News from OCA-DC and OCA National

News from OCA-DC

In Memoriam: Edward Chow, JR.

Former Secretary of Veteran Affairs for the State of Maryland, Edward Chow, Jr. passed away at his Washington, D.C. home on Friday, July 22. Chow had been battling pancreatic cancer since July 2015. He had a distinguished political career that spanned two state cabinet official positions in Washington state and Maryland and a federal appointment under President Bill Clinton. Within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, he was well known as a dedicated, humble and jovial public servant. 

Chow had been a member of the OCA-DC chapter for approximately 20 years. On March 23, the OCA-DC chapter, together with the OCA National Office, OCA-NOVA chapter and OCA-New Jersey chapter, hosted a tribute dinner in Rosslyn, Virginia, that Chow and 175 guests attended. On June 17, he also spoke at an event for interns hosted by the OCA National Office, Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) and White House Initiative and President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (WHIAAPI). In addition, he hosted several conference calls during the year on navigating the federal appointment process for Asian Pacific Americans.

A Vietnam War veteran, Chow will be buried at a Columbaria in Arlington National Cemetery after a celebration of life event at a later date set by his family. In lieu of flowers, the former Secretary wishes donations be directed to the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, a program within the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs and the only veterans home in the State of Maryland.

OCA-DC Supports Chinese American Scientists Going Through Espionage Cases

OCA-DC supports OCA National's publicly stated position on the cases of four Chinese American scientists ( Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, Sherry Chen, Guoqing Cao, and Shuyi Li) who were charged with espionage by the Department of Justice over the past year. In those cases, the Department of Justice charged the scientists with espionage, but then later dropped the charges without providing any reparations to the scientists involved. For updates on the cases, and to read more about OCA-DC and OCA National's stance on this matter, please click here.

News from OCA National

OCA National Interns Have Arrived!

The 2016 summer cohort of 19 young persons from college campuses all over the country and beyond arrived in DC in early June. They will be serving the DC community for ten weeks at varied locations, including non-profit organizations, Congressional offices, Federal agencies, corporations, and the OCA National Center. OCA-DC extended its welcome to this group by hosting them at the joint picnic with JACL-DC on June 11, with Susan Lee and Floyd Mori also in attendance, and at a Dim Sum lunch at China Garden on June 18.

Our chapter has chosen to do these welcomes for the past few years in order to demonstrate to these newcomers to D.C. the strength and support of the APA community in D.C.– that they have a community that will help and encourage them while they are here serving our community.

The picnic was held at the Wheaton Regional Park on a sunlit day and had great attendance with a wonderful array of food. The Dim Sum was hosted by chapter members Samantha Cheng and Stan Lou and also included several National Center staff members.

The summer interns were selected after being selected from a competitive list of over 80 applicants. They chose to apply to OCA for the opportunity to learn about service and advocacy to our APA community, to learn more about their personal and community identities, and to work with us. This can be a significant sacrifice to themselves and their families. Please reach out to them with care, support, and guidance.

You may learn more about the individuals in the cohort by clicking here.


Submit Comments to the ESSA Act!

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) authorizes programs that help address disparities and inequities in K-12 schools across the nation. Currently, ESSA is in a public comment period, meaning the public will be able to provide commentary on what they think about the bill. There are proposed regulations in ESSA that will affect the AAPI community. Please view the ESSA Webinar for background information on these issues.

If you would like to submit a comment to your legislative officials about ESSA, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Civil Rights Fellow at OCA National.