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Miami, FL – August 30, 2010
            On June 7 and 8, 2010, the Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF) held its Statewide Summit  at Miami’s  Doubletree Hotel and Exhibition Center in conjunction with 9th Annual Summit of the Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition (FMCRC) and first Let’s Do Business Florida (LDBF) Summit. Close to 100 Asian American community leaders across the State of Florida met to follow up on their strategic plans aimed at empowering their community, and to discuss government and corporate initiatives aimed at  addressing  Asian community needs in Florida including health care reform, community development programs, financial strategies, and  more.   
Winnie Tang, Census Partnership Specialist and Leilani Fontanilla, member of the Governor-appointed Sunshine Census Committee gave a brief report on the results of initiatives undertaken by AAFF to promote the 2010 Census.  Megaan Schraeder, Legislative Aide to Rep. Kevin Rader (Florida House of Representatives District 78), explained the procedures and timeline for proposing, supporting a legislative bill that would successfully repeal the Alien Land Law.

Christina Lagdameo, Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, talked about government initiatives affecting the Asian American community in Florida , especially in light of the oil spill that had also reached  the Gulf coast regions of Florida. Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director of the National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development spoke about the nationwide initiatives directed towards addressing the current foreclosure crisis and economic downturn, as it relates to Asian American community.
Al Pina, FMCRC Chairman, talked about the Community Revitalization Model and Small Business and Community Economic Development projects that will affect the Florida Asian community.  Dulce Galindo, Vice President and Citibusiness Relationship Manager at CitiBank, outlined the potential avenues for collaboration between Citibank and the AAFF relative to our community development programs in Florida, while Dr. Antonio H. Wong,  Medical Director of  Doctors Plus, introduced a strategic plan that would benefit the Asian community, relative to the recently approved Health Care Reform initiatives.
The Asian Summit was capped by a discussion and review and amendment of the AAFF  Bylaws, followed by election of its new officers.  
 At the Summit, LDBF and FMCRC introduced some of the most common tax credit investments used to satisfy the CRA Investment Test, such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, New Markets Tax Credit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) investments. New innovations in community economic development capital were also presented by various panelists.  FMCRC is a 501(c )(3) advocacy group that aims to  empower low-income and minority communities by attracting investments for health, education, home ownership, employment, and minority entrepreneurship using a holistic advocacy approach.
“We are identifying market-based growth opportunities in minority communities through research, education, policy development/advocacy and programs that will lead to a paradigm shift in the approach of inner-city community economic development for minority communities of Florida,” says Al Pina, FMCRC Chair. “And this Summit is one of the major venues by which we can educate our community.”
The Summit was highlighted by the empowering keynote speech by Ms. Kerry Kennedy, Esq., one of the nation’s foremost human rights activist and the daughter of the late Senator and U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Leilani Fontanilla, Founding President and Advisor of the Bayanihan International Ladies Association of Central Florida and Auditor of the Asian American Federation of Florida  was among the chosen few who received the  2010 Builder of Community and Country award.
The AAFF-FMCRC Summit in Miami certainly proved to be an empowering and historic event for the widely diverse Asian-American communities in the State of Florida.
For more coverage on the AAFF-FMCRC-LDBF Summit, go to: