Archive for the 'politics' Category


Saying No to Casinos in Chinatown Part 2

Here’s some video that I was able to capture last night during one of the more vulnerable and emotional moments at the forum. This has certainly become a very volatile situation. There was no hearing last night, no dialogue. People were just very angry.

Whether these politicians and investors realize it or not building a casino at this location is institutional and environmental racism against the many minority populations in the Chinatown community. We can debate those terms but the point is that this cannot ultimately be good for the community. There may be economic gain but at what cost?

Philadelphia Inquirer Article, Chinatown Residents Fear Lure of Gaming by Jennifer Lin
“Environmental Racism, Chinatown and the Gallery Casino” by Helen Gym picked up the news

I googled around looking for related things and found these links
• Great Asian American Resource page at the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

From an interview with Dr. Timothy Fong (whose name comes up in every search on this subject), Director of UCLA’s Gambling Studies Program. He said this in his findings,

What did the focus groups reveal?
Number one, gambling was a common thing that a lot of community members did. Number two, it was very socially acceptable. And number three, almost everyone knew one or two people that they knew had a gambling problem. It was a very common thread that they also didn’t know what to do about that person; where to send them, what to say to them, what to do about it.

What was also very interesting was that the casinos were very aggressive in marketing toward Asian communities. But they didn’t blame them for that. They didn’t say that that was a bad practice. This is just a reality. We learn about a lot of bus tours that were marketed for Asian communities. Fliers that were marketed toward that community.

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Saying No to Casinos in Chinatown

Tonight I attended a public forum as a representative of my church regarding a proposal to place casinos courtesy of Foxwoods at The Gallery in Philadelphia which is right at the entrance of Chinatown. This has gotten some press and after tonight’s meeting I’m sure it will get some more. There were some very angry people there. Typically you don’t find many Chinese folks speaking up about things much less political things but they were out in force tonight. In fact I’m very impressed with this gathering because it’s much more diverse than I had anticipated. There were many voices. Among them were educators, students, long time residents, church goers, business owners and community leaders. They weren’t just Chinese either. There were many non-Asians in the crowd.

Our church (CCCNC) officially took a stance of opposition against this proposal a couple of weeks ago and we’re trying to prayerfully handle this with much grace, wisdom and peace. We know we need to be a voice for the many aliens and poor in our community. We know first hand the effects of gambling among the Chinese as we counsel many compulsive gamblers and the families devastated by their habits. This is probably one of the most important things we’ve been involved in for our community.
Please pray for us.

Representatives from Mayor Michael Nutter’s office (Terry Gillen), Councilman DiCicco and State Representative O’Brien were receiving comments and arguments tonight at the Holy Redeemer School. It was not a good night to be in their shoes. If we want to build the next great American city, this is definitely not the way. The cost will be greater than any economic gain. This is institutional racism.

For More Info:
Asian Americans United for facts, petition, links and more.
Casino-Free Philadelphia, dedicated to say no to any casinos in the city of Philadelphia
Foxwoods Casino PA

PlanPhilly – City Set to See Foxwoods Design
PlanPhilly – City Sees Foxwoods Design

Other Resources
Gambling, Addiction and Asian Culture
Casinos Aggressively Market to Asian Americans, But Few Services Help Addicts
California Provides Glimpse Into Asian Gambling Culture
Resources from The Conference on Assessment & Treatment of Compulsive Gambling Among Asian American held on October 26, 2007 via

“There’s this interest in gambling among the Chinese that transcends anything you see in any other socioeconomic or ethnic group” – Gary Loveman, Chief Executive at Harrah’s

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Made in China

I love this image that I came across on Tumblr. [sorry don’t know the source]
How appropriate for our current political, economic atmosphere and for ABCPastor.

Chinese Born American?
First thoughts?

Newly found blog friend and missional church planter Wayne Park has some thoughts.


Don Miller’s Closing Benediction at the DNC

Don Miller's Closing Benediction at the DNC

Just thought some of you may enjoy this. Be blessed.

I’m honored to deliver the closing prayer at the DNC. Evangelical voices have been scarce within this party, perhaps since the Carter administration. But as strides are being made on key issues of sanctity of life and social justice, as well as peaceful solutions to world conflicts, more and more evangelicals are taking a closer look at options the Democratic Party are beginning to deliver. There is a long way to go, but sending a message to Washington that no single party has the Christian community in their pocket, thus causing each party to carefully consider the issues most important to us, is, in my opinion, a positive evolution. I am glad that, for the most part, the dialogue has been constructive and positive. Will you join me in keeping the conversation thoughtful and not reactionary?

