On Wednesday, CIANA attended the 10th Annual Asian Pacific American City Advocacy Day as part of the 15% and Growing Campaign. Our colleage, Kylen Button started the day off speaking with Nicholas A. Widzowski, ESQ, the Legislative Director & Counsel for Council Member Costa Constantinides, where they discussed the FY19 budget. Kylen asked that Council Member Constantinides back the restoration of Immigrant Services in the FY19 budget, including:
1) Restore $6 million to the Adult Literacy Initiative that creates basic literacy, English for Speakers of Other Languages and Graduate Equivalency Degree classes for adults who cannot read, write, or speak English;
2) Restore $2.6 million to Immigrant Opportunities Initiative that provides legal services for recent immigrants to assist with application for citizenship or permanent residency;
3) Restore $5.865 million to Cultural Immigrant Initiative that supports cultural organizations to provide programming focused on the cultural history of an immigrant community in NYC.
The Asian Pacific American (APA) community is a predominately immigrant population, with 78% of the community being foreign-born. APAs have the highest rate of linguistic isolation of any group in NYC at 42%. No one over the age of 14 in the households speaks English well or at all.
After the legislative meeting, Kylen attended a press conference/rally at City Hall to request City Council Members include a variety of human services in the FY19 budget.
Here are some facts:
-The APA community is the fastest growing group in NYC
-APAs do not receive a fair share of City funding dedicated to social services: only 4.06% of City Council discretionary dollars and less than 1.5% of social service contract dollars
-Over 25% of APAs in NYC continue to live in poverty
-APAs have the highest rate of working poor across all racial groups in New York
-Over 38% of APAs in NYC receive Medicaid
-APAs have the highest poverty rate in NYC among full-time, year-round workers