July 28, 2021

A Year of Heartbreak and Resilience: Our Response

This past year has been a year of crisis and heartbreak for our communities. Disproportionate impact of COVID on Pacific Islander communities, over a hundred instances of Asian hate reported across the state, hundreds of our businesses closed or vandalized, leaving thousands unemployed, and recently 124 degree highs reported in our neighborhoods leading to the tragic death of dozens.

This past year, with the support of thousands of members, supporters, and donors like you, we worked hard to respond to the moment. The following distribution of immediate aid, policy interventions, and long term investments were critical for many in need and helped us move toward a more just future.


  • Advocating for and distributing immediate aid in the form of direct cash assistance for impacted workers, support for small business owners, and rental assistance. This past year APANO distributed over $1.5 million in direct assistance as well PPE, diapers, cleaning supplies, and food.

  • Supporting community vaccine campaigns through our vaccine resource page, communications channels, and in co-hosting a number of vaccine events around the region to vaccinate hundreds in our community.

Responding to Hate & Safe Communities

  • Developing a policy agenda for elected leadership that prioritizes community investments and victim support over enforcement and incarceration.

  • Expansion of the Portland Street Response to cover the Jade District.

  • Secured $2 million in additional funding for additional staffing and victim support at the Oregon Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to better respond to hate crimes.

  • Over $3 million in dedicated funding to support the acquisition and development of safe community spaces and affordable housing for Asian and Pacific Islander Communities.

  • $185 million of dedicated funding to fund a safer 82nd Ave. after nearly a decade of advocacy culminating in a jurisdictional transfer set for 2022.

Climate Justice and Heat

  • Together with our partners at Friends of Trees and PSU, have planted a statistically significant number of trees in the Jade District to help improve heat island and air quality concerns over time.

  • Thanks to a statewide coalition of frontline advocates, three major wins for climate justice in Energy Affordability (HB 2475), 100% Clean Energy for All (HB 2021), and Healthy Homes (HB 2842) will make homes safer to live in and more affordable to heat and cool.

Mental Health/Childcare

  • Working with Childcare for Oregon to pass legislation (HB 3073) to support early childhood program integration that will allow for more seamless coordination and coverage of services. The bill will also provide immediate relief to Oregon’s most vulnerable families and better support child care providers.

  • Throughout the pandemic, our events team lead bimonthly Resilience Series events online to bring together community members and provide space for BIPOC communities to learn and share resources and information. We culminated with a month long anti-racism deep dive in May.

  • Passage of a Mental Health & Well Being For All (HB 2949) directing $80 million to the Oregon Health Authority to increase the recruitment of diverse and culturally competent mental health workforce to meet the needs of our community.

Dismantling inequities and racism requires deep and immediate investments that prioritize the needs of our communities. There is much more to be done to ensure that systems that were built to marginalize Black and Brown communities are dismantled. As COVID-19 numbers begin to subside and we look to the future, we look forward to imagining a new world where our communities have the power, resources, and voice to determine our own futures.

We invite you to join us, at our first in person listening session in August. As we gradually begin to share physical space together again, we want to invite folks to join us to engage, talk about what matters to us, and what we want our futures to look like. Join the August Listening session by filling out this form! If you can't make it, we still want to hear from you! Let us know what is impacting your community by filling out our member survey here.

This programming message brought to you by APANO Communities United Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.