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News & Updates

Talking Pedestrian Safety in Chinatown

On August 2, 2018, APIFM held a Chinatown Pedestrian Safety meeting at Chinatown’s Fortune Gourmet Kitchen. Over thirty-five people from the community turned out! In an open discussion, attendees shared what they appreciate when walking in the streets of Chinatown, and discussed concerns about how it’s also unsafe. On the upside, Chinatown is “filled with Chinese culture” and “accessible services in diverse Chinese languages,” they shared. But residents are concerned about littering and “lots of trash on the streets.”

We planned to further discuss those specific concerns at future meetings, and will explore organizing a neighborhood cleanup day. The rest of our meeting that day focused on two campaigns: educating senior residents to not jaywalk and adding mirrors and multilingual warning signs at the narrow driveway of Peking Poultry.

After presenting evidence of the dangers of unsafe streets, APIFM asked the attendees to commit to the campaigns. Many signed up and we will meet weekly in the month of August 2018.

We’d like to thank the LA Chinatown Business Council and the California Office of Traffic Safety’s Go Human Local Community Engagement Program for their generous support of this pedestrian safety campaign!

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Resource: Rethink Your Boba by APIFM Intern Chris Hernandez

 

Many thanks to APIFM intern, Chris Hernandez, for creating this new resource on what’s in boba and how to make it a bit healthier! Download the full PDF here, and please feel free to distribute! Here’s a message from Chris:

My name is Christopher Hernandez and I am a 21-year old Filipino Nutritional Science student at California State University Los Angeles. I grew up in a predominately Asian neighborhood where drinking “boba” or “boba milk tea” was the daily norm. Being a student in the nutritional science field, I saw this as a learning experience during course of my education. I wanted to find out what exactly was in the average boba drink and relay that information to the surrounding community. This would allow an individual to “rethink their boba drink.” I understand that boba milk tea is a staple in many communities. I also provided ways in which an individual could make their drink “healthier.” I too am guilty of drinking boba as I work at a boba shop. My goal is to ensure that everyone makes smarter choices when ordering their next boba drink.Boba NutritionBoba 2

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Recap: Rethink Your Drink Outreach at WAPOW Launch!

Written by APIFM interns, Charlene Mendoza and Trang Luong

On Saturday, March 24, we were invited to the launch of WAPOW Magazine at the Los Angeles State Historic Park (LASHP). WAPOW Magazine is a new free, bilingual publication that focuses on news and culture in Los Angeles Chinatown for its community.

At their magazine launch, we hosted our Rethink Your Drink table in which we encouraged the guests to drink healthier options. We met some new faces and welcomed familiar faces who usually attend the Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Tuesday (LASHP) and Wednesday (Chinatown Service Center) classes from 10am – 11:30am. At our table, we offered water infused with strawberries, kiwis, and cucumbers. We also provided recipes for healthier drink options, brochures about the organization, and nutritional facts on common sugary drinks.

We also had a poster board as a visual as part of our Rethink Your Drink campaign for the guests that attended the event. We wanted guests to have an idea of how much sugar is in a drink by providing visuals of teaspoons of sugar (4 grams of sugar equal to 1 teaspoon), so we had a poster that displayed how much sugar is in common sugary drinks and asked people to guess how many teaspoons is in each drink. Then, we had visual under each drink to show about how many minutes of exercise should they be doing after certain amounts of sugar consumed. For example, a can of soda contain about 40 grams of sugar, and if we divided by 4, that would contain about 10 teaspoons of sugars. Then it is suggested that they should do about 33 minutes of walking/light exercise to burn off that sugar.

On top of our Rethink Your Drink table and materials, LASHP Park Ranger Kya-Marina Le led a tour around the park and shared the history of the park, how the park is rebuilding the local ecosystem, and how it is engaging within the Chinatown community. The launch also introduced an artist, Sara Chao who made “Edition Popcorn” in honor of the event. Sara’s popcorn was influenced by her Chinese roots and was a yummy treat for the guests.

