Los Angeles Chinatown Community Coalition
Since January 2021, I have lead together with others in identifying and prioritizing Chinatown community needs. The coalition came together following years of advocating for deeply affordable housing, recognizing that strategic, coordinated efforts were necessary to secure commitments from government officials and agencies to construct new affordable housing units on the last of its remaining properties in Chinatown. Year after year, Chinatown continues to lose hundreds of affordable units due to expiring covenants.
My interest in joining the coalition was led in part by my desire to engage with various community groups and, most importantly, elected officials to:
bring visibility to dire circumstances and prioritized needs;
proactively initiate and revisit discussions around viable, sustainable solutions for responding to the housing affordability and food desert crises; and
bring visibility to and advocate for federal, state, and local funding opportunities
Board of Directors Friends of the Chinatown Library (FOCL)
The FOCL Board actively raises funds and allocates monies to supplement the library collections, programming budgets, and funds needed for the facilities. FOCL makes possible the acquisition of innovative technologies, employment of personnel, and repair and replacement of furniture. Additionally, we administer a scholarship program to support the post-secondary education of graduating high school seniors as well as students enrolled in our neighborhood adult school.
Currently and throughout my service on the FOCL Board since 2019, I intentionally focus on efficiencies as well as actions to improve community engagement and overall quality of life for residents. My contributions range from streamlining FOCL processes, updating bylaws, granting scholarships, and initiating efforts to improve communications and engage targeted audiences, including development of the new website launched in 2022.
LA Chinatown Firecracker
L.A. Chinatown Firecracker Run Committee uplifts communities by giving back proceeds from its annual Lunar New Year events to schools, nonprofit organizations, and other community groups. Since its humble beginnings in 1978, Firecracker contributions total more than one million dollars. Its festival attracts more than 25,000 visitors to historic Chinatown each year, including approximately ten thousand event participants.
Upon joining the Firecracker team, I quickly gained increasing responsibilities that included sole responsibility for website architecture, content and overall maintenance, writing press releases, and working directly with television and other media outlets. Additionally, I led responsibilities for marketing communications in all forms as well as for external communications with government offices, partners, and other organizations. I participated in the development of new programs and created promotional materials for these programs. I also created maintained the sponsorship deck, and advised on negotiations to secure MOUs and other agreements. I also authored communications for sponsors, messages from the Directors, etc.
I initiated special projects including pandemic relief efforts involving the procurement of grocery items and prepared meals, allocation of funds, securing and managing collaborations and partnerships, and coordination of PPE and food distributions. In 2020, I led the organization’s efforts that amounted to hundreds of volunteer hours and thousands of dollars towards pandemic relief efforts. Firecracker supported independent, small businesses while feeding front line workers as well as vulnerable seniors and persons with disabilities in need.
Most Recent Media & Related Highlights include: a live television broadcast interview on CBS News; taped recording of City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and NBC coverage
Chinatown Sustainability Dialogue Group
- Initiated and conducted preliminary meetings with Los Angeles City Planning Department on Chinatown community planning (Downtown 2040 and re:code LA)
- Various actions in response to the closure of Pacific Alliance Medical Center including communication with elected representatives
- Presented to Health Commissioners on the preservation of health services in Chinatown. Made recommendations in response to the closure of the Pacific Alliance Medical Center Los Angeles Health Commission (Agenda Item 1 on January 8, 2018) Meeting
- Nutrition literacy
- Initiated and facilitated collaboration, from guiding development through coordination of publicity. Series of nutrition education and healthy cooking workshops held at Castelar Elementary School and conducted by API Forward Movement, 2018
WAPOW, bilingual community quarterly magazine distributed internationally, with primary focus on Los Angeles Chinatown and San Gabriel Valley
Primarily distribution, with some contributions toward copy writing, editing, and securing event sponsorship
Additional Community Activities
- Organized communities on issues related to education, housing, homelessness, health services, and more
- Selected Efforts: Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meetings with focus on creative alternatives to expand and make mental health services more accessible; Metro Board Meetings focusing on community impacts of proposals, various motions and their impacts on underserved communities, housing crisis, etc.
- Coordinated efforts for 2020 census Chinatown outreach working with multiple U.S. Census Bureau Partner Specialists to partner and collaborate with various community groups; also, with staff in Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation on 2020 Census Initiative