It happened to me in 1989 during the Tiananmen events in Beijing. That is when I realized that no one represented Chinese Americans in the United States. We were completely unorganized and no one advocated for our interests at any of the levels of our government. When news reporters wanted to find out how Chinese Americans felt about the dramatic events going on in China, they were not able to find any one who was our spokesperson. That is when I started a Fund for China's Future (FCF), which was incorporated as a non-profit in Massachusetts. In contrast to the Committee of 100 (C100) which was also formed at that time, FCF existed for only a very short time.
C100 had great leadership and soon I became a member. C100 had 2 main goals: to provide a bridge between the U.S. and China through business and political connections and to promote Chinese Americans' success in the U.S. As an organization, it was very successful in its first goal. But because of its elitist membership, it was not a strong advocate for all Chinese Americans, especially the increasing numbers working in scientific and technical areas.
It was in the late 1990's that I discovered 80-20 and met S.B. Woo through C100. He is a charismatic politician who had risen to be a Lieutenant Governor of Delaware in the 80's. As founder of the 80-20 initiative he is dedicated to using the democratic political system of the U.S. to promote the welfare of all Asian Americans. Realizing that Chinese Americans as a minority group would be too small to have much political clout, he tried to have an organization that would pull together more individuals who share the common characteristic of a physiognomy that would be easily picked out in the U.S. The members also have the common cultural characteristics of valuing education and family ties. S.B. chose the U.S. presidential elections as a way to educate and unite Asian Americans. Compared to other groups dedicated to advocacy and education, 80-20 believes in political action, foregoing the usual social and cultural activities.
Few in the Asian American community have S.B. Woo's political savvy and fighting spirit. As the Vice President of 80-20 EF and a member of the SuperPAC there is still much for me to learn about the political system. MORE ESPECIALLY, it is a privilege to be part of a team that is doing its best to advocate for and to promote equal opportunity for all Asian Americans. If you recognize that as a relatively successful minority group in the U.S. we are potentially in a more precarious position than other minority groups, you should want to join and support 80-20 SuperPAC. It is especially important this year and through the elections next year.
Help 80-20 SuperPAC influence next year's elections and increase the number of politicians who understand and will advance the interests of Asian Americans.
Alice S. Huang, Vice President of 80-20 EF, Volunteer for 10 years
P.S. S. B. came through his heart operation just fine. He wanted me to particularly thank those readers of his e-newsletter entitled "Best Wishes to you" who were kind enough to send get well messages (about 300 persons). He should be able to return to serve our community in about one week.