* "Pataki Destroys Asian American Heritage" Rally (fwd)

John Choe (john.choe@csh.org)
Fri, 16 May 1997 11:40:00 -0700

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--------- Begin forwarded message ---------- From: caaav@dti.net (caaav) Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 19:45:20 -0400 PRESS ADVISORY For Immediate Release May 15, 1997 Contact: Eric Tang (212) 473-6485 ext 103 "Pataki Destroys Asian American Heritage" RALLY and PRESS CONFERENCE to protest Governor Pataki's Reception for Asian American Heritage Month Date: Wednesday, May 22nd 1997 Time: 5:00pm to 7:00pm Place: ABC, Inc. 77 West 66th Street (at Columbus Ave) --------------------- Why We Are Protesting (1) To expose the hypocrisy of Governor George Pataki's celebration of Asian American Heritage Month as thousands of impoverished Asian immigrant New Yorkers will be devastated by so-called "welfare reform." Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act (PRA) of August 1996, immigrants receiving federally administered Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the disabled and elderly, and Food Stamps for immigrant children will be cut off from such aid by the Fall of 1997. With the vast majority of Cambodian, Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian immigrant New Yorkers receiving such federal aide, PRA will only deepen the poverty and hardship of these communities. The New York Asian American community as a whole needs to take a stand the state's implementation of PRA. The 1990 census reveals Southeast Asians to hold the highest welfare dependency percentages of any single race or ethnic group in the United States (in some states the percentage reaches almost 80 percent of the entire Southeast Asian population). The Youth Leadership Project of the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence has recently conducted a community survey which shows that over 90% of the Southeast Asian community of the Bronx is receiving SSI and Food Stamps, as well as other forms public assistance, and as such, will be devastated if PRA is implemented in NY state. (2) To provide an alternative voice to Asian American agencies who continue to promote themselves as representative of the larger Asian American community at functions such as this, yet whose advocacy and services fail to meet the needs of Asian immigrants who live in conditions of pervasive poverty, violence, and exploitation. We speak not only of those on welfare, but of those whose "working-poverty" is perpetuated by continued government and social service neglect. We need to send a message: this is no time for celebration. Asian immigrant communities are at the threshold of a crisis. You may not continue to hob-nob with the governor in the name of Asian America while the vast majority of Asians in this city who are poor and working people are denied their basic rights. On this day, if you will not demand the rights of the Asian poor, step aside, step back, and shut up. (3) To demand the following as the Governor as the state enters its final round of negotiations around the welfare reform: (a) Home Relief (or some other form of state assistance) to compensate for all SSI funding which is cut under PRA; (b) Khmer and Vietnamese-speaking state and city employees to work with the Southeast Asian community of the Fordham, Bronx area to ensure that no resident "falls through the cracks" and loses his/her SSI without receiving full compensation from the state; (c) The unmitigated and non-reduced continued provision of Food Stamps (d) Educational programs-not workfare-to provide training for employment within our communities. --------- End forwarded message ----------

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