We advocate on behalf of the over 600,000 API owned businesses in the state of California


In addition to improving access and opportunities for the API and business communities in existing sectors, an important part of the CalAsian Chamber’s policy work involves identifying new business opportunities in emerging industries. In California, this can include anything from renewable energy solutions to the newly legalized cannabis industry to the wide-ranging technology innovations that have today’s entrepreneurs shaping the way we live, work, and move. The CalAsian Chamber seeks to ensure that API businesses have the access and information necessary to participate in the next economy, however that may come to evolve.


 Through Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), CalAsian is strategically aligned with over 40 community organizations throughout the state that represent the diverse API community and its network of partners.




Meet elected officials throughout the state at our roundtable conversations and share your priorities as a member of the local diverse business community.

Policy Updates

Get updates on policy and legislation news as they relate to the API biz community

Advocacy &


Let us help to make your voice heard in Sacramento and Washington D.C.!


CalAsian Chamber has identified five policy priorities for 2020. In addition, the following criteria are used when determining whether to engage around a policy issue:

  • The proposed policy has an impact on California’s API community

  • The proposed policy has an impact on California’s business community and the 3PL

  • The proposed policy relates to CalAsian and its partners’ program initiatives and Regions Rising

  • CalAsian’s voice, credibility, and resources will make a difference on the issue



We will continue to monitor legislation, policy, and regulation decisions identified as priorities by the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA). CCIA has been active in engaging legislative leaders and policy influencers around issues that affect the industry.


The development of local and state policies to regulate this new industry has created high demand for knowledge and education, particularly from small businesses and entrepreneurs. CalAsian aims to provide a network of education, information, and resources that help to clarify the quickly evolving abundance of regulatory guidelines in California’s cannabis industry. It seeks to advocate on behalf of the API and small business community as the cannabis industry’s regulatory scheme continues to unfold, improve their understanding and compliance with cannabis regulation, and closely track legislation that may affect their ability to compete in this industry.

Education & Workforce

A skilled and educated workforce is integral to the success of California’s small businesses and their ability to compete locally and abroad. California needs a workforce that is competent, competitive, creative, and prepared to meet the needs of the state’s economy and employers as they continue to transform. California is also home to the largest and most diverse student population in the country. Investment in public education is paramount – student achievement is the single best public policy predictor of a thriving state economy. Employers will be more competitive and workers will benefit as those with higher levels of education and training earn higher wages. CalAsian supports policies that increase workforce development programs and make higher education and vocational education more accessible and affordable. CalAsian also supports the creation of ethnic studies programs.


CalAsian believes that small businesses should have options in finding healthcare coverage for their business and employees and works to remove excessive regulation and other barriers to affordable and accessible healthcare. In addition, Californians within the API community face health challenges that include heart disease, hypertension and diabetes and differ by each API subgroup; CalAsian recognizes the various health concerns of the API community and supports efforts to address them.


California faces a wide range of pressing infrastructure challenges to its long-term economic health, in sectors including: housing, water, energy, transportation, utilities, communication, and more. These challenges are exacerbated by the impacts of climate change, which disproportionately hit minority and poor communities that hardest. Minority and poor populations are more likely to die from extreme heat waves, breathe polluted air, suffer from economic downturns in climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and tourism, be vulnerable to floods and other natural disasters, and struggle to afford rising energy costs. As a prominent example, California’s wildfires have been increasing in both intensity and frequency in recent years, and the destruction caused by these disasters has become the new normal. CalAsian recognizes the urgency of these infrastructure challenges and is committed to supporting all involved to work toward sustainable, equitable, and inclusive policy solutions.

Business Finance

CalAsian supports a business environment that offers support and makes it easier for businesses to grow and thrive. The Business Finance Committee covers issues including the following: access to capital, transparency in lending, taxation, regulatory reform, procurement and contracting, international investment.