It was a fun event and we hope to see the new faces we met at our classes!

About Trang and Charlene
Trang is a student at California State University, Los Angeles majoring in Public Health with a focus in Community Health. She is from Los Angeles and she’s doing her internship with Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement, supporting a number of healthy eating and active living workshops every week. She enjoys interacting and involving with the community members of Los Angeles and hopes to gain more experience in nonprofit work.

Charlene Mendoza is currently in her last year at CSULA, majoring in Public Health with a focus in Community Health. She resides in Duarte, home of the City of Hope hospital and research center. Due to her volunteer work at two local San Gabriel Valley hospitals, she encountered many people with various health ailments and she knew she wanted to make a difference. Charlene believes she can prevent the influx of patients coming into the hospital by being a Public Health advocate and promoting healthy lifestyles to those greatly affected. She knows she can take on this issue by reaching out to the communities and making a difference with the lives in the communities. During her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, attending concerts, spending time with her family, and going on adventures to new places. After finishing her B.S. in Public Health, Charlene hopes to further on her education with a Masters in Public Health to focus her studies towards Global Health and help developing countries live healthier lifestyles and prevent the growth of non-communicable diseases.

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Check it out! Chinatown Resource Map by APIFM intern Kayee Liu

APIFM intern, Kayee Liu, made this helpful Google map (below) of different institutions, services, and businesses in Chinatown. Thanks, Kayee!

Here’s how to use it.

  • In the top left corner of the map is a window. (It looks like an arrow pointing into a box.) Click that!
  • Click the checkbox selections to view the corresponding markers on the map.
  • Click on the colored markers to see their descriptions.

Want to zoom in quickly? Here are shortcuts:
Mac – Command()+Scroll(Two-finger)
PC – Ctrl+Scroll

Here’s a short summary of each category:

Chinatown border: Outer boundaries of what is currently Chinatown, Los Angeles
Produce and markets: Locations where at least 3 or more fresh fruits/vegetables are offered. Can range from supermarkets to informal outdoor vendors.
L.A. city services: Services provided by the city of Los Angeles
Chinatown services: Groups, organizations, and other entities that provide services and resources for Chinatown
Convenience stores: Locations that do not offer produce, but predominantly snacks and sugary beverages.
Health services: Various medical services including dentistry, medical doctors, optometrists, and pharmacists
Chinese medicinal shops: Locations of traditional herbal medicine shops located in Chinatown
Religious centers: Temples and churches in Chinatown

This data was collected through a walking survey as well as an analysis of existing community resources lists. If you would like to add something to this map, please email info@apifm.org.

Enjoy!!! And see below the map for a bio of Kayee!

About Kayee

Kayee Liu is an outgoing, driven, and fun-loving kid (at heart) who enjoys guiding people to find their own solutions. He is a dietetic candidate pursuing a Masters in Nutrition, Healthspan, and Longevity at USC Davis School of Gerontology. After discovering a natural pairing between his background in healthcare and his love for food and the culinary arts, Kayee believes that nutrition and dietetics will be on the forefront in the future of medicine and public health and hopes to seamlessly connect culturally relevant nutrition to people from all walks of life. With his off time, he enjoys playing/watching basketball (Let’s go Lakers!), eating at unknown restaurants, watching both fantastic/terrible films and connecting with his friends and family. Areas of interest include Nutrition Education, Retail Food Service, Bariatrics, Diabetes, and Sports Nutrition. Kayee holds a B.S. in Human Biology and Society from UCLA with a concentration in Medicine and Public Health and a sub-focus in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics.

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Launch of Foods Roots Produce Pantry with KIWA!

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our first Food Roots Produce Pantry project in partnership with Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance! Read more in the press release below (PDF):

API FORWARD MOVEMENT LAUNCHES FRESH PRODUCE PANTRY WITH KOREATOWN IMMIGRANT WORKERS ALLIANCE

Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement (APIFM), a Los Angeles-based community health organization, is launching its first Food Roots Produce Pantry Project in partnership with Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), a multi-ethnic community-based organization focused on organizing low-wage immigrant workers in workers’ rights, equitable development, and immigrant justice.

