CAA staff at an in-person retreat in San Francisco in October 2021.

Last month, for the first time since early 2021, our full team gathered in-person for a staff retreat to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. For some of us, it was also the first chance to meet face to face with colleagues after months of emails and video calls.

CAA has grown quickly over the past 18 months to meet increased community needs and to provide broad leadership on a range of issues.  As our work expands and evolves, what hasn’t changed, and will not change, is our commitment to civil rights and the communities we serve. 

Read on for the latest in civic engagement, immigrant justice, and more.

CAA helps advance permanent non-citizen voting 

Once Mayor London Breed signs the ordinance, San Francisco immigrants will continue to be able to vote in school board elections.

Last Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the Immigrant Parent Voting Ordinance in a historic win that makes non-citizen voting permanent in Board of Education elections. As a co-founder of the Immigrant Parent Voting Collaborative, CAA is thrilled that immigrant families will continue to be heard in matters concerning their school-age children. 

In 2016, CAA was a leading proponent of Proposition N, the Charter amendment that made San Francisco the largest city in the nation to give immigrants the right to vote. Since then, immigrant parents have voted in three Board of Education elections. 

With the passage of this new ordinance, San Francisco has become a progressive model for civic engagement in immigrant communities throughout the United States — especially during a time when voting rights across the country are under attack. Read our blog post to learn more about this landmark vote.

Stop AAPI Hate co-hosts 2021 Changemakers Summit 

The event brought together hundreds of Asian and Pacific Islander students, parents, and educators from throughout the United States.

Earlier this month, Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition co-founded by CAA,  joined Act to Change and Hate Is a Virus in co-hosting the Changemakers Summit, a virtual event dedicated to uplifting the next generation of AAPI activists. Featuring special guests like Helen Zia, First Lady Jill Biden, and Amanda Nguyen, the conference offered AAPI students, parents, and educators the chance to discuss the rise of anti-Asian racism and how it affects AAPI youth. 

“When Vincent Chin was killed…none of us ever thought that 40 years from now, we were still going to be talking about this,” said Zia during a panel. “What this means is, what we do today, within our own communities and beyond, will make a difference.” 

The conference was successful, drawing 200+ participants, and raising awareness among AAPI students, parents, and educators about the decades-long struggle for racial justice. 

You can watch the recording here.

CAA advocates for paid-time-off benefits for domestic workers

The Paid-Time-Off Ordinance for Domestic Workers was introduced by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on October 26. 

All workers should have the right to paid time off — but few domestic workers are able to access this benefit. Earlier this fall, CAA added its name to a California Domestic Workers Coalition sign-on letter, calling on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to pass legislation to provide paid time off for house cleaners, nannies, health aides, and other domestic workers — most of them immigrants and women of color. 

Two months later, Supervisor Ronen introduced the Paid Time Off Ordinance for Domestic Workers. The legislation will go to committee for hearings in the next few weeks.

To keep up the pressure, CAA joined other advocates and activists pressing the Board of Supervisors to step up for domestic workers, attending a mid-month demonstration outside City Hall in support of domestic workers in San Francisco. 

CAA joins calls for legal protections for undocumented immigrants. 

Demands include a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants including 1.7 million people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.

CAA joined immigrant advocates from across the San Francisco Bay Area to call upon Congressional leadership to include immigration reform in their forthcoming budget bill. Recent actions included a march through San Francisco to demand stronger legal protections and a pathway to citizenship for approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants, which include 1.7 million Asians and Pacific Islanders. 

Dozens of advocates joined the demonstration including CAA’s immigrant rights team and coalition partners from the Immigrant Parent Voting Collaborative, the Language Access Network, and the San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network.