I’m grateful to be part of the 2019 fundraising campaign for Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), an organization that has deeply shaped my thinking about politics, community, and giving over the last year. Thank you for taking the time to read my page and learn more about CPA!
Over the last few years, from what’s going politically at the national level to the polarizing issues of housing and economic inequity in the Bay Area, I’ve felt mixed emotions - from feeling overwhelmed and anxious, to sorrow and isolation, to grasping for hope and connection. It’s begun many reflections on my role in my community, and if you’re reading this page, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of an intense 1:1 conversation :)
As I’ve been on this journey of reflection, I’ve observed an emerging tension in myself and many of my peers as we try to survive this moment - to turn inward and protect ourselves, or to turn toward others. Many of us have been taught the former because of other aspects of our lives - growing up in environments that encouraged competition, the celebration of entrepreneurship, a present culture that solely attributes success to individual achievement. And yet, at least in my experience, the pursuit of the individual has left us yearning from what we need most as social beings - a feeling of connection to our community.
As an organization, CPA has modeled a different approach that I find incredibly refreshing and healing - building joy, power, resilience, and change through collective action. As a 40+ year old organization, CPA’s roots are in organizing low income communities - tenants and garment workers - and helping them fight for livable wages and policy changes. Most recently, CPA’s recent work has focused on supporting mental health initiatives for public school youth, organizing restaurant workers, and fighting for policy change at the local and state level.
As an Asian American man of class privilege, witnessing the work of CPA has been personally meaningful. I’m reminded that the Chinese American community in the Bay Area is not predominantly engineers and consultants, but also restaurant workers and Uber drivers. That we need to fight for diversity and representation not just at the C-suite, but also at the school board and City Hall. And that I can honor the journey of my immigrant parents by supporting the dignity and value of all immigrant communities.
To this end, I’m both excited and nervous to embark on my first ever, formal fundraising campaign! My personal goal is to raise $5,000 in 5 days. This number represents a personal challenge to be bold in my ask and to trust in the generosity of peers. In particular, if you consider yourself a working professional, I challenge you to give at least $150, but any amount is welcomed!
Thanks again for reading, and a special shout out for my Giving Group, who has encouraged me to be bolder in how I give, and how I ask my community to give.