Despite this being our first year at the API Policy Summit, we were honored to have been chosen as team leaders for the groups’ legislative lobby day on Tuesday. Both Ravneet and Neha worked with a group of attendees to identify API bills currently being considered in the California Capitol. Today, we met with legislators in the California State Assembly and Senate to promote the bills each of our groups had chosen.
This year’s priority bills cover everything from health care reform to court interpreters and our very own kirpan education bill (AB 504), which was introduced by Assembly Member Warren Furutani earlier this year. Through our lobby efforts, we paid visits to 13 legislative offices, and personally met with Assemblymembers Alberto Torrico (D-Fremont) and Mike Eng (D-Alhambra).
We ended the summit with a rally on the steps of the Capitol building. The goal was to have Asian Americans speaking with one united voice in the halls of power. The last couple of days have helped us all not only to identify places where we can work together going forward, but really how we all face similar issues and can learn from each other when it comes to civil rights.
We would like to thank the API Legislative Caucus for including us in their program and to Nitasha Sawhney for ensuring that the Sikh community is both represented at these events and is able to leverage the resources that these larger coalitions can bring to bear on our advocacy initiatives.