Heidi M. Pascual
Publisher & Editor
2006 Journalist of the year
for the State of Wisconsin
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On our 16th year, we're rebooting, hoping to continue our work with greater enthusiasm and lots of inspiration.
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|VOL. XVI NO. 10
Editor's Corner/Over a Cup of Tea
What is the value of a Filipino transgender’s life?
None. But that is just me talking and writing it down right now. And I am feeling that because the person
responsible for the violent death of one has just been pardoned absolutely by my native country’s president,
Rodrigo Duterte, one of the most popular and controversial presidents in the world today.
The transgender was known as Jennifer Laude, then a 26 year-old, who was killed six years ago (2014) by a 19
year-old U.S. marine, Josept Scott Pemberton, during a sexual encounter in Olongapo City. Pemberton was in the
Philippines as a member of the US Visiting Forces that take part in regular military exercises with their Filipino
Earlier that fateful night, Laude and Pemberton met at a disco bar and later got a room at a local motel. Police records would show that 30
minutes after checking in, Laude was found dead, with her neck blackened with strangulation marks and her head in a toilet bowl. The cause of
death was reported as "asphyxiation by drowning".
Records show that the trial court in Olongapo City found Pemberton guilty of homicide, not murder as originally filed, citing mitigating
circumstances including Laude not revealing her gender identity, and sentenced him to 6 to 12 years in jail. The court viewed Pemberton’s action
as one out of "passion and obfuscation", that "in the heat of passion, he arm-locked the deceased, and dunked her head in the toilet."
It is important to note that the Laude family’s then attorney, Harry Roque (now President Duterte’s spokesman), disagreed with the trial court’s
decision, saying “It is not right that these mitigating circumstances showed his bigotry towards a transgender woman and that the bigotry itself
was the reason he killed her."
Pemberton was “jailed” at Camp Aguinaldo (the Philippines’ Military Headquarters), and not in the national penitentiary and later received a
reduced sentence from 12 years to 10.
Very recently however, everything fought for by the Laude family and supporters for transgender rights vanished, because Pemberton received an
absolute pardon by President Duterte. The trial court (Branch 74) judge in the same city said that Pemberton “had already served a jail sentence
of ten years, one month, and ten days on account of his accumulated Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA).” -- READ MORE
|2020 Outstanding Asian American High School
Graduates of Dane County
From The Capital City Hues' Row of Excellence 2020
MEMORIAL HIHG SCHOOL (Cont'd)
*Caitlyn Se has added an artistic flair to her scientific drive for academic
excellence at Memorial High. Caitlyn was active in the Art and Animation
clubs. She competed in cross country and has been a student activist.
During her free time, Caitlyn enjoys volunteering in the Madison Children’s
Museum’s art studio, working on arts and crafts with kids. Caitlyn has won a
gold medal for drawing an illustration in the National Scholastic Art and
Writing Contest in 2017 and 2018. Caitlyn will be studying biology at UW-
Madison this fall.
*Sitting on the high honor roll with a 4.0 GPA, Ruchi Shah has brought a
competitive spirit to her academic game at Memorial High. Ruchi
competed on the girls’ tennis team and on the math team. She worked on
the Sword & Shield newspaper and honed her leadership skills as the
secretary of student government. Ruchi served others through the Memorial
Student Support Foundation and Spartan Youth Service. Ruchi had her
eye on the health field, being active in Health Occupation Students of
America and putting in around 120 hours volunteering at St. Mary’s
Hospital. She also attended the WI Health Career Camp and was a math
instructor for Mathasium. Ruchi’s excellence earned her a UW Health
Atrium Clinic Scholarship, which she will use to study biology at UW-
Madison this fall.
*A National Honor Society, Michelle Shou has kept her mind on the
business of academic excellence at Memorial High. Michelle competed
with Future Business Leaders of America and took first place in accounting
and third in accounting II at the state meet. She was equally competitive in
Health Occupation Students of America where she twice placed first in
medical innovations at the state HOSA meet. She also competed in
forensics and on the math team and the tennis team. Michelle was active
with the school newspaper and reached out to others through tutoring and
Spartan Youth Service. In her free time, Michelle volunteered at St. Mary’s
Hospital and with the streaming website Viki by providing translations and
subtitles. Michelle is a National Merit Scholarship finalist who will study
computer science at Cornell University this fall.
*A National Honor Society member, Tuong “Tim” Tran has designed a plan
for academic excellence and a college education at Memorial High. Tim
prepared for collegiate life through the UW PEOPLE Program. He was
social media officer for Future Business Leaders of America and placed first
in their regional competition. He also enjoyed competing in Ultimate
Frisbee. Tim has been a lifeguard at Parkcrest pool and has volunteered at
the Alicia Ashman Public Library. This fall, Tim will be studying
mechanical engineering at UW-Madison. -- READ MORE
Protecting and Promoting Women’s Rights Is Key to
Defeating the Coronavirus at Home and Abroad
By Shilpa Phadke and Alexandra Schmitt
The world is having a moment celebrating women leaders for their effective
policy responses to the coronavirus crisis. However, it is not gender behind
these effective policies, it is competent governance paired with smart policy
responses that address the pandemic’s direct impacts on women and
families. Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s failure to lead and its
continued attacks on women’s rights during this crisis have impeded the U.
