The Largest Convening of California’s APA Elected and Appointed OfficialsThe Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF) hosted the 2nd Annual Leadership Retreat for the California Asian Leadership Network of Electeds (CALNET) on December 3-4, 2015, in Half Moon Bay, CA. The CALNET retreat is the largest gathering of Asian Pacific American (APA) elected and appointed officials in California. The retreat hosted more than 80 of the state’s most prominent elected officials including California Secretary of State Alex Padilla; California State Controller Betty Yee; Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma; Assemblymembers Rob Bonta, David Chiu, Phil Ting and Evan Low; San Francisco Supervisors Eric Mar and Jane Kim; and Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu.
California’s key elected and state appointed officials returned for a second year in building the much needed CALNET—a network for APA elected leaders. Similar from last year, the retreat offered an opportunity for the state’s most important decision makers to learn, share ideas, and discuss their vision for California and the APA community. There are currently more than 220 APA elected and appointed officials in California serving.
The theme of the retreat was, “DISRUPTION: Changing the Way We Do Business, Govern and Lead.” The retreat workshops and panels focused on ideas and leaders that are disrupting the status quo in politics and other arenas.
The program included workshops and training sessions on how to become more effective and successful public officials. Presentation topics included changing APA demographics and implications, messaging and panel topics that included APA Women in Leadership, Healthcare, Technology, Social Media, and Clean Energy.
Highlights from the retreat program included a special dinner panel of APALF alumni on the future of the Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus featuring California State Assemblymembers Rob Bonta, David Chiu, and Evan Low.
California State Secretary and past President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), Alex Padilla opened the 2nd day luncheon program by drawing parallels between CALNET’s growth and the early stages of the NALEO. Secretary Padilla also emphasized CALNET as a resource to APA elected and appointed officials in California and the potential of the network to scale up nationwide.
California State Controller Betty Yee followed by recanting her previously hard fought election last year and the takeaways lessons from running against established candidates. Controller Yee’s inspirational experience demonstrated that even in face of great challenges you can be successful through smart campaign strategy, integrity and perseverance.
The retreat featured a new segment that focused on tech and social media and how these new mechanisms and tools are a tremendous resource in not only communicating to the community but also how they also contribute to the changing values in our society. These moderated panels on social media and disruptive technology had representatives from Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, Youtube, and Facebook. Specifically, the social media panel with Facebook and Youtube, invited elected officials to learn more on how to utilize special tools to engage and connect with constituents through video and draw the connection between possible voters, donors, and supporters in an effective and innovative way.
APALF partnered with the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus, the League of California Cities API Caucus, and Chinese-American Elected Officials to host and convene the retreat.
The goal of CALNET is to serve as a network of APA elected and appointed officials—a resource for APA public servants to help them succeed and lead. CALNET is a project of APALF, a 501c3 non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to helping prepare and better equip APA leaders for public service and civic involvement.