, the budget process and his role as the Deputy Director
of Legislation at the Department of Finance.

APICA 2008 Annual Report | Page 2


“From Community Activist to State Legislator”: Brown Bag with Assembly
Member Warren Furutani
On April 2, APICA members brought their lunches and gathered in the State
Capitol to hear from newly elected Assembly Member Warren Furutani.
Assembly Member Furutani talked about his background as a community
activist, shared his thoughts on the future of the APIA community and fielded
questions from APICA members curious to learn more about California’s newest
legislator. This event was made possible with generous support from the Asian
Pacific Legislative Caucus Institute.

API Heritage Month Reception


On May 27, APICA hosted a reception in honor of Asian Pacific
Islander (API) Heritage Month in the State Capitol. The reception
featured various food and drinks from a number of APIA ethnic
groups and an art exhibition of the work of Vietnamese American
visual artist Châu Thuy of Orange County. This event was made
possible with generous support from the Assembly Member Mike Eng.

Bone Marrow Drive


On June 6, APICA members volunteered with the Asian American Donor Program at the Florin Road
Festival to register APIAs and other people from other underrepresented groups in the National Bone
Marrow Registry.

"How to Talk to the Press" Discussion Panel Luncheon


On June 25, APICA co-hosted a panel discussion luncheon with
API Capitol Bureau reporters with the Asian American Journalists
Association (AAJA), Sacramento Chapter. AAJA Sacramento
President Judy Lin (Sacramento Bee) moderated the impressive
panel of Matthew Yi (San Francisco Chronicle), Kevin Yamamura
(Sacramento Bee) and Lonnie Wong (Fox 40 News). Panelists talked
about covering the Capitol and provided attendees with helpful tips
for talking to the press. This event was made possible with
generous support from the Asian Pacific Legislative Caucus
Institute.

Brown Bag with Assembly Member Mike Eng


On June 25, APICA held a brown bag luncheon with Assembly Member
Mike Eng. The group discussion was very active and intimate. At the
luncheon, Assembly Member Eng shared with APICA members candid
views about his background, politics and the legislative process. This
event was made possible with generous support from the Asian Pacific
Legislative Caucus Institute.

Mid-Year General Body Meeting


On July 18, APICA members met to review the events of the first half of the year and create
committees to organize events for the second half of the year. APICA members also assessed the
APICA Constitution and voted unanimously to transform the appointed At-Large Representative
positions on the board to three elected positions: External Affairs Director, Membership Director and
Communications Director.

APICA 2008 Annual Report | Page 3


Fellows and Interns Barbecue Dinner
On July 24, Ron and Maeley Tom hosted APICA for what has
become an APICA tradition: an annual summer barbecue dinner
to assist Capital Fellows and interns completing their programs
in finding jobs in and around the State Capitol. Board Member
Jennifer Wada moderated a panel of well-respected members of
the APIA Capitol community: Maeley Tom, Ron Tom, Georgette
Imura, Wendy Notsinneh, Joyce Iseri and Bill Wong who shared
their career stories and suggestions for job searching. This event
was made possible with generous support from the Asian Pacific
Legislative Caucus Institute.

My Sister's House Run/Walk


On November 8, a team of APICA members and friends braved a cold Saturday morning to represent
APICA in the charity annual run/walk that benefits My Sister’s House. My Sister’s House is the
Central Valley’s only domestic violence shelter that specifically identifies and addresses the unique
needs of APIA women and children impacted by domestic violence.

Fellows Welcome Reception


On December 2, APICA teamed up with the California Latino
Capital Association, LGBT Staff & Friends and the Black Youth
Leadership Project to once again host a reception to welcome the
2008-2009 Capital and Polanco Fellows. This year’s reception at
Marilyn’s on K Street in downtown Sacramento proved to be yet
another success with a packed crowd mixing and mingling. This
event was made possible with generous support from Assembly
Member Warren Furutani.

VI. Additional Projects in 2008

Advocacy
For the third year in a row, the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program interview panel lacked
an Asian Pacific Islander American member despite past reassurances that the panel would be more
representative. In response, the APICA Board sent a letter on April 22 to the Director of the program
expressing its concern and encouraging the program to include someone from APIA community. The
program, and the Center for California Studies where it is housed, heard APICA’s call and committed
to working with APICA to identify potential APIA panelists for future years’ selection panels.

Asian Pacific Islander Joint Legislative Caucus


In April, the APICA Board made a presentation on APICA to the Asian Pacific Islander Joint
Legislative Caucus about the history and programs of APICA to encourage greater collaboration
between the organizations.

Resume Binder
Once again, APICA created a binder of members’ resumes that it distributed to senior APICA
members and supporters in December in an effort to connect job seekers with job opportunities.

Email Listserve
Throughout the year, APICA continued to provide information on events around the Capitol and job
announcements to its members via its email listserve.

Once again, thank you for your continued support of APICA.


Here’s to another successful year in 2009!

APICA 2008 Annual Report | Page 4

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