NAAPAC e-Newsletter No. 2021-08-12

  • FW: [AUC] First Press Release of 2021 NCLF
  • FW: NCAPA Statement on Senate Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
  • FW: Join Us – Fresh New Force in Politics 2022
  • FW: President Biden and Vice President Harris Meet With APIAVote
  • FW: [APA Justice] Role of UTK and Timeline; FOIA Request to NIH; “China Initiative;” Yellow Whistle

From: Rashmi; AAUC Admin
Subject: First Press Release of 2021 NCLF

Here is an enclosed press release of 2021 NCLF. Kindly distribute it to your network.
If you have any questions, please contact admin@asamunitycoalition.org
(Please download the flyer by clicking HERE if you want nicely formatted PDF file.)

Join our 2021 NCLF in September!

Sept 2021

24-25

FREE Registration Opens in September

REGISTER IN SEPTEMBER

From: National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
Subject: NCAPA Statement on Senate Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE on August 11th, 2021
CONTACT: Emma Shainwald, emma@ncapaonline.org

NCAPA Statement on Senate Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Washington, DC—The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), National Director, Gregg Orton issued the following statement after the Senate voted 69-30 to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. The bill makes key investments in public transit, broadband access, environmental remediation, and more.

“The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) applauds the passage of President Biden’s historic infrastructure bill. As this legislation advances, we are hopeful this bill will strengthen communities across the country, especially those who’ve been impacted the hardest by the pandemic.

From our coalition’s previous meetings with President Biden, the Administration has been incredibly receptive to the needs of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. Whether it’s broadband access, electrifying transportation to reduce the negative impact on the climate, or securing our power grid, these important investments have the ability to drastically improve the lives of every American, especially in disadvantaged communities.

We urge the Administration to commit these investments, and others laid out in the bill, to underserved AANHPI communities as well as the millions in disadvantaged communities across the country.”

From: Don Sun
Subject: Join Us – Fresh New Force in Politics 2022

Fresh New Forces in Politics 2022

The 2022 cycle is fast upon us. Across our nation, thousands of AAPI leaders are seeking political office and are on the front lines to make history for the Asian American diaspora.

Over the last few months, I have mapped out areas where the AAPI community can be competitive in 2022 and beyond. For AAPI candidates to win next year, we have to make large scale investments in mobilizing our community to vote, getting critical messages out that helps define ones’ candidacy, and we will need to educate/register our communities about upcoming elections.

To do so, we are launching the Asian American Forward PAC. Our goal is goal is to support Asian Americans to lead in policy making and leadership. We will fundraise for candidates seeking office and we will connect Asian American leaders to elected officials.

As part of our PAC, I would like to invite you to join the Asian American Forward PAC for the inauguration of our Annual AAF Conference and Retreat. The AAF Conference will be the largest and most influential gathering of AAPI Leaders throughout the United States. During the conference, you will have the opportunity to meet upcoming candidates for the 2022 cycle. Moreover, there will be breakout sessions that will give you an in-depth understanding on how to run an effective and data-driven campaign. There will also be a list of panelists and speakers who you don’t want to miss — including a special session with Andrew Yang!

Andrew Yang is embarking on a new chapter of his life and career. He will talk about his new book FORWARD and chat with many of our AAPI candidates.

Here are the details for our first ever AAF PAC Conference and Retreat:

Retreat Location: Los Gatos, CA

Dates: September 24 – 25

To register for the event please click on the following link:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/andrewyang9242021

From: APIAVote
Subject: President Biden and Vice President Harris Meet With APIAVote

President Biden and Vice President Harris Meet With APIAVote, Other AANHPI Civil Rights Leaders

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris along with 12 other Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) civil rights leaders to discuss the issues facing our communities –– including voting rights. We discussed the dangers of the anti-voter bills state legislatures are passing across the country, just after our communities achieved record AANHPI voter turnout, and the steps that must be taken to ensure our voting rights are protected.

Both the President and Vice President expressed their commitment to protecting democracy amidst a rise in autocracy. To this end, they assured all of us it is a priority of this administration to pass the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancements Act –- both of which are crucial bills to expand and strengthen our democracy. Although their path may not be straightforward, voting rights remain at the top of this administration’s agenda.

This was a historic meeting for AANHPI communities. It is clear AANHPIs’ political power has grown and has the ability to influence policy in Washington, D.C. and across the country. We thank the Biden-Harris Administration for extending AANHPIs a seat at the table to discuss voting rights, as well as other issues facing our communities, and recognizing our communities’ voices.

From: Jeremy Wu, APA Justice
Subject: [APA Justice] Role of UTK and Timeline; FOIA Request to NIH; “China Initiative;” Yellow Whistle

Role of UTK and Timeline of Anming Hu Case

On July 29, 2021, Knox News published How the FBI manipulated the University of Tennessee to find a Chinese spy who didn’t exist.  The report a list of questions about the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s (UTK) treatment of Professor Anming Hu, but UTK spokesman Owen Driskill declined to respond.

According to the Knox News report, “[t]he trial also revealed that UT administrators handed over documents from Hu’s university files without a warrant, concealed the federal investigation from him, misled NASA at the behest of a federal agent, set Hu up for his eventual arrest and fired him as soon as he was in handcuffs… It’s still not clear who at UT authorized meetings in 2018 between Hu’s bosses and federal agents or why. Chancellor Beverly Davenport was fired in July 2018 after a tumultuous tenure of less than 19 months, and System President Joe DiPietro announced his resignation two months later… The agents, testimony has revealed, didn’t have any proof of wrongdoing by Hu when they first walked onto UT’s campus and, therefore, no legal authority to take records from his personnel files.”

