Heidi M. Pascual
Publisher & Editor
2006 Journalist of the year
for the State of Wisconsin
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|VOL. XV NO. 12
Editor's Corner/Over a Cup of Tea
Remembering the Dead
completely, leaving genuine feelings of grief, loss, and emptiness. To me, the cemetery has become a place of reverence, and the grave of
our dear departed a sacred place to personally “talk” to them and offer prayers for their eternal peace and happiness in heaven.
In the Philippines, we call these two days of celebrations Todos Los Santos and Undas. A few days before the main events, we clean up
our graveyards, repair whatever is needed to get repaired around the tombs, and repaint the place. Flowers and other plants “beautify” the
graves, and lighted or scented candles brighten the nights as families get together to pay respect to loved ones, friends, or relatives who
went ahead of everybody else. Church people are on hand to provide group prayers and blessing; while some enterprising individuals offer
their “prayer services” for a fee. The mood inside the cemeteries is always festive during these special days, as lots of home-cooked food
and non-alcoholic beverages flood these places, and people meet up and talk for hours just about anything. New “relatives” are introduced
to families and sometimes, we meet new friends in the process. -- READ MORE
When I was a child, cemeteries were scary places for me. Just the thought that dead people were buried
there -- and many scary movies had cemeteries as regular locations where gory things happened at night--
was more than enough discouragement for me to join adults to visit those graveyards during All Saints Day
and All Souls Day (November 1-2) every year. However, that was long before I personally witnessed death
among my close relatives and my own family; and in adulthood, the scary part of the equation faded away
|3 Ways the 1994 Crime
Bill Continues to Hurt
Communities of Color
By Ranya Shannon
This year marks the 25-year anniversary of the passage of the most
sweeping crime bill in U.S. history—the Violent Crime Control and Law
Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the crime bill. In many ways,
this 350-page bill’s passage characterized the bipartisan tough-on-
crime movement of the late 20th century. While the bill contained a
handful of positive provisions such as increased accountability for law
enforcement and new protections for survivors of domestic violence
and sexual assault, it was also responsible for exacerbating racial
disparities in criminal justice involvement.
-- READ MORE
5 Questions About the
By Alexandra Schmitt
Last week (third wk October) marked the first official meeting of the U.S. State
Department’s new Commission on Unalienable Rights. The meeting was held in a
State Department auditorium in front of a crowd of a few dozen U.S. officials and
nongovernmental organization (NGO) representatives. The commission’s stated
purpose is to provide “fresh thinking about human rights discourse,” and in an op-
ed on the commission’s creation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped
that it would “generate a serious debate about human rights.” Unfortunately, so far,
the commission has created more questions than answers, as well as cause for
alarm when it comes to protecting the rights of vulnerable communities. Before the
commission delivers its final product—what Pompeo has described as a “tangible
expression” of “fundamental human rights”—these issues must be addressed..
1. How and why was the commission created?
Pompeo created the commission in July, making it an advisory committee within
the State Department’s policy planning division. The announced chair, Harvard
Law School professor Mary Ann Glendon, is an anti-abortion advocate, and a
previously considered chairman is well known for his anti-LGBTQ views. -- READ
|Voting Reform and Historic Wins for New
AAPI Legislators after 2019 Elections
Efforts to Strike Down the Affordable Care
Act Put Millions of Women and Girls at Risk
By Heidi M. Pascual
Recently, the sentence given by the court to the man who killed a Filipino father
and his four daughters due to a vehicular accident in Delaware was one year of
probation. Stunned and angry, I didn’t really know what to say the moment I read
the news on the matter.
