"What’s important for Asian-Americans like Chua to realize is that America’s future is built on that multicultural foundation – the one that re-elected President Obama, the one that will decide the path America takes as our population approaches minority-majority by 2050. As an Asian-American, Amy Chua’s superiority complex is dangerous because it tries to separate us from other people of color. It feeds into the already false “model minority” stereotypes that plague Asian-Americans. It works directly against the kinds of coalitions we must be a part of to win the future."
If you haven’t checked out College Abacus yet, you must. A website developed by my friends Abigail Seldin and Whitney Haring-Smith, it’s changing how students get a sense of how much college actually costs - before diving into the deep end of the debt pool. It’s a game-changer. Read this article to learn more.
Abigail recently presented at the White House’s #EDpalooza Data Jam. Incredibly proud to have been a small part of the team. Love you guys.
Terry McAuliffe. Bill De Blasio. Data visualizing immigration reform. You can’t spell Truth without Ruth (Bader Ginsburg). Some of our favorite work from the past year. We hope you enjoy our year in review:
A historic campaign. A historic win. We’re proud to have launched NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's transition website. Submit your resume, or idea or volunteer for the transition and Inauguration. New York finally has a progressive mayor again.
It’s about Wong Chin Foo and Yan Phou Lee, two Asian-American resistance heroes who were the first to speak out against the oppression the Chinese experienced during the Exclusion era (1882-1943). Between them, they were the first Asian-Americans to publish books and newspapers, first to testify in front of Congress, start civil rights organizations and simply just fight back. Their Malcolm vs. Martin relationship in the late 1800’s is the first documented account of the inner and outer turmoil of what it means to be Asian-American.
I’ve lived with this story since I was 16, and it’s time to tell it. The stereotypes of Asian-Americans as quiet, obedient foreigners betray our actual history - full of stories of resistance that are similar to other communities whose heroes sit in the pantheon of great Americans. To rob Asian-Americans of our resistance history is to rob us of our dignity as human beings. Because we didn’t just sit there and take it. Every oppressed community fights back. It’s simply human to do so.
So I’ll be posting updates throughout the next year, and I hope you don’t get too sick of them. Even if you aren’t Asian-American, these are essential American stories of resistance and civil rights.
Really tired of the media piling on web developers for the problems with HealthCare.gov. It’s just not a nuanced look at an unprecedented event - when technology and UX/UI matter greatly in federal policy implementation. The people who coded HealthCare.gov were given 6 months to build out a massive website. The specs couldn’t move out of HHS for over 2 years because of a Supreme Court challenge, states obstructing federal law in a way they haven’t since Jim Crow, and an election that might’ve killed everything if Mitt Romney won.
So blame Republicans, blame election politics. But giving any team 6 months to build a scaled out website ready for millions of applications is unprecedented. This is a moment when the nature of the digital age collides with how federal law is written. When the law says this must happen at a certain time, it doesn’t take into consideration the execution of that technology. Combine that with the public’s expectations of how websites should just magically function, then voila.
I’m sure that the next time we pass another law that requires this kind of technology, we’ll learn from it. But please don’t think that web developers screwed up Obamacare. It’s much more complicated than that.
As Virginia gets ready to vote next month, please remember that there are 372,000 Virginians who’ve served their time and have had their right to vote stripped - including 1 in 5 black Virginians.
We’re helping out with video advocacy for the Advancement Project's campaign to help people take back their vote. We know all too well the connection between mass incarceration and voter disenfranchisement. Let’s help reclaim our democracy - one vote at a time.