On August 4, 2021, UTK Provost John Zomchick issued a message to the UTK faculty, responding to UTK Faculty Senate President Lou Gross’ questions regarding the faculty rights of Professor Anming Hu.  Citing that the university administration followed the letter and spirit of the Faculty Handbook at every stage, Provost Zomchick provided a timeline of administrative actions taken regarding Professor Hu’s tenured faculty appointment from suspension on February 25, 2020 to termination on October 8, 2020.

APA Justice has traced publicly available information and posted a timeline cross-refrencing the key UTK officials with the investigation and trial of Professor Hu.  In addition, it has obtained links to three versions of the UTK Faculty Handbooks for 2016, 2019, and 2021 respectively.  They lead to the questions of: Who knew what?  When did they know it?  What did they do? Was there presumption of Innocence?  Was there due process?  Was the treatment of Professor Hu just and fair?  They have implications not only for Professor Hu, but also other professors about their rights and due process, as well as consistency of the rules and rights across universities.

Additonal comments and media reports after DOJ’s announcement to retry Professor Anming Hu:

2021/08/06 Committee of Concerned Scientists: Case Against Chinese-Canadian Scientist Ends With Mistrial But Government Files Notice of Intent to Pursue Retrial
2021/08/05 WilmerHale: DOJ’s “China Initiative” Falters
2021/08/04 The Star: Chinese-born scholar retrial bid sparks outrage in US
2021/08/03: AP: Chinese espionage retrial sought for Tennessee researcher
2021/08/02 Inside Higher Ed: Prosecutors to Retry Case Amid Concerns About China Initiative
Knox News: Former University of Tennessee professor falsely accused of espionage faces second trial
2021/07/31 South China Morning Post: US to retry University of Tennessee professor on fraud charges following mistrial, drawing outcry

You can support Professor Anming Hu by making a donation to his legal defense fund: https://gofund.me/54289bcb

Read more: https://bit.ly/APAJ_AnmingHu

FOIA Request to the National Institutes of Health

APA Justice submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records pertaining to the effort by the National Instututes of Health (NIH) to investigate over 500 U.S.-based scientists and researchers believed to have connections to China.  The request covers records created on or after January 2011.

The formal filing date for this request is August 9, 2021.  The assigned tracking number is 245561.  According to FOIA.gov, the average NIH processing time is 33 working days for simple requests and 141 working days for complex requests.  APA Justice has implemented a day tracker for this request.

Read more: https://bit.ly/3t8dcW1

“China Initiative” and Racial Profiling

On August 5, 2021, WilmerHale posted a Client Alert titled DOJ’s “China Initiative” Falters.  The article draws two lessons from the seven recent prosecution failures including the mistrial of Professor Anming Hu and the dismissals of the Qing Wang and five visa fraud cases: (a) Alleged Government Overreach and (b) Ambiguity of the Disclosure Process.  The article concludes that “As DOJ’s China Initiative against academic researchers proceed, these seven recent failures demonstrate the challenges that prosecutors will face in securing convictions in the future.”  Read more: https://bit.ly/2TZvkoL

On August 2, 2021, the Daily Beast published an article titled Is the U.S. Trying to Smear This Veteran as a Chinese Spy?  According to the report, “Cheng Li,” a pseudonym, is a Chinese American veteran with an honorable discharge, U.S. citizenship, and a master’s degree from an Ivy League university. But the feds tried to run him out of the Army and investigate him for being an agent of the government of China.  Now that those attempts have failed, the government is trying to strip him of his citizenship—and send him back to China, where he could face a whole different kind of exposure.  Read more: https://bit.ly/3jmbyME

Two reports on an ambiguous Trump-era policy that have impacted more than 1,000 scholars from China already in the U.S. and may block 3,000 to 5,000 of the roughly 19,000 students from China who start graduate programs in the U.S. each year.

2021/08/06 Science: Chinese students fight back against visa rejections
2021/08/06 CNN: A Trump-era policy that shut out top Chinese students could be hurting America more than Beijing

“We Belong” Yellow Whistle Activities

On September 10, 2021, The Asian Cultural Engagement Center at Virginia Tech University will host an APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) Welcome To/Welcome Back event.  The yellow whistles will be distributed in the event.  Michigan State University is also in the planning process to welcome students back to campus.  The whistles can also be used as a symbol of solidarity against hate and racial profiling.  They are distributed at no cost to project partners.

The yellow whistle is also a functional protective device.  When in danger, blow the whistle.  When you hear a whistle, call 911.

On May 26, 2021, President Biden tasked the intelligence community to produce a report on the origin of the coronavirus in 90 days.  This is coming up in about 2 weeks.  Regardless of the findings, it may create opportunities for some who want to blame the Asian American communities, especially the Chinese American community.  Please be aware and vigilant.

Please contact Christina Lu, Director of the Yellow Whistle Project at theyellowwhistle@gmail.com if you and your university or organization would like to join the movement.

APA Justice maintains a section in its website to provide continuing coverage of the Yellow Whistle Campaign.  Below are some of the pictures from recent activities in Maryland, New York, and Ohio.  Read more: https://bit.ly/2RDZMmB