Highlights from the 3rd Annual California Asian Leadership Network of Electeds (CALNET) Leadership Retreat

The Largest Convening of California’s APA Elected and Appointed Officials

Attendees of the 2017 CALNET Leadership Retreat

The Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF) hosted the 3rd Annual Leadership Retreat for the California Asian Leadership Network of Electeds (CALNET) on January 5 – 6, 2017 in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California.

California State Treasurer John Chiang leads a discussion at the Opening Dinner on January 5, 2017.
Over 80 of California’s key elected and state appointed officials returned for a third year in building the much needed CALNET, a network for APA elected leaders. Some of the state’s most prominent elected officials included California State Treasurer John Chiang; California State Controller Betty Yee; Board of Equalization Chairwoman Fiona Ma; California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon; Assemblymembers Rob Bonta, Phillip Chen, David Chiu, Al Muratsuchi, Evan Low and Phil Ting.

 

The theme of the retreat was “Moving Forward. Prospects for an APA President.” The retreat offered an opportunity for the state’s most important decision makers to learn, share ideas, and discuss their vision for California and the APA community. Retreat workshops and panels discussed what it would take to have an APA President and assessed the political maturation of the APA community. There are currently more than 240 APA elected and appointed officials in California serving.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (left) and State Controller Betty Yee (right) provided remarks on state of California and leadership.

The Opening Dinner featured California State Treasurer John Chiang who led a discussion on “California Leading America.” Day 2 featured remarks from California State Controller Betty Yee and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. Assemblymembers Rob Bonta, Phillip Chen, David Chiu, Evan Low, and Phil Ting, all alumni of the APALF Candidate Bootcamp Training, discussed how to build the political infrastructure to sustain and support APA candidates for higher office during the “Climbing the Political Ladder” plenary.

(From left): Assemblymembers Rob Bonta, Phillip Chen, David Chiu, Phil Ting and Evan Low speak on the “Climbing the Political Ladder” Plenary.
Other highlights of the retreat program included plenary sessions on coalition building and the Asian American and Pacific Islander vote in 2016 elections. Break-out session topics included “California Leading the Way: The Future of Clean Energy” and “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Overcoming Unique Challenges.”

 

Participants also received Media Training with Richard Lui, MSNBC & NBC News Anchor, and Yusef Robb, former Communications Director for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
APALF partnered with the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus, the League of California Cities API Caucus, and Chinese-American Elected Officials to host and convene the retreat.
The goal of CALNET is to be a network of APA elected and appointed officials – a resource for APA public servants to help them succeed and lead.  CALNET is a project of APALF, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to helping prepare and better equip APA leaders for public service and civic involvement.

The 4th Annual CALNET Leadership Retreat is scheduled to take place in 2018.

Thank you to the 3rd Annual CALNET Leadership Retreat sponsors!

 

 

Charter
PG&E
Gold
Comcast

 

Silver
BNSF Railway Company
California Dental Association
Coca-Cola
Imprenta Communications
Kaiser Permanente
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
State Building & Construction Trades Council of California

Bronze
Southern California Edison
CAPA21
CAPG
Dart Container Corporation
Lyft
Recology
United
United Nurses Associations of California (UNAC)

Friends
Assemblymember Phillip Chen
Hilltop Securities
Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)
Partner Organizations
Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus
League of California Cities Asian Pacific Islander Caucus
Chinese-American Elected Officials (CEO)

Hon. Phillip Chen Testimonial

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“Thank you to APLAF for providing me with cutting-edge information, training and strategy to significantly bolster my candidacy for State Assembly and create the best possible pathway for a successful campaign. The training I received was second to none.”

HON. PHILLIP CHEN, CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLYMEMBER
2010 APALF BOOTCAMP ALUM

PRESS RELEASE: Prominent Asian and Pacific American leaders convene for statewide retreat

CALNET Hosts Annual Leadership Retreat of APA Elected and Appointed Officials – “Moving Forward: Prospects for an APA President”

LOS ANGELES, CA. — The California Asian Leadership Network of Electeds (CALNET) hosted their 3rd Annual Leadership Retreat this past weekend on January 5-6, 2017 in Ranchos Palos Verdes.  

