Mr. Kyle Goes to Washington

11168193_1151461408203014_5428083550302964725_oKyle was in Washington D.C. at the first International Environmental Partership (IEP) conference hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Environmental Protection Administration Taiwan to share about the air quality workshops APIOPA is running with youth all over L.A. County! Both Assistant Adminstrator Nishida (U.S. EPA) and Minister Wei (EPAT) were in attendance. It turns out a picture of Kyle, Paul, and one of our farmers was also being featured on the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) informational handouts. Thanks again to the IEP, NAAEE, and all of our other partners for making this work possible!

Asian Am Environmental Leadership Academy Graduation Hike

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Over the past 8 weeks APIOPA has been co-leading the Asian American Environmental Leadership Academy. This past weekend, the youth, many of whom we have worked with in the past, led an awesome graduation hike at Switzer Falls with over 40 friends and family in attendance!

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We are super proud of this group of youth. Over the span of this program they have actively engaged in conversations around nature, privilege, and environmental justice. We look forward to working with these leaders in the community!

Intern blog: Abraham, a Deported Undocumented Immigrant

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I’m sure everybody has heard about Donald Trump’s racist remarks by now.  Here’s one from businessinsider.com that pretty much summarizes up his views on the Mexican community:

“The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”

(read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trumps-epic-statement-on-mexico-2015-7#ixzz3glWr7FaI)

It’s really frightening and alarming that Donald Trump is leading the polls for the Republican Presidential Candidate of 2016 right now- to think that there are that many people out there who wants somebody as close-minded as Trump to be leading a global superpower country home to over 318 million people…it’s scary.  I guess there many people as close-minded as the bigoted Donald Trump.

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Run the LA Marathon with APIOPA!

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By Scott Chan

APIOPA is running LA Marathon 2016! We welcome people of all running levels to join us as we embark on an epic journey these next 6 months. Under the guidance of two amazing coaches (Eddie and Jo), we will take this on as a team. This means we will go buy the right shoes together (for reals, a shoe social is planned), have regular training groups during the week (Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings), coordinate long runs together on weekends, and send out an email listserv for us to share helpful resources. This is going to be FUN!

If you are interested, click here to sign up!

 

APIOPA Featured in LA Times!

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By Scott Chan

APIOPA was featured last week in the LA Times for the great work that Ailene and Kyle have been organizing around food access in Historic Filipinotown. Read the full article here. To learn more about our food work, you can read about our healthy corner store movement at www.freshhifi.org, and www.rootscsa.org.

In speaking with corner store owners over the past few years, we have learned the difficulties in trying to source healthy produce. Besides issues of demand, there’s also a lot of logistics to think about. What are the prices? Who will go out and buy the produce for the store? Will anyone deliver?

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Guest Blog by FAB Member Kelepi Ahoia

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By Kelepi Ahoia

Being a part of developing some amazing content for F.A.B’s curriculum has given me so much insight for the Tongan community to improve and reclaim the healthy lifestyle our ancestors began many years ago. During this process, we discussed a vision where we hope to witness the Tongan community become more socially conscious by first looking at what we currently know about our health and culture, understanding it, and then hopefully it’ll lead to changing behaviors that will benefit us in the long run. This is a collective process of passionate Tongan community members who have committed their time to building a well-structured curriculum that we hope will impact the community to take better care of their health.

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APIOPA Intern Blog: Say NO to the Rail in Hawaii!

14By Nathan Lee

There has been some heavy controversy and debate about constructing an elevated rail system on the island of Oahu in Hawaii ever since it became a dominant issue for local politics in 2008.  Along with many of the locals inhabiting the southern shore of Oahu, I am passionately against constructing this system dubbed as “The Rail.”  The opposing argument is so that the completion of the project will alleviate Honolulu’s traffic, ranked the third worst in the nation (only behind Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively).  But there are many more reasons to not go forward with the rail.

To begin with, for the same reason that billboards and aerial advertising are illegal in Hawaii, constructing a gray elevated cement rail system running over the majority of the southern part of Oahu would look hideous and unpleasant to the natural beauty Hawaii is known for.  Like many other locals will say, there is not that much land between the “Mauka and Makai,” or the Hawaiian words for mountain and ocean.  If you were to stand above the Ko’olau or Waianae mountain ranges, everything is visible between yourself and the ocean.  The rail system would be a huge eyesore protruding from the land obstructing the beautiful views of the ocean and the mountains.  In addition, graffiti and tags will inevitably be sprayed all over the columns of the railways.  It would be wise to keep Hawaii as aesthetically pleasing as possible.  How does having this sort of construction near the beautiful Pacific Ocean look to you?

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Recognized for being #FRESH!

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By Ailene Ignacio

One of the most difficult things about leading healthy food retail projects, especially corner store transformation projects, is the delayed gratification of the work done, completed, and/or sustained. This has been one of the struggles I’ve had to deal with especially as lead for the Fresh HiFi – corner store transformation – project that APIOPA has been running. I’d like to think that I’m not the type that needs to be rewarded instantly or frequently for the work I do. I sincerely do love the work that I do, so I’m pretty sure that why I still hang around. But I will not deny that there’s an inspirational and motivating beauty behind recognition, large scale appreciation efforts, and the ability to relish in and celebrate an accomplishment. And it’s this type of necessary beauty that I have rarely seen in the past 3 years.

But now, almost 1 year has passed since LA San Miguel’s #FRESH transformation, and the store owner, Cecilia, is still thriving in a food desert environment where many of her customers are local residents living below the federal poverty level. More importantly, she continues to stock and sell fresh produce.  Obviously, this inspiring woman deserves an award.

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Intern Blog! Hawaii Bans Plastic Bags

110315-N-IC111-592 WAKUYA, Japan (March 15, 2011) An aerial view of damage to Wakuya, Japan after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the area in northern Japan. Ships and aircraft from the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group are conducting search and rescue operations and re-supply missions as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi throughout northern Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alexander Tidd/Released)

As of July 1st, Hawaii has become the first state to completely abolish plastic bags at grocery checkouts.  California’s ban, which was passed by the state legislature, has been postponed due to a ballot referendum in November 2016.  Hawaii’s ban was established on the county level.  This is a great example of decision-makers and local activists addressing the serious issue of plastic pollution.

Plastic isn’t biodegradable, but is one of the most ubiquitous materials that can be found virtually anywhere in today’s society.  The US is one of the most accountable contributors to ocean garbage patches, especially the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  This particular garbage patch is twice the size of Texas, and is visible from space.  This is only one of many garbage patches floating in the oceans around Earth, and although many may not know or acknowledge it, they have serious health effects on marine animals that span the entire food chain.  Despite many people conscientiously reusing plastic bags, there is a high probability they end up in landfills or the ocean garbage patches.

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Pacific Islander Research Retreat!

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By Sina Uipi

Last week I participated in a 3 day research retreat that brought together 16 members of the EPIC Navigators Task Force. As an Islander, I understand the significance of working together for the betterment and well-being of our community as a whole. That is why I consider Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) as family, because much like APIOPA, we’re both driven by compassion to create the spaces needed to build a better future for our communities.  EPIC Board Member Natasha Saelua, a doctoral student at Denver University, along with two of her colleagues, Dr. Gildersleeve and Brenda Sifuentez, partnered with EPIC to design a youth participatory action research project. There is little to no research specifically on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander’s, so this is a great opportunity to not only learn research skills, but it provides a platform for us to shift the narrative of how we are represented, or underrepresented, in a larger context. The focus was civic engagement and it was our task as a team to explore what that looks like in Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and begin the research process!

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