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Home | Newsroom | Miscellaneous | EPIC News – May 2021

EPIC News – May 2021

Speedier Medi-Cal Access

This month, Western Center and our partners settled a seven-year lawsuit, which will get hundreds of thousands of Californians speedier access to health care. The settlement requires the California Department of Health Care Services to allow eligible Medi-Cal applicants to receive health coverage as soon as they apply, rather than waiting weeks for approval. Read more about the lawsuit in our press release.

California Budget Update

Governor Gavin Newsom released his May Revision of the 2021-22 California budget on May 14th. With a $76 billion budget surplus, California has more than enough to make historic investments in people with low incomes who need it more than ever, after the most devastating pandemic and economic downturn in nearly a century. The Governor’s proposal includes notable investments, but overall it’s a mixed bag. We call on the Legislature to revise the proposal by the June budget deadline to ensure that California families with low incomes receive the investments they need and deserve. Western Center’s analysis of the Governor’s May Budget Revision is available here.

Honoring AAPI Heritage

As AAPI Heritage Month comes to an end, we invite you to reflect on the contributions, struggles, and extraordinary diversity of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in California, the United States, and beyond. It is not enough to join the call to Stop Asian Hate, although it is a necessary minimum. We must also understand and combat the ways U.S. policy and culture perpetuates scapegoating, stereotyping, and anti-Asian violence, and confront how we may have internalized that toxicity.

As Aysha Pamukcu of the San Francisco Foundation put it, “To say Asian Americans are resilient is an understatement. We have been banned, interned, mocked, underrepresented, stereotyped, scapegoated, attacked, even killed. And still we persist and reach for our dreams. Today and every day I celebrate Asian joy, Asian power, Asian brilliance, and especially Asian women.”

Here are more resources we hope you will explore and share:

Ever wonder why there are so many Cambodian donut shop owners?

  • “A story of immigration, assimilation, prejudice, and who gets access to the American Dream—and what happens when you achieve it—The Donut King is also about how the American Dream gets handed down and evolves from one generation to the next: the film includes the current generation of Cambodian donut shop owners and the ways they have been inspired by and diverged from their parents and grandparents before them.” Now streaming on PBS.
  • See Us Unite on movement solidarity: “In the late 60s, civil rights leaders and Japanese Americans joined forces to repeal the Emergency Detention Act, a law that could have rounded up Black activists in concentration camps.” Watch the video here.

Lynne Thompson, Los Angeles’ poet laureate, compiled a list of Asian American poetry for the L.A. Public Library. She says, “In this period when the country is seeing a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, it is useful to see the people of their diaspora, not as other, but as living with the same challenges and joys as any other American.”

L.A. Times Q&A: Two generations of Asian American activists on making the most of this moment.