We will continue to honor the work of our forebears who have fought at the federal level to dissagregate NHPI data, funding and political leadership. We are committed to dismantling the aggregation of our communities within the problematic “API” category and will continue the work to disaggregate and build up the resilience of the NHPI community in having a sovereign political voice. At the state and local level, we will continue to work towards the autonomy of Pacific Islander communities identifying our policy agenda, establishing PI funding streams, standing up our PI networks, and by holding public agencies and organizations accountable in honoring our autonomy. We no longer accept the current realities where our communities are never asked to be at equity tables or speak up on behalf of our PI communities. We ask all allies, Asian, Black, Native & Latinx communities to support our call in ending the current paternalism afforded our communities.
In solidarity with Black and Indigenous communities, we know too well the plight of our Pacific peoples in facing systematic state violence historically in their Oceanian homelands and in North America. We stand alongside other communities of color in demanding police accountability throughout the state of Washington, the decriminalization of our PI communities, and we advocate for restorative justice solutions that center community leadership and networks in co-designing human policing policies. We center the lives of our incarcerated Pasifika relatives who are locked away in dehumanizing jails and prisons and will continue to co-partner with them in transforming the criminal justice system. We also center the healing practices of Oceania that mends broken relationships and restores harmony in communities where perpetrator and victim are given pathways to healing within the context of loving and accountable community.
Housing insecurity for Pacific Islanders looks very different from other communities – most Pasifika people do not access housing services with institutions that are culturally unresponsive to the community’s cultural values. Pacific Islanders in the State of Washington are five times more likely to experience homelessness than their white peers according to the One Night Count 2020. The erasure of homelessness in PI community is due to the lack of trust that Pacific Islanders have in interacting with institutions that often perpetuate racism through the erasure of culture and mistreating Pasifika families due to their cultural practices and values. PICAWA will continue to advocate for housing solutions that doesn’t tier our families apart (youth, versus adults), solutions that are committed to housing first principles, and honors the intergenerational nature of Pacific Islander families and households.
The Covid 19 crisis has highlighted the devastating fact that Pacific Islanders have not accessed healthcare due to socio-economic barriers – intersections of COFA status, US National status, undocumented status, chronic low wages has all lead to lack of healthcare coverage expounding negative consequences in health outcomes for our communities. These systemic barriers have lead to our communities having the worst health outcomes compared to all other racial groups. PICAWA will use its platform to mitigate these harms by advocating for healthcare policy that will improve the overall wellness of our communities throughout the different regions of Washington. We will invest in local PI leadership to support localized efforts and create capacity for PI communities to be able to take care of their communities in their regional localities.