The CALNET Retreat featured a number of California’s prominent elected officials including Treasurer John Chiang; State Controller Betty Yee; Board of Equalization Chairwoman Fiona Ma; Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon; Assemblymembers Rob Bonta, Phillip Chen, David Chiu, Steven Choi, Kansen Chu, Evan Low, Al Muratsuchi and Phil Ting. This was the largest gathering of the most prominent APA elected officials in California’s history.

The theme of this year’s retreat was, “Moving Forward:  Prospects for an Asian Pacific American President.” “With the focus on what it would take to have an APA President, we assessed the political maturation of the APA community and explored how other communities of color and minority groups organize and mobilize to gain more political representation,” said Amy Watanabe, Director of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation and CALNET. “There is still a lot of work to be done to achieve the ultimate American Dream of having an APA as President of the United States, and CALNET is where these conversations start.”

State Treasurer John Chiang opened the Retreat with a thought provoking roundtable discussion. Chiang, a candidate for Governor, was a crowd favorite and is a role model for many APA elected leaders. Becoming Governor of the nation’s largest state would position any California Governor as a potential contender for President.

Former Congressman Mike Honda was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award and stayed for the entire Retreat. Other retreat workshops and panels focused on building the pipeline for APA candidates to ascend to higher office, and a skills building session on media relations featuring MSNBC and NBC News anchor Richard Lui.  

The last decade has seen an explosion of APA elected officials at the state and local levels. Currently, there are more than 240 elected leaders of Asian Pacific Islander descent.  There are now record numbers of APAs in the State Legislature and in local elected office throughout California.

Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, offered his support and that of other Assemblymembers in creating a pipeline to increase the number of APAs in the State Legislature. “We need to do our part in supporting qualified candidates for higher office and help mentor and inspire new leaders,” said Bonta.  “APAs can and should play a role in helping to lead our state. We have a lot to contribute to make our community stronger and truly representative of the diversity that is California.”

“With the increase in APA elected officials over the past 20 years, it is important we come together to share resources, network and learn from each other,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.  

CALNET was created to be a resource to help APA elected officials be more effective. CALNET is a project of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to help prepare and train qualified APA leaders for public service.

“CALNET provides a unique platform for state and local elected officials to connect and collaborate,” said Ronald W. Wong, Founder of APALF. “APAs are at a coming of age for political leadership in California from the local to national levels. There are 3 Constitutional Officers, 14 State Legislators and 7 Members of Congress, including the state’s first APA U.S. Senator Kamala Harris. We are going to lead by embracing diversity. With CALNET and APALF, we can ensure that APAs are well represented in governance and leadership.”

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has been a corporate sponsor of the program since its inception.  The generous support of PG&E has made this program possible.  Fong Wan, Senior Vice President, Energy Policy and Procurement, for PG&E was a featured speaker at the Retreat.  Other corporate sponsor include Comcast NBC Universal, BNSF Railway Company, California Dental Association, Coca-Cola, Imprenta Communications Group, Kaiser Permanente,  Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, Southern California Edison, CAPG, DART Container Corporation, Lyft, Recology, United Airlines, United Nurses Associations of California (UNAC), CAPA 21, Hilltop Securities, among others.

APALF plans to organize additional training programs in the coming months and will host the 4th Annual CALNET Leadership Retreat in 2018.

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About California Asian Leadership Network of Electeds (CALNET)

The California Asian Leadership Network of Electeds (CALNET) is a statewide network of Asian Pacific American (APA) elected and appointed officials. CALNET provides a unique opportunity for APA public officials at all levels of government to connect, build relationships, and share best practices. CALNET is a project of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF), a 501c3 nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to helping prepare and better equip Asian Pacific American (APA) leaders for public service and civic involvement.