Technology and Innovation

California is the nation’s technology leader in job creation and innovation. Home to more than 1.1 million employees in the technology sector alone, California continues to benefit from private sector investment and economic growth year after year. With Californians continuing to embrace cutting-edge technologies, the state’s economic growth and technology adoption go hand in hand. Investing in innovation for new technology across

all sectors – autonomous vehicles in the transportation sector, for instance – and promoting widespread broadband and wireless accessibility is key to maintaining California’s role as a global leader in innovation, technology, and communications. CalAsian advocates for information technology and telecommunication technology policies that advance free and open competition, promote a highly educated and technical workforce, encourage collaboration and cooperation in ideas and technology, and advance regulations that positively impact the ability of the private sector to effectively research, develop, integrate, manufacture, service and market solutions in the global marketplace.


We are scheduled to host four “Listening Tours”: Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and Northern California, with API Caucus members. There has been interest to host listening tours on a more localized area, namely with the API communities in Alameda County. There could also be an opportunity to host “Port Tours”, at the Ports throughout the State, in conjunction with our Global Team to highlight international trade and business development in the State.

Our Legislative Summit is scheduled for March 26, and we will be highlighting legislation that the Chamber is carrying and supporting, with a reception to follow. It is scheduled for the day before the CACC Board meeting, so Board participation is highly encouraged and welcome.

We are also looking at hosting an “Energy & Advocacy” Summit in San Diego, in October of 2020. The purpose would be to highlight matters related to energy delivery, procurement opportunities for businesses with energy companies, and policy issues related to energy. We are working with Lauren and her team on the details of what this summit may entail.

In keeping with the goal of collaborating with the API Caucus, we have reached out to Committee staff to confirm there are no conflicting or competing events that could affect participation by an API Legislator.



The CalAsian Chamber’s Public Policy Committee is tasked with considering and making recommendations on issues that align with the CalAsian Chamber’s mission and reflect the CalAsian Chamber’s policy priorities as outlined in the Legislative Agenda. This year, the CalAsian Public Policy Committee consists of the following subcommittees: Business Advisory, Cannabis, Education & Workforce, Business Finance, Healthcare, Infrastructure, and Technology and Innovation.


If interested in joining the CalAsian Chamber Public Policy Committee, please contact David Nelson at

Pat Fong Kushida, President & CEO
CalAsian Chamber of Commerce

John Gutierrez, Chair

Heidi Barsuglia


Jofil Borja

California Transportation Commission

Rachelle Chong

Strategic Consulting & Law Offices of Rachelle Chong

John Costa

Pacific Gas & Electric Company

Eugene Eng

Eng Ventures, LLC

Rob Fong

RFK Consulting


Nicolina Hernandez

Sempra Energy

Lambert Hsu

Benefit Pro Insurance Services


Joan Kerr

Pacific Gas & Electric Company


Kirk Kleinschmidt

Kaiser Permanente

Kathy McKim

The Hawksbill Group

Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell

Sempra Energy

Traci Lee


Carl Sasaki

Crowe LLP

Rita Speck

Kaiser Permanente


Vince Wetzel

State Farm Insurance


Andy Wong

Wells Fargo Bank


Ron Wong

Imprenta Communications Group


CC Yin

Yin McDonalds



  • Jul 19, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
    Join the virtual event, "Asian American Mental Health, Trauma, and Healing" with guest Hyunji "Hannah" Lee, who returns to speak by popular demand after our first successful AAPI Mental Health event earlier this year.
  • Aug 10, 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM
    KVIE Community Room, 2030 W El Camino Ave, Sacramento, CA 95833, USA
    The National ACE Roundtable sessions encourage open discussions with AAPI business leaders and key elected officials on the current state of business, the effects of COVID-19 and anti-AAPI hate, and the recovery of AAPI businesses in the Sacramento market.
  • Aug 25, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Glass House, San Jose, CA
    This August, the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce and the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship will host the 5th Annual Minority Women Lead event. At this year's event, we will host a live pitch competition for women entrepreneurs!
  • Oct 12, 12:00 PM
    Location is TBD
    Resiliency is a critical focus for the State and small businesses alike. This policy engagement will spotlight programs, laws, and initiatives that have regional impact, as our communities rebuild from the economic elect of COVID19 and look to a more prosperous future.
  • Nov 15, 12:00 PM
    Location is TBD
    The CalAsian Chamber’s Listening Tours bring together local diverse small businesses with the elected official that represents their district.