Friday, May 27, 2011

House Leader Nancy Pelosi meets with API Budget Coalitions

Press Release from Chinatown Community Development Center

SAN FRANCISCO (May 27, 2011) – Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi and over 40 community-based leaders from the Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) Budget Coalitions (which includes RAMS) met to discuss federal budget priorities for API low-income families, youth and seniors. Representatives from the Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Laotian and Samoan American communities from across San Francisco attended. Leader Pelosi declared her strong support for the three federal budget priorities articulated by the group: the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), Social Security Supplemental Income program (SSI), and Medicare.

Following a presentation by Patsy Tito, Executive Director of the Samoan Community Development Center, on the importance of CDBG funding to API communities, Rep. Pelosi acknowledged that the CDBG program must be protected because it forms the underyling foundation for critical local programs.  This is particularly true in San Francisco. CDBG funds nearly every API serving non-profit in the city of San Francisco. These services range from affordable housing to senior, youth, and family support programs.

Leader Pelosi also supported the priority to defend SSI from Republican attempts to raid and deplete the program. Anni Chung, Executive Director of Self-Help for the Elderly, presented on behalf of the community groups, and pointed out that for many API seniors, over 90% of their income comes from SSI.

Leader Pelosi finally urged API community leaders to oppose the current Republican attempt to privatize portions of Medicare after Kent Woo, Executive Director of the NICOS Chinese Health Coalition, presented.

About the Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) Budget Coalitions
The Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) Budget Coalitions is a San Francisco based “coalition of coalitions” formed to coordinate and advocate on government budget policy issues on behalf of vulnerable Asian and Pacific Islander communities. We consist of seven different citywide and neighborhood based Asian and Pacific Islander coalitions focusing on a broad range of issues impacting API’s. Our coalitions and their individual members provide social services and programming on a citywide basis to nearly every vulnerable API community in the City. Collectively, our coalitions include nearly 80 non-overlapping, individual organizations, institutions, and/or agencies.

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