Jan 11 Trigger Cuts to California's State Budget
Nancy Le and Jonathan Tran

On December 13, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown announced that in 2011-12, California is $2.2 billion short of the budget projections. Consequently, the failure to raise additional state revenues will result in $981 million trigger reductions that went into effect starting January 1, 2012.1 Under provisions of the 2011-12 budget package passed in June 2011, this revenue shortfall translates into funding reductions for various state programs including education, school transportation, child care services, health programs, public safety, and local libraries2  that will negatively impact the elderly, disabled persons, college students, and children across the state.

Nov 30 Gearing up to teach the Affordable Care Act and Protect Our Communities!
Jonathan Tran

On November 29, SEARAC and California partners of the Ensuring Our Healthy Future Campaign gathered to participate in a “train-the-trainer” workshop geared towards preparing community based organizations with the tools necessary to educate community members about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Nov 29 Protests, Racial Profiling, and a New Movement in Alabama
Jintana Lityouvong

After an act of civil disobedience on Tuesday, November 15th, 13 youth and parents were arrested for taking a stand against Alabama’s HB 56. One Love Movement was there along with DreamActivist Pennyslvania and National Immigration Youth Alliance.

Nov 22 Show Me California!
Riamsalio (Kao) Phetchareun

SEARAC is preparing to research financial literacy and behavior among Southeast Asian Americans in California. It’s an especially important issue that we hope to bring to light for advocates, decision-makers, and other stakeholders. We’ll be conducting focus groups to learn more about how Southeast Asian communities in California approach banking and finance. In addition to the focus groups, we’ll be posting up an online survey, as well as distributing the survey throughout California. Be on the lookout for the surveys and focus group announcements soon!

In preparation for my trip to California to do research on financial literacy and behavior, I wanted to see where the Southeast Asian Americans actually are. Literally, I wanted to see it on a map.

Nov 15 Disaggregated Data Collection: Looking Into the Bigger Picture
Jintana Lityouvong

It has been a long time coming, but Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took a significant step towards resolving significant health disparities with the release of its final standards for the Affordable Care Act's disaggregated data collection. This important policy change will help policy makers, administrators, and community members consistently measure race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, and disability status. For the Southeast Asian American community, it is imperative to pay attention to specific and disaggregated data like this, because sometimes the bigger picture is not always the clearer picture.

Nov 7 New Orleans Is No Education 'Miracle'
Linda Tran

Re-printed here is Linda Tran's recent op-ed on her experience as a graduate of a New Orleans' publich high school which was published in EducationWeek last week. Congratulations to Linda and VAYLA-NO for this tremendous achievement!


As a recent graduate of a New Orleans public high school, I find it very troubling that the national conversation about post-Katrina education amounts to little more than talking points about charter schools and test scores. The most telling indication of how we’re doing in the classroom actually comes from a youth-led research project showing the hard realities students continue to face every day. As New Orleans moves to become the first all-charter district in the country, students here must be heard.

Oct 31 Southeast Asian Superstitions
Jintana Lityouvong

When I was a child I never worried about avoiding cracks in the sidewalk or handling every mirror I held with caution. Instead, I was scared of sleeping with extra pillows, forgetting to cover my thip kow (sticky rice container), and sleeping right after eating. In other words, I grew up with very superstitious Laotian parents. Superstitions have historically played a big role in the lives of Southeast Asians. My parents have told me stories about people regularly going to shamans, fortune tellers, and Buddhist temples to drive away evil spirits and make important life decisions.

Oct 28 The Recession and Older Americans
Jintana Lityouvong

"Inelegantly, and without my consent, time passed." - Miranda July

Whether I'm enjoying it or not, I have to face the fact that I'm getting older. I'm paying bills, I get judged when I order Happy Meals, and after I graduate I have to worry about securing a job in the real world and become a contributing member to society. Gross.

And of course as I'm getting older, so is the society and everyone in it around me, whether it's enjoyable or not.

This year, the first wave of Baby Boomers turned 65 years old. Millions upon millions of them are rushing toward the retirements which they’ve been entitled to, only to find out one huge problem: we don't have any money. The 2007-2009 recession has left us with growing unemployment, the collapse of the housing market, and a large drop in lifetime savings that has greatly affected the retirement security of older Americans.

Oct 19 New research shows Asian American & Pacific Islander subgroups struggling in school
Jintana Lityouvong

Getting stuck in school can be inevitable sometimes. But when you don’t have a lot of money, your parents don’t know how to help you, and you face cultural or language barriers, you’re going to have some problems. When the society around you has been socialized into thinking that someone who looks like you does not even have said problems, then you’re basically stuck in the middle of an ocean without help. This is the reality that many Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) subgroups face.

Oct 3 Meet SEARAC's Fall Interns: Jintana Lityouvong, UW
Jintana Lityouvong

Hello! I'm Jintana Lityouvong and I'm an incoming junior at the University of Washington in Seattle where I plan on majoring in English. I am the daughter of Laotian refugees who came to the United States in hopes of a better life for our family.