Santa Clara County Asian Law Alliance

Santa Clara County Asian Law Alliance

Each year, ALA empowers over 4,000 low-income residents of Silicon Valley through free legal services, community education/advocacy, and voter engagement. We address immigrant rights, domestic violence, housing, public benefits, and civil rights. Community members we serve include AAPI and immigrant victims of domestic violence, refugees and asylum seekers, people with

Santa Clara County Asian Law Alliance

Each year, ALA empowers over 4,000 low-income residents of Silicon Valley through free legal services, community education/advocacy, and voter engagement. We address immigrant rights, domestic violence, housing, public benefits, and civil rights. Community members we serve include AAPI and immigrant victims of domestic violence, refugees and asylum seekers, people with disabilities, seniors, others among Silicon Valley’s most vulnerable.

About the Organization:

Each year, ALA empowers over 4,000 low-income residents of Silicon Valley through free legal services, community education/advocacy, and voter engagement. We address immigrant rights, domestic violence, housing, public benefits, and civil rights. Community members we serve include AAPI and immigrant victims of domestic violence, refugees and asylum seekers, people with disabilities, seniors, others among Silicon Valley’s most vulnerable.

organizational budget

2 MILLION - 3 MILLION

existence for

31+ YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

National • California • Hawaii

organizational budget

2 MILLION - 3 MILLION

existence for

31+ YEARS

Organization benefits AAPIs residing in the following state(s):

National • California • Hawaii

The Issue:

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have been the largest racial group in Santa Clara County since 2014, yet many lack equal access to justice. Laws and processes do not meet the needs of immigrants, people of color, and individuals with limited English proficiency, among others. LANGUAGE & CULTURE: AAPIs arrive at Asian Law Alliance in extreme distress, having been unable to get quality assistance in their preferred language – help reporting anti-Asian harassment or attacks, obtaining a domestic violence protective order, preventing eviction, receiving Supplemental Security Income or other benefits, and gaining work authorization, citizenship, etc. Without culturally and linguistically appropriate essential legal services, AAPIs cannot navigate unfamiliar, highly technical procedures to exercise their rights. FINANCIAL BARRIERS: Language and culture aside, many AAPIs in Silicon Valley cannot afford an attorney. In this high cost region notorious for unaffordable rent and home prices, 6.6% of the population are low-income and more than 1 in 5 of them are AAPI. Nine out of 10 individuals ALA serves are living in poverty. RACISM, XENOPHOBIA & LACK OF REPRESENTATION: People of color continue to be vulnerable to racism, harassment, and brutality. In Santa Clara County, based on self-reporting through stopaapihate.org alone, there were 371 hate incidents from March 2020 to December 2021. AAPI youth, women, and seniors are among those suffering the most. Systems of justice that serve and protect all communities are needed, but despite making up 39% of the local population, not enough AAPIs are “at the table” to help shape them. The same is true about policies and practices pertaining to immigration, housing, police misconduct, etc. that have been harming – not serving – the people. Low voter turnout, lacking government accountability, and inadequate AAPI representation have gone hand in hand.

The Solution:

ALA is the only legal services provider with programs to assist, educate, and organize AAPIs in Santa Clara County. Our mission is to advance justice, dignity, and equality for all. LANGUAGE ACCESS & CULTURAL COMPETENCE: ALA communicates in the languages community members prefer. We draw from both lived experience and training to treat others with compassion and cultural sensitivity. FREE ASSISTANCE: ALA’s licensed attorneys serve low-income residents free of charge. We help with a breadth of issues in immigration, domestic violence, housing, etc. We give Know Your Rights (KYR) presentations when/where we can reach groups who need help most, whether at Saturday clinics, English as a Second Language classes, health fairs for seniors, cultural festivals, etc. CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: ALA teaches and supports diverse residents of all generations to organize, participate in democratic processes, and engage in advocacy for inclusive laws and systems that meet their needs. ALA’s programs help ensure that AAPI communities are Seen, Heard, Empowered, and United by: - Providing an array of legal services to improve safety, health, and financial stability of the “whole person,” enabling AAPIs to be agents of personal and community change - Promoting/assisting with policy improvements and civil rights litigation that strengthen AAPI voices and representation - Educating, registering, and mobilizing voters (GOTV) – including newly eligible AAPI youth and U.S. citizens – to leverage the power of their voices - Poll monitoring so that voices are heard and voting rights are protected, including those of individuals with limited English proficiency - Conducting outreach to support complete/accurate participation in the census, so that all AAPIs are counted, and their schools, hospitals, etc. are appropriately funded - Reforming redistricting to be more fair and inclusive, so that AAPI neighbors can be unified and effective in advocating for their needs and holding elected officials accountable - Leading KYR and leadership development for AAPI youth and parents to be effective in addressing anti-AAPI bullying in schools, and similar KYR for AAPI business owners and their employees - Working creatively and strategically in coalition with allies advancing justice, dignity, and equality, including grassroots organizations serving diverse AAPI and BIPOC community members, local/community colleges, and others.

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