The pantry will bring 1600 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, all sustainably grown by local small farms, to KIWA community members and affordable housing tenants from March 2018 through July 2018. The project will also include monthly healthy cooking classes where pantry participants learn to cook recipes using vegetables and fruits from the pantry.

The first Food Roots Produce Pantry distribution event will occur on March 6, 2018 at 6:00 PM at KIWA’s office, located at 1053 S New Hampshire Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006.

The project is made possible due to individual donors as well as funding from Capital Group and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Champions for Change – Healthy Communities initiative. APIFM and KIWA share a commitment to increasing access to healthy food and health justice for Asian Americans and other communities of color in Koreatown, a neighborhood where over a quarter of families live below the federal poverty line.

Learn more about APIFM at http://apifm.org, and its Food Roots social enterprise at http://foodroots.co. APIFM is a division of Special Service for Groups, Inc. Learn more about KIWA at http://kiwa.org.

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Little Tokyo leader discusses Budokan, sustaining Japanese American community

The following post was written by intern Maggie Su as part of a series of profiles of API members of the community.

Mike Murase, Director of Service Programs at Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), has come full circle. As one of the original founding members of LTSC, Murase served as the board president from 1980 to 1985. He did not return until 2006, when he was charged with helping LTSC bridge the gaps between their different departments using his native understanding of the Japanese-speaking sector.

Murase, currently in his 70s, was born in Japan and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 9. It was during his time as an undergraduate at UCLA that he and his peers noticed the lack of an ethnic studies curriculum — including Asian American studies — in the education system. They then sought wisdom from elders in ethnic communities such as Little Tokyo, realizing in the process that many of them needed social services that the government did not provide them with. LTSC was founded with the goal of establishing a support system for these elders.

“Many monolingual first-generation immigrants in their 60s, 70s, 80s had no support system. They needed social services. In reality, those services should have been provided by the government,” Murase said. “But because most of these agencies didn’t have Japanese speakers or various languages that we have in L.A., we started providing these services ourselves.”

After serving on the LTSC board for five years, Murase spent over two decades outside of the Little Tokyo community working in law, politics and community organizing. He held positions such as state campaign manager for presidential candidate Jesse Jackson and district director for a member of Congress, working closely with the black community. A particular passion for him was working in the anti-apartheid movement, which gave him the opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela twice — once in Los Angeles and once in South Africa.

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5 Ways to Be Healthy in 2018!

The new year is upon us and many of us have resolutions to make this a happy and healthy 2018. We got your back here at Forward Movement!

Below you will find 5 easy ways to keep those resolutions!


1. Join the Walk the Walk competition

To help encourage healthy behaviors in this new year, we’re bringing back the beloved Walk the Walk Challenge! During the month of February, we’re asking folks to join us in a friendly competition of steps.

Click here to see if you want to sign up for the individual competition, or the brand-new nonprofit competition.

2. Attend a free Healthy Eating/Active Living class

Each week we offer free health classes throughout downtown Los Angeles. Tai chi, stretching, cooking, gardening and more! Click the link below to see what classes are in your neighborhood!

Click here to visit the class calendar.

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Measure A and APIs

Asian and Pacific Islanders (API’s) may comprise 15% of LA County, but often the voices of these communities are left out of large environmental policies and campaigns. This is surprising, given that when API’s were surveyed in California if they would take action at the polls to protect the environment, nearly 90% of API respondents shared that they would likely vote, with 50% sharing they were “very” likely to. The disconnect is that while the community supports environmental policies, there is not an organized effort in LA County that ensures API voices are heard on park issues.

Forward Movement fights to address this by leveraging our relationships with local API community leaders to create a coalition that crafts culturally-tailored,
in-language materials/messaging, and also serves as a pipeline for sustainable representation of API voices in the local environmental movement.

