APALA’s 17th Biennial Convention in Seattle, Washington adjourned on Sunday, August 6th after four incredible days of AAPI workers joining together to build a stronger APALA and a stronger labor movement.
“It was an honor to serve as the National President of APALA. I would like to thank the extraordinary labor leaders from around the country whom I had the honor to serve with on the National Executive Board. I would also like to thank my fellow National Officers and the credit to my success as president is owed to them. Lastly, I thank all who attended and supported such a fantastic convention and hope to see everyone again at our 18th Biennial Convention in 2025,” said Steven Moy, outgoing APALA President.
Introducing our 2023-2025 National Executive Officers and Board Members
Elections were held for ten At-Large Vice President positions and the five officer positions were seated by acclimation. We thank all the candidates who ran for office.
Our 2023-2025 National Officers are President Ligaya Domingo (SEIU, Seattle chapter), 1st Vice President Steven Moy (IBEW, New York chapter), 2nd Vice President Emily Reyes (AFT, Los Angeles chapter), Secretary Mikayla Vu (UAW, Massachusetts chapter) and Treasurer Seung Lee (UFT-AFT, New York chapter).
Incoming APALA President Ligaya Domingo addressed the delegates with closing remarks and shared, “We have to lead into the future with thoughtfulness, humanity, love, but also an understanding that we must build power for the working class. We must be strategic, diligent, consistent and collective.” She ended with a vision moving forward: “Over the next two years, we will build stronger more robust chapters across the country through which we will help to organize the unorganized, support workers going on strike and taking a stand for the dignity and respect that they deserve, register and engage AAPI voters who will elect champions of AAPI workers and communities, we will strengthen and grow our individual and collective leadership, and we will fundraise so that we have the resources we need to do all of this.”
The ten at-large Vice Presidents elected are Angie Nguyen (UDW/AFSCME, Orange County chapter), Kasi Perreira (AFT, Seattle chapter), Mary Lindie Entoma (UNITE HERE, Los Angeles chapter), Tevita Uhatafe (TWU, Texas chapter), Trang Pham (UDW/AFSCME, San Diego chapter), Annawa Naing (UFT-AFT, New York chapter), Tarn Goelling (IBEW, DC chapter), Marlan Maralit (AAUP/AFT, DC chapter), Levin Kim (UAW, Seattle chapter), Jillian Matundan (AFSCME, DC chapter).
The National Executive Board also includes chapter and union appointees, one staff At-Large Vice President, and two diversity At-Large Vice Presidents. The two At-Large Vice Presidents to increase diversity will be elected at a later date.
Throughout Convention, over ten members became Lifetime Warriors of APALA. We appreciate your commitment and support of APALA.
You can become a Lifetime Warrior here or donate to APALA here to support APALA and ensure we can continue to build AAPI worker power.
Delegates passed twelve resolutions which ranged from solidarity with workers abroad to fighting for our working-class communities at home and in the workplace. Through our resolutions, APALA elevated our commitments to:
- Rise in solidarity with Khmer workers in Cambodia imprisoned for union organizing, including Chhim Sithar of the NagaWorld casino, who spoke at APALA’s 15th Biennial Convention, and the Labor Rights Supported Union (LRSU) whose members have been unjustly terminated and beaten by police for striking;
- Support union organizing and contract campaigns with AFL-CIO affiliate unions, especially those with high AAPI member representation such as graduate worker unions under the AFT and UAW, hospitality workers of UNITE HERE, and air travel and transport industry workers represented by AFA-CWA, TWU, AFGE, UNITE HERE, and more;
- Create new membership levels to encourage greater giving to support APALA’s work--more to come soon!
- Fight to protect Chinatowns and ethnic enclaves across the U.S. that are under attack from corporate developers who seek to drive a wedge between labor unions and Asian American communities;
- Expand and strengthen our comprehensive use of gender-inclusive language throughout APALA;
- Build unity through commitment to our Principles for Collective Liberation and be a role model for the just and equitable world that we strive for;
- Support and fight for affirmative action, which has been dealt a terrible blow by the U.S. Supreme Court and which is a rightwing attempt to turn AAPI communities against other communities of color;
- Renew our condemnation of the continuing human rights violations and attacks on workers and labor organizers in the Philippines, and demands that the Marcos administration address systemic violations of worker’s freedom of association and to collectively bargain in the Philippines;
- Create a member-led task force to raise the floor for chapter organizing and strengthen APALA;
- Continue to support the movement for peace and environmental justice against U.S. military base expansion in Okinawa; request that both the U.S. and Japanese governments respect the will of the people of Okinawa, their democratic rights, and their local autonomy; and urge the U.S. military authorities to be transparent and accountable in their interactions with Okinawa and other communities suffering from U.S. military-related environmental contamination;
- Re-affirm our continuing solidarity with the Sri Lankan labor movement and support the struggles of Sri Lankan workers as they confront intensified repression of labor rights including Trade Union rights, and build awareness regarding Sri Lankan people’s movement in 2022, and the role of Sri Lankan Unions in this peoples’ movement; and
- Advocate to ILO member state governments, that in light of continued serious labor violations in Bangladesh underscored by the murder of Shahidul Islam, and the Government of Bangladesh’s lack of substantive progress to address them, member governments should support the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate violations of fundamental labor.
During Convention, delegates attended a number of caucuses to help build community, reflect on the past two years and strategize for the future. In addition to union and regional caucuses, we held identity-based and industry-based caucuses such as the LGBTQ+, South Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, Disability, Adoptee, and Union Staff caucus. The Young Leaders Council also convened with more than 30 young workers from across the country.
Throughout Convention, delegates debated and voted on a number of constitutional amendments. We are proud that delegates voted to add protections against caste discrimination to our national Constitution. Some additional amendments to the constitution included officially permitting the National Executive Board to meet virtually and improving Article XI, the process for removal from office.
All constitutional amendments passed at the Convention are available here.
Convention Entertainers & Performers
We want to thank all the incredible performers who provided entertainment, movement, and joy during our convention:
- Mak Fai Lion Dance Troupe
- Seattle Kokon Taiko Drummers (including Stan Shikuma of Seattle chapter!)
- Jey Saung
- Aleksa Manila
- Sayaw Filipino Folk Dance Troupe
- Jillian Matundan
We want to thank the APALA staff Sandra Engle, Amy Leong (Seattle chapter consultant and organizer), Vivian Chang, Kristina Romines, and Sara Greiner for their hard work to make Convention such a success. Thank you in addition to our Dream Summer Fellows Nathania Adhisty, Josiah Beharry, Deane Gumila, and Justine Lim, and all of the volunteers and members who pitched in to help Convention run smoothly. Many hands make light work!
Thank you to the Westin hotel staff (UNITE HERE Local 8) and Rise Up Productions (IATSE Local 15) for providing excellent service and going above and beyond to support our 17th Biennial Convention.
Thank you to our Sponsors!
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our sponsors for their unwavering support and commitment to APALA’s mission and to making this convention possible!