Community feels left in the dark about Donnie Chin murder investigation

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Donnie Chin was perhaps one of the International District’s most beloved community members. He was a watchdog, a friend, and a family man. Since his death on July 23, 2015, when 59-year-old Chin was caught in the crossfire of what police say was gang violence, the Chinatown International District community and many others are still looking for answers. Last week marked month 25 since Chin’s death, and the fourth meeting the community held with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) at Nagomi Tea House.

“It’s sad to be here,” state Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, (D – Seattle) said. “I always hate to ask you to come and relive an unhealed wound.”

She noted that there were more cameras at this meeting than the last one, though there were only three. Santos, along with many other community leaders, feel they’ve been left in the dark when it comes to Chin’s investigation.

“This is simply not acceptable,” Santos said. “This community is also a part of the public to whom the police are accountable.”

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Jayapal leads Seattle town hall rally against Trumpcare

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Sen. Pramilla Jayapal answers audience questions about moving forward. (Photo by Kelsey Hamlin)

Town Hall Seattle filled with mostly seniors July 6, gathered together for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D–Wash) as she talked about politicians’ strategies and proposals for America’s new healthcare.

The Republican base vowed to rail against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before its implementation, quickly renaming it Obamacare in 2010. After that negative political nickname trickled down throughout America, now-President Donald Trump promised to repeal the ACA as soon as he got elected office. Now, seven months into his term, Republicans are still trying to replace it. […]

On July 27, the Senate cast their votes for the last standing Trumpcare bill. Hoards of protestors stood outside of the Washington D.C. Capitol shouting, “don’t kill us, kill the bill!” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted against repealing Obamacare and against their own party’s wishes. People watching nationwide were nervous because McCain, recently diagnosed with cancer, was speaking out in support of the bill the entire week prior and even after his diagnosis. Without having obtained three more people against the bill on top of many democrats already against it, the legislation would have past. Still, many speculate it is not yet over.

[…]

a woman with gold-rimmed glasses stepped on stage. Her name: Leigh Pate. She’s a cancer survivor who finished another round of chemotherapy three weeks prior, due to fallopian tube cancer. Her bills, Pate explained, are already upward $300,000.

Before the ACA, Pate struggled to pay for her necessary medical interventions. She recalled that the ACA “was a tremendous burden lifted.” But that burden wasn’t lifted for too long.

“Two weeks ago, I got a love letter from my insurance company,” Pate said. The paper alerted her to no longer having coverage. She held up the paper.

“I spent the rainy morning at my kitchen table—still sick from having chemo three days before—researching which insurance company might offer me an individual policy.”

She knew losing her insurance meant never getting coverage because of her pre-existing condition: Cancer. Missing a payment meant getting dropped.

“There are people sitting around kitchen tables all around this country who got the same letter as I did,” Pate said. “They’re using their precious energy worrying about their health finances.”

Justice4TommyLe hears answers, commitments from officials at community-led forum

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Gabe Nishimura sits with his sign as the event begins. (Photo by Kelsey Hamlin)

Tommy Le was a 20-year-old high schooler shot and killed by King County deputies on June 13 after responding to a disturbance call in Burien. Le was to graduate the next day. Le recently bought a tuxedo for his brother’s wedding, but it had to instead be used for his funeral. The family, due to legal concerns and religious practice, will not be available for interviews for 49 days after his death.

In an effort to get answers for Tommy Le’s family, members of the community organized a forum at Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) in which officials listened and answered questions. Young Vietnamese Americans were given priority after the family throughout the evening.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart feels officer-involved shootings should never be investigated within their own police department. For Le’s case in particular, Urquhart said he is asking the Federal Bureau of Investigations to take over.

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The ACA: Where it stands and how it affects the API community

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Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House. White House photo by Pete Souza

As the GOP continues to adjust its own plan, healthcare professionals and advocates are doing some serious groundwork around the ACA, which has had a tremendous impact on the Asian Pacific Islander community.

One of these advocates is Stephanie Liou, a medical student at the UW. She advocated for the ACA in its inception, and now she’s advocating for it to stay. And she’s not alone. Doctors across the nation are getting behind the ACA, to the point where there are numerous health providers underneath the Protect Our Patients coalition calling legislators, and continuing to educate the public about ACA myths and facts.

Locally, there’s a group of physicians in Washington who have never done advocacy, but are now taking action, writing opinion pieces and convincing colleagues.

“Doctors have been kind of historically a-political, and really it’s becoming this movement across the country for doctors and health professionals standing up and saying, ‘look, whatever your political ideologies are, this is going to be harmful for patients,’” Liou explained. “It’s appalling to me that the landscape I face when I graduate next year is that I can only take care of a certain population who can pay for it. So this do-no-harm idea has been really core to a lot of the advocacy we’re doing.”…

In addition, APIs are impacted the most by the ACA. In 2012, a DHS study predicted that nearly 2 million Asian Americans would be covered by the ACA given that the community is disproportionately impacted by chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and Hepatitis B, because they often skip out on screenings. The most frequent uninsured group was Korean Americans (at 25.5 percent uninsured). As such, an ACA repeal would reverse disparity gaps like these that were closing.

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Post election: API millennials find silver lining in a Trump presidency

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Photo by Kelsey Hamlin

By Kelsey Hamlin

It’s been two months since the polls flew in for our president-elect. Monday, the electoral college gathered to cast votes for their state, which finalizes the presidency. For many Asian Pacific Islander millennials who, like most of the world, did not foresee a Trump victory, the weeks following the election have been filled with fear and anxiety. Heading into 2017, API millennials say they are over the initial shock and more determined to speak out.

“I didn’t really think much [about politics] to be honest,” said Liem Nguyen, a 22-year-old Vietnamese American. “I thought Hillary [Clinton] was going to win for sure. … In the past I didn’t really care about this stuff. I didn’t really see myself represented.”

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Cathay Post #186 to celebrate 70 years, honor WWII veterans

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Cathay Post #186 also holds a Memorial Day program every year … (International Examiner archival photo)

Over the course of 2015, the International Examiner and OCA-Greater Seattle worked together filming interviews with surviving Cathay Post WWII veterans. These will be used in the one-hour documentary

While the anniversary is definitely a deserved moment of celebration, it is also a reminder that membership is dwindling as people grow older.

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