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!





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

Southern California Edison
Dart Container Corporation
United Nurses Associations of California (UNAC)

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)