The Los Angeles County Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches Measure of 2016 (Measure A) asked voters to continue their support for local parks, beaches, open space, and water resources by approving an annual parcel tax of 1.5 cents per square foot of development. If approved, the estimated tax for the owner of a 1,500 square foot home would be $22.50 per year, and will be included on the annual property tax bill. Generating approximately $94 million per year for our local parks, beaches, and open space areas, Measure A will replace expiring dedicated funding from the voter-approved Propositions A of 1992 and 1996.

Measure A was developed with extensive stakeholder input from throughout Los Angeles County and designed to meet the Countywide Comprehensive Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment of 2016. The Needs Assessment was an 18-month process which provided detailed information from all 88 cities and unincorporated areas within Los Angeles County about the quality of their local parks, their current access to parks and recreation facilities and overall park needs, including public meetings and project lists developed and prioritized by members of each community.


About Measure A

Yes on A Flyers

Op-Eds on Measure A

Every child deserves their own Story Park by Aaron Lockett (Alhambra Source)

Why local parks are important by Janelle Zamora (Alhambra Source)

 

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Park ranger discusses urban recreational space in Downtown Los Angeles

The following post was written by intern Maggie Su as part of a series of profiles of API members of the community.

Kya Marina Le never realized that working as a park ranger was an option for her, let alone in the city of Los Angeles. Growing up, the only rangers she encountered were Caucasian males working at national parks. Now, though, she is an interpreter with two ranger hats, working for the National Park Service and supervised by the California State Parks. Le is currently based at LA State Historic Park.

As an interpreter, she serves as the face of the park — a resource available to visitors who have questions. She enjoys the creative aspect of the work.

“What’s nice about [interpretation] is that it gives me the freedom and creativity to explore concepts that align with the National Park Service or with California State Parks, but also present it in a direction or voice that suits me the best,” Le said.

LA State Historic, 32 acres of recreational space bordering downtown that opened in April, was built with lots of community input. There were 65 community meetings held prior to the park’s opening, according to Le, during which residents could voice suggestions and concerns about the park’s facilities and programming.

While the park was still in its planning stages, it — then just a dirt lot — was made available to the public in the interim, from 2006 to 2013. Community members embraced the space, using it as a place to work out, teach their children how to ride a bike and go for runs. When it was closed, all they wanted to know was when it would be open again. Their enthusiasm for the space only increased when the park reopened earlier this year.

“Then, this was literally a dirt lot with porta potty bathrooms, and the community took it,” Le said. “It took three years for us to reopen this park, but all I’ve heard is, ‘it was worth the wait.’”

Although LA State Historic is a beautiful, green space in the heart of the city, Le said it can be difficult for California State Parks to find people willing to work there. In addition to the relative unaffordability of life in LA, the park simply can’t compare to the natural beauty of more remote locations in California.

“It’s like, if you’re a nature person, why would you go to this previous brownfield and work at a place where you’re congested with traffic?” Le said.

But Le is happy to work in Downtown LA; she understands that urban locations are where such parks are most needed. Indeed, LA State Historic’s greatest asset is its accessibility, especially to residents of neighboring communities such as Chinatown and Lincoln Heights. Although other parks may also be accessible by Metro, none are as welcoming as LA State Historic.

“This is where you can picnic with your family,” Le said. “This is a place where you can take your biker friends and hang out under the bridge after school before you get tacos and go home.”

Le, who lives in Little Saigon, Orange County, commutes an hour and a half to work each day by train. She takes the Metrolink regional train to Union Station then transfers to the Metro Gold Line, which takes her to the Chinatown station directly adjacent to the park. Although she hopes to eventually move to LA to avoid the three hour round-trip commute, for now, she is content — she can sleep on the train.

“I think public transit has always played a really big role in my life because I hate driving. The stress and mental load of driving is such a waste of time,” Le said. “Yeah, public transit takes a little longer, but at least you can spend that time being distracted.”

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