S. recovery from COVID-19 and squandered the opportunity for global
leadership. Instead of following the guidance of health experts and
government officials, President Donald Trump and other anti-choice
policymakers are undermining women’s economic security and restricting
fundamental reproductive rights at home and abroad at a time when the well-
being of women and families is critical to long-term recovery. -- READ MORE
5 Immediate Steps
To Rein in DHS in
the Wake of Portland
By Tom Jawetz, Philip
E. Wolgin, and Claudia
In recent months, Americans have looked on in disbelief as unidentified
and camouflaged U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel
roamed the streets of Portland, Oregon, using unmarked vans to arrest U.S.
citizens who exercised their First Amendment right to protest.1 Calls to
restructure, dismantle, or defund DHS have come from across the political
spectrum in the aftermath of these harmful and alarming actions. Tom
Ridge, who served as the first secretary of homeland security during the
George W. Bush administration, warned that DHS was not created to serve
as “the president’s personal militia.” From the perspective of a former
governor, Ridge also said that “it would be a cold day in hell before I would
consent to a unilateral, uninvited intervention into one of my cities." -- READ
|You Can’t Afford to Live Anywhere in the United
States Solely on Unemployment Insurance
By Lily Roberts and
Throughout spring and summer 2020, roughly 50 million Americans have
filed for unemployment insurance (UI). The pace, occupational
distribution, and scope of job loss eclipsed previous economic
downturns. However, Congress acted swiftly via the CARES Act to
minimize the economic crisis that would result from millions of newly
unemployed people having to rely solely on the benefits states were
equipped to provide after decades of disinvestment.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) bolstered
consumer spending that kept other workers employed; helped support
states and localities through the collection of sales tax; and precluded a
full-blown eviction crisis through the spring and summer. Borne out of
the technical difficulty of calculating replacement wage rates for millions
at one time, the $600 weekly payment contributed to a surprising
decrease in the poverty rate. -- READ MORE
|2020 Asian American Voter Survey
Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the country, and the
group exhibited record levels of turnout in 2018 for midterm elections.
Enthusiasm levels are high as we approach the November 2020 Presidential
elections as well.
Asian Americans constitute a critical mass in several competitive states,
including Arizona, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. They are likely to be
influential in congressional races in Southern California, Texas, and New
Jersey, as well as in other states.
As attention turns to the immigrant vote, it is worth noting that “immigrant
voters” include about as many Asian Americans as Latinx people and that
Asian Americans are the only racial group that is majority immigrant. This
means that bilingual voting materials and outreach remain acute needs in
Asian American communities.
The 2020 Asian American Voter Survey includes a national sample of 1,569
Asian American registered voters. It was conducted from July 4 to September
10th, 2020 .The survey breaks out Chinese, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese,
Japanese, and Filipino voters and was offered in English, Chinese, Korean
and Vietnamese. The survey was co-sponsored by APIA Vote, AAPI Data, and
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC. -- READ MORE
|CAPAC Member Statements on House Vote to Condemn Anti-Asian Bigotry
Washington, D.C., September 17, 2020 – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.Res. 908, a resolution
condemning all forms of anti-Asian bigotry as related to COVID-19. The resolution, introduced by CAPAC First Vice Chair
Rep. Grace Meng, is a response to the over 2,600 reported anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents in recent months which
have been driven by misperceptions about the coronavirus and how it spreads. Leaders of the Congressional Asian
Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) issued the following statements:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, America has experienced a spike in anti-Asian discrimination and hate
crimes. In fact, over 2,600 anti-Asian hate incidents have been reported in just the last few months alone. An 89-year-old
woman in New York was slapped and set on fire. A 16-year old boy in Los Angeles was beaten so badly he had to be
hospitalized. And in Texas, a gunman shot a family at a Sam’s Club saying he wanted to exterminate Asians. Each of
these attackers, and thousands of others like them, have been inspired by the false perception that Asians are
responsible for the virus – a perception that has been advanced by Donald Trump and Republicans who have insisted on
using slurs like ‘Wuhan virus,’ ‘China plague,’ and ‘Kung flu’ even though they know they are dangerous. That is why the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have warned that associating a virus with
a particular ethnic group or geographic area is dangerous. And that is why, as Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific
American Caucus, I have repeatedly urged President Trump and my colleagues in Congress to not spread misinformation
and xenophobia related to COVID-19. Even the FBI warned earlier this year that this exact kind of xenophobic rhetoric
could lead to an increase in hate crimes. But not only have Republicans refused to drop their racist language, they have
refused to acknowledge the problem at all. I was so dismayed to see my Republican colleagues, one after the other, come
to the floor today and tell the Asian American community that their suffering does not matter, and that they are indifferent to
the consequences of the hate they are spreading. It is more important to Republicans that they spare Donald Trump any
responsibility for the spread of the coronavirus than it is that they spare even one family from the pain of being victims of
a hate crime. Fortunately, not everyone in Congress is as indifferent to the spread of violence and bigotry. I’m so
incredibly grateful to our CAPAC First Vice Grace Meng for her leadership in introducing this important piece of
legislation, and I appreciate all the members who spoke up and voted for this resolution to send a clear signal that we do
not tolerate hatred or violence in this country.” -- READ MORE