Asian Law Alliance © 2009. All rights reserved.
Community Organizing and Impact Work
In the past 34 years, ALA has addressed a number of significant issues through its community organizing and educational programs, including:
- Participating in efforts to address the issues of decent affordable housing and housing discrimination through the Fair Housing Consortium, San Jose Residents for Rent Relief, the formation of tenant associations, and by providing community education classes and lectures.
- Preserving multilingual services in the County Department of Social Services by filing a joint lawsuit with the Mexican American Legal Education and Defense Fund (MALDEF) in 1982. In 1987, ALA participated in efforts by the community to again uphold those services.
- In 1988, ALA helped to successfully contest a ten minute voting rule as a violation of the constitutional and federal voting rights laws due to the rule's discriminatory impact on language minorities.
- Participating in the redress campaign for Japanese Americans incarcerated by the U.S. Government during World War II.
- Working with other community organizations to take a stand against the use of a Vietnamese "mug book" by the San Jose Police Department, thereby preventing this discriminatory practice.
- Leading the initiative, with the assistance of the Chinese and Vietnamese communities, that convinced the County Board of Supervisors to adopt bilingual assistance and ballot programs.
- Participating with the Santa Clara County campaign to oppose Proposition 187; the initiative was defeated locally 52% to 48%.
- Arguing for "fair" welfare reform from 1994-1996 along with local and national coalitions. The devastating impact of the 1996 Welfare Reform law on seniors and the disabled continues to be a major concern.
- Expanding efforts within various Asian language groups to further discussion on domestic violence in those communities following the release of statistics that Asians were overrepresented in the total of domestic violence related deaths in Santa Clara County.
- Broadening the coalition of agencies and organizations in the community in an effort to step up the process of citizenship for thousands of applicants throughout the county.
- Advocating for police accountability following the tragic death of Bich-Cau Thi Tran in 2003 and Rudy Cardenas in 2004. Joining with other organizations to advocate for the banning of the use of Taser stun guns by the San Jose Police Department.
- Speaking out for fair and comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to permanent residence status for many undocumented immigrants in the community and a reduction in the backlog for family reunification.