We are more than excited to welcome Eva Poon to the CAA team! With experience in local government and higher education, Eva brings a lot to the Policy Advocate position. She previously worked for Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, coordinating meetings between members of the public and local agencies. She also worked for the University of San Francisco’s teaching credential program. Eva is currently part of an effort to increase the political power of residents of color in unincorporated Alameda County.

Learn more about Eva from our Q+A with them below

How did you start getting interested in AAPI issues?
I began to get interested in AAPI issues after taking Asian American Studies classes in college. It was the first time I saw my family’s immigration experience made visible and put into context. Until then, I did not know about the Asian American activism of the 1960s and the multiethnic coalitions that emerged out of that fight. I am learning that if we as APIs don’t fight for our rights, no one else is going to do it for us.

How did your experiences bring you to work at CAA?
I previously worked in local government, organizing meetings between residents and public officials. Though I was inspired by the community leaders I met (including many neighbors!), I questioned why there were so few people of color advocating for their share of resources the way white residents did. Though I understand the barriers to participation and continue to be involved in my neighborhood, I do not like being the “token” Asian person at community meetings. I wanted to be around and learn from progressive Asian Americans fighting for equality and a voice in the political process so I’m excited to be here at CAA.

What is one issue facing AAPIs that you want to work on as a staff member here?
I want to help increase AAPI political participation. If the U.S. is going to be a true democracy with a government that actually works for people of color, then we need to make space for AAPIs to voice their needs and concerns. I love that CAA works on removing barriers for AAPIs, whether it is making sure San Francisco provides equitable services for people with limited English, advocating for a complete count of Asian Americans on the Census, or fighting for job opportunities in fields that have historically left out marginalized communities.

What is one change you would make in society make to improve the lives of the communities we serve?
I would love it if there was more solidarity amongst AAPIs across class lines. I think some wealthier Asian Americans take the civil rights we have today for granted and do not want to help in the fight for rights for those who are low-income and/or are more vulnerable due to their immigration status. It might be due to individuals’ different immigration histories (when their families came to the U.S. and what resources they already had with them), but I do think we need more AAPI solidarity if we hope to defend and advance civil rights.

Do you have a favorite lunch spot in SF Chinatown?
I’m still exploring the different lunch options! In the past, my family enjoyed the pho we had at Golden Star Vietnamese Restaurant.