For those who might have forgotten, the Filipino dad was 61-year-old Audie
Trinidad of Teaneck, New Jersey, and his four daughters, Kaitlyn, 20; Danna, 17;
and Melissa and Allison, 13-year-old twins. Trinidad was a U.S. Navy veteran
who settled with his family in New Jersey. The family, including Trinidad’s wife,
Mary Rose Ballocanag, was returning from a trip to Ocean City, Maryland, when a
pickup truck driven by Alvin Hubbard III of Cambridge, crossed the median and
hit the family’s van and another car. Only the wife of Trinidad survived with
serious injuries.-- READ MORE
By Jonathan Gramling
From her Korean American roots, Peggy Choy — director of the Peggy Choy Dance
Company in New York and associate professor of dance at UW-Madison’s School
of Education — has been on an intellectual and expressive journey to test her
personal and professional boundaries through the fusion of different art and dance
A beautiful example is The Greatest: A Hip Dance Homage to Muhammad Ali, a
martial arts-boxing fusion performance that Choy choreographed and directed that
was performed in Gleason’s Gym where Ali once trained.
“The Greatest: Hip Dance Homage to Mohammed Ali was about Mohammed Ali
and his Afro-Asian perspective,” Choy said. “And I brought b-boys and boxers
together. For me to walk into the gym, because it was a sight-specific
performance, I had to train in boxing and I had to train in breaking and other hip-
hop genres to be able to communicate with the boxers and the b-boys, both
women and male boxers whom I was working with. That was just one kind of
research. I don’t think you really can reach for or do new creative projects in
whatever art form unless you really dig into knowledge that you don’t know about.
You have to dig into new knowledge for yourself.”--READ MORE
Peggy Choy’s Flight torn like a rose
Came to Madison October 31-November 2
|Left: Lacouir Yancey (l-r) and Ze
Motionin, the Parrot Brothers in
Flight in a photo talen by Fernando
Sandoval Right: Peggy Choy in
performance in a photo taken by
By Jamille Fields
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) guarantees women critically important
consumer protections, including by prohibiting discriminatory
insurance practices in pricing and coverage in the individual market.
Before the law was enacted, women routinely were denied or
charged more for coverage if insurers determined that they had a
preexisting condition and, due to discriminatory gender rating
practices, were often charged more solely on the basis of their
gender. For example, in the individual insurance market, a woman
could be denied coverage or charged a higher premium if she had a
diagnosis of HIV or AIDS, lupus, or an eating disorder, among other
conditions, or even if she had previously been pregnant or had a
cesarean birth. Making matters worse, due to systemic racism and
entrenched health disparities, women of color experience higher
rates of certain chronic conditions—such as diabetes, cervical
cancer, and asthma—that can lead to higher rates of coverage denial
and higher premiums.
Thanks to the ACA, all women with preexisting conditions in the
individual market are assured fair access to comprehensive and
affordable health coverage. Unfortunately, recent efforts to repeal and
undermine the law would put millions of women and girls once again
at risk of being charged more or denied coverage.
Efforts to repeal the ACA threaten the health and economic security of
millions of women --READ MORE
If 2019 is any indication, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
(AAPIs) will continue record voting gains in 2020.
Recent past elections showed that 19 states held general and
municipal elections including New Jersey, Virginia, and Ohio and
resulted in a number of exciting results including voting rights
reforms and several newly-elected AAPI lawmakers. -- READ MORE
|Tri-Caucus Chairs Denounce DoD for Predominantly Raiding Military Bases in
Tri-Caucus Districts for Border Wall
WASHINGTON— OCTOBER 10, 2019--Today, Chairs of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – which represents over
half of the Democratic Caucus and includes the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), Congressional Black
Caucus (CBC), and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) – requested the Department of
Defense explain in detail the selection process used for canceling military projects in the amount of $3.6 billion
to fund a border wall. Secretary of Defense Esper approved the reprogramming of $1.8 billion from over 30
domestic military projects to help pay for 175 miles of border wall along the United States-Mexico border.
The letter to the Pentagon was led by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joaquin Castro (TX-20),
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Judy Chu (CA-27), and Congressional Black Caucus Chair
Karen Bass (CA-37).
“As you may know, these cuts were disproportionately felt on military bases located in CHC, CBC, and CAPAC
districts. Approximately half of the domestic bases affected were in such districts. Further, the hardest-hit
districts by this reallocation are Puerto Rico and Guam, both minority-majority jurisdictions. -- READ MORE