API Rise Endorses CalCare!

API Rise endorses CalCare

Less than a week ahead of the private-insurer-controlled Democrats killing AB 2200/CalCare in the CA Assembly Appropriations Committee, API Rise of Los Angeles endorsed the CalCare Campaign. Maybe some of the corrupt Democrats heard about this and worried that such an endorsement would help win a floor vote!

In all seriousness, API Rise (Asian Pacific Islander Reentry & Inclusion Through Support & Empowerment) is one of the most respected social justice organizations in Southern California, and their endorsement of CalCare is significant as we continue to build power necessary to win this important reform.

“Since 2014, we have supported 1,500 individuals and family members directly impacted by mass incarceration and detention,” shared Dara Yin, an API RISE staff member and former incarceree, “When they [incarcerated API individuals] get here, we walk alongside them. We make sure they have places to go.”


While Asian and Pacific Islander organizations are all addressing various facets of inequality of one kind or another, API Rise is unique in that it builds solidarity to address a demographic that is too often ignored and faces extra layers of discrimination and ignorance, even within Asian and Pacific Islander communities themselves.

Too many organizations and individuals are influenced by right-wing rhetoric about incarcerates and criminal justice issues. The result is that many of our sisters and brothers are stigmatized and ignored, even after doing time and going through years of “institutional rehabilitation.”

Through sharing of and validation of individual stories via the work of API Rise, the public is able to learn of the true backgrounds of these members of our communities and begin to see them as family members who have had to face issues and struggles just like others who are caught in unfortunate circumstances most often out of their control. In turn the strength of these individuals becomes valued as assets to build community solidarity and power for justice.

In some of the most terrifying cases, individuals are funneled directly to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and have had to face deportations to motherland countries that they were born in, without proper linguistic skills or social/cultural support. API Rise has joined with other social justice organizations to fight this fascistic activity.

API Rise brings attention to and addresses such issues, supporting, directly organizing and promoting the leadership of API formerly incarcerated individuals, understanding that diversity and inclusion are keys to empowerment of the invisible and oppressed among APIs in California’s Prison Industrial Complex.

The four points of focus of API RISE are:

  • Provide a support group of peers who help heal the past wounds and generate solutions for the future.
  • Create a network of mentors to encourage and help members navigate challenges.
  • Educate and advocate for APIs by collecting disaggregated data through storytelling to reveal the strength, resilience and diversity of API communities.
  • Encourage API social enterprises as a model for economic empowerment and sustainability.

Clearly, because the re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals is so fraught with economic, political, social and cultural challenges, API Rise was able to ascertain that winning CalCare would be a huge way to help members of this sector of our communities. CalCare, being a comprehensive healthcare policy inclusive to ALL Californians, regardless of age, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, gender, employment status and sexual orientation is 100% in line with the focus and mission of this important organization. It is noteworthy that CalCare has a policy to NOT share any healthcare data with law enforcement agents or ICE, which are constantly threatening the livelihood and safety of many API former incarcerates and other immigrants.

Please consider giving support to the valuable work of API Rise. Visit their website and follow them on IG, Facebook and Twitter.

API for CalCare wholeheartedly looks forward to working with API Rise in support of their efforts as well as members of the larger movement to win CalCare!