By Assunta Ng
Northwest Asian Weekly
In the Year of the Monkey, I raise my glass, celebrating that most of my 2015 wishes for the community came true.
Last February, I shared with readers my Lunar New Year wishes — to see Latino American Ana Mari Cauce become the University of Washington president — Black American Leslie Holt get the NBC anchor job — and “Fresh Off the Boat,” a television sitcom about a Chinese American family, would still be on air in 2016.
No, I didn’t go to the temple to beg for divine power to intervene. Nor did I go to church to ask for more blessings. And, I never really lobbied anyone, except through my blog. Why I got my wishes is easy to grasp.
Simply, I have struck a chord that resonated with many who have the same desire of propelling people of color to rise to the top. Finally, people who wield influence listened to our voices.
First, Holt was appointed as NBC news anchor last June, Cauce became University of Washington president last October, and “Fresh Off the Boat” is still on air.
Would I be lucky enough to get my monkey wishes? Here is my Top 10 wish list for the Year of the Monkey.
1. President Trump? No, no, no
Despite presidential candidate Donald Trump’s victory in New Hampshire, I pray that he will not be the next U.S president.
A man who bullies as part of his campaign, muscling through the election with his wealth, does not deserve to be commander-in-chief.
The last straw was that he brought along former GOP vice president nominee Sarah Palin, who argues ignorantly, blames irrationally, and creates division.
It will be disaster for America if Trump becomes president and Palin the vice president. The two have one thing in common — they are good at inflating, not defusing conflicts. These two egomaniacs will only deliver chaos to this country.
I have not made any decisions as to whom I should endorse. However, whoever the presidential hopefuls will be, there will be opportunities for Asian Americans to get involved and get appointments in the new administration.
2. More API politicians
At least three Asian Americans are eyeing the seat for Washington state lieutenant governor. It looks like Brad Owen is not going to run for a fifth term. He is probably going to make an announcement in March.
Washington state made history when Gary Locke became the first Asian American governor in the continental U.S. in 1996. Although the first Asian American lieutenant governor in Washington state will not be the first in the nation, it would still be wonderful to have an Asian leading that office. (Both Delaware and Hawaii had elected Asian American lieutenant governors.)
It would be wonderful to see more young Asian Americans running for office, not just campaigning for others. For those who are thinking about running in the future, start preparing yourself. If you have a thin resume, it won’t be enough to open doors for you. So help out in a variety of causes. Get involved in issues and volunteer for political campaigns. Experiences and connections are crucial for a political future.
3. Keep Justice Mary Yu
Whomever wants to challenge Washington State Supreme Court Justice Yu, think twice!
Close to 1,000 supporters gathered at Yu’s campaign kick-off breakfast at the Seattle Westin Hotel on Jan. 27.
If you were not there, you couldn’t have imagined the scope of support Yu has. The crowd was impressively diverse, and many prominent leaders of color were present in the room.
4. Louisa gets a face-lift
While Publix Hotel and Hirabayashi Place construction projects will be completed soon, we haven’t heard any news about Louisa Hotel, which was burned down two years ago, and since then, it has been fenced up.
It will be a joy to see Louisa getting its life back, filled with tourists, businesses, and residents.
5. Another Super Bowl win
Seahawks spread pride, bliss, and fun to our city during its Super Bowl win two years ago. It also brought the ID a lot of business. Every Seahawks game in CenturyLink brings fans to the restaurants and grocery stores. Go Hawks! History does repeat itself!
6. Prosperity to all
In the Year of the Monkey, may those who have worked hard all their lives, but are unable to fulfill their dream of wealth, finally achieve their goal. However, during the pursuit, I hope they also discover that richness in love, family, and friends — and lifting others — are just as important and meaningful in their lives. Believing in the joy of living, even in tough times, can actually enhance your ability to conquer adversities.
Remember Steve Jobs, Apple founder. What good did wealth do for him when he died at the age of 53 at the height of his success and glory! For Facing East restaurant’s owner, who was accused of tax fraud, greed has created a cheating monster out of her. If you have achieved wealth, stop at some point and ponder how you can give back to America.
As Sue Nixon, president of the Seattle Rotary Club, said, “Money can buy you freedom, but don’t be bound by it.”
7. An Asian buffet restaurant in ID
A couple of tourists stopped me last year in the Chinatown/International District and asked where the buffet restaurant was. “We don’t have one,” I apologetically replied.
The ID might house more than 100 Asian restaurants, but it doesn’t have one Asian buffet where diners can go around for a variety of goodies they want.
8. Good weather for all ID events
I was hoping for a no-rain miracle in spite of the weather forecast for Feb. 13. The Chinatown/International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA) held its Lunar New Year Festival last Saturday, and Northwest Asian Weekly’s kids parade and costume contest was a part of it. If it rained, it would ruin the kids’ clothes.
Lucky we were! Yes, there was a little rain during our parade, then it poured like a storm, right after our show at 2:30 p.m. I actually had a plan B if it rained, which involved using the Weekly’s office. Thank goodness that we didn’t have to use it.
Thank you, parents and kids, for coming.
9. Be a dream builder
Was I foolish when I agreed to organize Northwest Asian Weekly’s first Lunar New Year Fashion Show contest and dinner?
Although there were skeptics at first, both staff members and guests said after the show, “You should do it again.”
I suddenly realize that the Asian Weekly is a dream builder. Many women yearn to model just like a professional, at least once in their lifetimes. The participants got their dreams as Gei Chan, a professional fashion designer, volunteered to train the models to do their walks. Can you imagine non-professional models getting a taste of glamour when walking for an audience of hundreds?
The octogenarian Chan sisters, who were models, were thrilled that they were being spotlighted for such a grand event.
I was astonished at how creative the Asian community is. Ruby Luke acted as a Golden Monkey in her presentation. Also, Wanxie Ye’s dress could be broken up in four separate looks.
10. More creative energy
No community fashion show contest has ever awarded all the contestants with prizes. All 32 models received a memento, thanks to all of our sponsors. It’s a lot of work for us, but it’s gratifying to see everyone get something for his or her efforts.
Thank you for inspiring me with creative energy, so I can go out and ask for support for our contestants.
For our new endeavors, I ask for your inspiration as well as creativity.
The Year of the Monkey is a year of experimentation for the Asian Weekly. Yes, we will embark on new ventures for the community and help to build dreams for others. (end)
Assunta Ng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org