Gov. Chris Gregoire made commitments to support significant investments in the API community when she entered office. We believe she has honored those commitments by providing community health services, support for API small business, naturalization services, employment training, and other programs for refugees and immigrants.
For example, Gov. Gregoire initiated and supported capital projects benefiting our community by investing more than $13.5 million to complete the financing of construction projects for Asian Counseling and Referral Service, the Filipino Community Center, Korean Women’s Association, Nisei Veterans Committee and the Wing Luke Asian Museum.
Gov. Gregoire even went one step further in helping minority- and women-owned businesses by boosting the Linked Deposit Program from $50 million to a full $175 million in 2005. This important program provides women and minorities with access to much-needed capital to start a small business. APIs have the highest rate of small business per capita of the various ethnic groups, so this too is a vital resource for our community.
And while predatory banks, mortgage companies and short term lenders have sought to take advantage of minority groups, Gov. Gregoire stepped up to protect us. She took on Countrywide Home Loans for their predatory lending practices and fined the company $1 million for discriminatory lending practices. Also, as the state’s attorney general, Gregoire brought the full weight of the state down on Countrywide to rewrite home loans for minority borrowers. In contrast to the crisis at the federal level, she made protecting the hard-working consumer a top priority.
In addition, Gov. Gregoire approved funding for a statewide study of the academic achievement gap of students of color, specifically addressing concerns of API students. This is just another example of the governor’s commitment to provide excellent education for all of our children.
Gov. Gregoire has demonstrated strong leadership and has honored her commitments to the API community. She has earned our support to govern our state for four more years.
Bettie Sing Luke
Gloria Lung Wakayama