That said, I am honored to speak to, and especially pray with and for, the DNC. Here is the full text of the prayer:

Please join me for the next few moments in our Benediction.

“Father God,
This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.
We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.
We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.
Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.
Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.
Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.
Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.
Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.
Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.
We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.
Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.
A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.
Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.
Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.
Lastly, father, unify us.
Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.
And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.
God we know that you are good.
Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.
I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.
Let Him be our example.


Can also be viewed at


Post Primary and AsiAms in the Philly electorate

I’ve been dragging my feet on blogging stuff but have had incredible human interactions lately. But alas this is an interesting read from AsianWeek on the reactions from the Philadelphia Primary.

Philadelphia ‘s May 15 primary election brought one win and one loss for this city’s burgeoning Asian American electorate, but it was enough to move the city one step closer to its first Asian American councilmember. Contenders for city council at-large Republican David Oh and Democrat Andy Toy battled with candidates from their parties in the May 15 primary. But only Oh garnered enough votes to move into the general election in November.

Oh came in third out of a field of five. By placing in the top three, he will challenge the two leading Republicans, both incumbents, for two Republican council positions.

“In boxing, you have to step into the punch…let’s stop moving backward,” Oh has said of the city’s loss of jobs and decline in population.

“He would reclaim public service, and not for the sake of political power,” said Lee Huang, 34, an economic consultant.

Community and economic development expert Toy just missed placing in order to move on in his council race for one of five Democratic seats. Toy placed eighth among 19 candidates.

“Andy was not running as the Asian candidate, he was running as a candidate with an agenda for the whole city,” said Edward Kung, 73, who sits on the advisory committee of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation. Toy is currently the chair of the board and has sat on the board for 15 years.

In the late 90’s, the mayor had chosen a site in Chinatown to build a ballpark without consulting with the community. The community eventually forced the plans out of Chinatown, one of the experiences that influenced Toy to run for office.

Asian Americans have started running for political office in the nation’s fifth most populated city at a time when the city’s racial demographics are changing. Philadelphia’s largest immigrant population are mainly from India, China, Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia.

“Asian Americans are a growing part of the electorate in Philadelphia,” said Glenn Magpantay, staff attorney of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. “It also shows that they are really beginning this work.”

During the 2006 general election, AALDEF found that 29 percent of Asian American voters had limited proficiency in English. The city is not required to translate the ballot and election materials or provide interpreters in any other language except Spanish. AALDEF has asked the city to provide materials and interpreters in Chinese, Vietnamese, and Khmer.

Congratulations to David Oh and his family on the arrival of their new baby daughter, Hannah.


The Philadelphia Primary

Tomorrow is the Philadelphia Primary. This is a critical time for our city and there’s some significant folks besides the mayoral candidates that AsiAms should take note of. As a pastor in the Philadelphia Chinatown community, a few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting possibly the first Asian American City Councilman, Andy Toy (D) at a banquet sponsored by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation where Mr. Toy serves as Chairman. Now I’m not going to say much because my goal is not to endorse candidates here on this blog or in my local church body even though I may feel more strongly about one over another. I just thought that I’d mention that there are two AsiAms in the race for City Councilman. The other candidate is David Oh (R). The man was a green beret in desert storm and he loves his Bible apparently.

To find out more about Andy Toy check out his official site and his myspace
Here’s David Oh’s myspace

Read more about the Philadelphia Primary, its candidates and views.


rev mcgreevey?

what the? i just thought this was interesting news. former new jersey gov. james mcgreevey has decided to pursue his master of divinity at general theological seminary. he was received as an episcopalian on sunday in nyc. in 2004 mcgreevey resigned from his position when he made public that he was gay and was having an affair. he is still in the midst of a nasty divorce.
who wouldathinkit? back in jersey i had the privilege to rub shoulders with some politicians and understand the system a little more. politicians are indeed interesting creatures. mcgreevey definitely stood out in his journey to office then and he still stands out in his choices now. i wish him well.

i still haven’t decided which political machine is worst – nj or philly…?

[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.


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