 

APALF Hosts Regional Summit in San Diego, California

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On October 6, 2016, APALF launched its first Regional Summit in San Diego, California. California State Controller Betty Yee discussed housing affordability and tax reform in the state of California and San Diego County with local Asian Pacific American (APA) leaders from the community, business and political sector.

The APALF Regional Summit programming serves to motivate and mobilize the APA community by providing opportunities for greater civic participation and ensure that policy makers and stakeholders are adequately informed to create positive policy changes in their local community, county and state.

E-mail info@apalf.org for more information about upcoming Regional Summits.

Hon. David Chiu testimonial

“As I was contemplating running for office, APALF provided hands-on training that prepared me for the intense challenges of campaigns and serving in public office. This great program has trained the current generation of California’s Asian American political leadership and is preparing the next generation.”

HON. DAVID CHIU, CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLYMEMBER
2006 APALF BOOTCAMP ALUM

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Hon. Evan Low Testimonial

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“APALF was a priceless experience. The training provided a strong foundation for my journey in public service and the network of APALF alum is unmatched. I appreciated the program’s honesty about how I could make an impact in my community, but also how elected office could change your life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without APALF.”

HON. EVAN LOW, CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLYMEMBER
2004 APALF BOOTCAMP ALUM

APALF GRADUATE DAVID RYU ELECTED TO THE LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL

 

Ryu Joins Long Line of Successful APALF Participants in Winning Elected Office

Los Angeles, CA:  David Ryu was elected to the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday, May 19th.  Ryu is the first Korean American and only the second Asian Pacific American(APA) to ever be elected to the L.A. City Council.

Ryu participated in the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF) Candidate Leadership Training Bootcamp, a leadership-training program designed to help prepare and better equip Asian Pacific American leaders for public service and the rigors of campaigning.  APALF is a hands-on, intensive training program that trains candidates to win elected office.

Last year APALF created the California Asian Leadership Network of ElecTeds (CALNET), the only statewide network of APAs elected officials.

Over the course of the last 6 years, the APALF has conducted 4 candidate training sessions with tremendous success and impact.  Of the nearly 50 total individuals who have been trained through the APALF, many have run for office and won.  In addition to Ryu, State Controller Betty Yee, Assemblymembers Phil Ting, Rob Bonta, David Chiu, Evan Low, and San Francisco Board of Supervisors Member Eric Mar are graduates of the APALF training.

APALF instructors and speakers include California’s veteran political professionals and prominent APA elected officials, including State Treasurer John Chiang and Congressmembers Mike Honda and Judy Chu.  The success of the program is definitely linked to the quality of instructors and course curriculum.

“The candidate training program that APALF conducts is incredibly valuable.  I was the underdog in my race, but I learned that when you have a solid plan and stick to it, engage voters at a grassroots level, and talk about the issues they are concerned with you can have a winning campaign strategy,” said Councilmember-Elect David Ryu.

Ryu continued, “APALF success is in its alumni track record. I’m humbled to join the ranks of Controller Betty Yee, Assemblymembers Bonta, Chiu, Ting, Low, and all the other elected officials that have gone through the APALF training.”

Another valuable asset of the APALF is creating a network of APA elected officials.  This network can help mentor, support and leverage the relationships of APA leaders throughout California and the entire nation.  “One cannot underestimate the power and influence that relationships play in seeking, holding and winning public office.  I had the opportunity to become San Francisco’s Assessor-Recorder and now a member of the State Assembly because of relationships built through the APALF.  The network building through CALNET is much needed and invaluable,“ said Assemblymember Phil Ting.

APALF plans to organize another training class in 2016, and later this year will conduct the 2nd Annual CALNET Leadership Retreat, a statewide gathering of California elected and appointed officials.  “We hope to build on the success of our program and elect more qualified APAs to public office,” said Ronald Wong, APALF’s co-founder.

“I’m proud that APALF graduates continue to win and seek elected office.  Active participation is essential in our democratic form of government.  For nearly 2 decades APAs have been locked out of Los Angeles city government; David Ryu will make an outstanding L.A. City Councilmember.  David understands how to get things done and he will make our community proud,” stated Wong.