Monday, August 8, 2011

VVA News: Virginia State and Fairfax County Government Address Community at Asian American Advocacy Day

For Release:
Monday, August 8, 2011
VVA Press Contact: Vel Hernandez
(703) 362-7873

Veteran Members of Virginia State and Fairfax County Legislatures Address Community at Asian American Advocacy Day

Asian Americans Expressed Appreciation to Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Chairman Bulova

Fairfax County Police Detective Robert Bond discusses investigation into murder of Vanessa Pham. (far top) Virginia elected officials, attendees and volunteers at Advocacy Day. (top)

FAIRFAX, Va. (Aug. 8, 2011) – Over a half dozen elected state and county leaders addressed public policy issues to nearly a hundred Vietnamese and Asian American Virginians, a population that grew by 68% since 2000, at Asian American Community and Advocacy Resource Day, hosted by Voice of Vietnamese Americans on Saturday, August 6 at the Fairfax County Government Center.

“For the entire Virginian Asian community, it was a tremendous joy to personally welcome veteran and new members of Virginia state and county government who came out to take part in our community’s first-ever Asian American ‘Advocacy Day,’” Genie Nguyen, VVA president, said. “We had the great honor of having Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and other distinguished leaders address specific issues that they advocates for and that are of great importance to fellow Asian Americans.”

In her keynote address, Chairman Bulova (At-large) discussed positive business growth rates in the Asian community and talked about how the significant changes in the area’s minority population prompted due changes in redistricting and government representation. State Senator Janet Howell (D-32) also gave remarks and highlighted how her district’s Asian population specifically saw great increases and changes recent years. Braddock Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock) also gave brief remarks.

In a segment on public safety, Fairfax County Police Department Detective Robert Bond spoke about the ongoing criminal investigation into the murder of Vanessa Pham, 19, who was killed last summer in Fairfax. VVA approached Virginia Asian Pacific American Bar Association President Tony Pham in March with concerns about Pham’s investigation. Mr. Pham connected with Fairfax County police, and both generously offered their time to present the case to the community. Police is seeking any assistance or tips from the community that will help lead to the identification and arrest of a suspect. Please call 1-(866) 411-TIPS (8477).

The day’s opening remarks was delivered by Lieutenant Commander Chris Phan, United States Navy Reserve member and Judge Advocate General's Corps officer.

“VVA’s mission is to empower the voice and impact of Vietnamese Americans on the issues, but our community is only productive and successful when we work collaboratively with the broader region and with all Americans,” Ms. Nguyen said. “That is why Advocacy Day, a truly community-run event, was made possible by Asians of all backgrounds, and we wish to continue working together to make it an even stronger event next year and each year after that.”

On July 26, U.S. Senator Mark Warner (VA) expressed his support for the event’s objectives stating, “It provides a wonderful opportunity to share in a true community environment while learning about public policy issues.”

Community Advocacy and Resource Day’s objective was to have local experts and trained professionals come present the latest information on issues important to Asian American Virginians. Attendees have the opportunity to participate in break-out sessions in the following categories:
• Jobs hosted by Skillsource
• Small Businesses hosted by Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce
• Funding and Aid for Higher Education hosted by Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and Felix Wang of James Madison University
• Citizenship Awareness hosted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
• Domestic Violence Awareness hosted by Asian-Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project
• U.S.-Southeast Asian Affairs and Vietnam Lower Mekong Delta Region Issues with Philip Tran of Seed of Hope and Dr. Nguyen Nha

The event was sponsored by Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Virginia and Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Company. Hosted by Voice of Vietnamese Americans, the event was organized in partnership with Fairfax County Government Center, Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC), Asian American Home Ownership Counseling (AAHC) , Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) , Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (APIDVRP), Asian Real Estate Association of American (AREAA), Coalition of Asian Pacific American in Virginia (CAPAVA), Fairfax County Police Department, Fairfax County Health Department, James Madison University (JMU) , National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP), SkillSource in Falls Church, Va., and Asian Chamber of Commerce (VACC).

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