CAAAV Searches for Next Visionary Executive Director

After five years at the helm of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, Cathy Dang will be transitioning from her role as Executive Director in the fall of 2018.

This transition comes during a time of tremendous growth for CAAAV. Under Cathy’s formidable leadership, CAAAV has significantly expanded our staff, membership base, programs and budget, led important fights for tenants’ rights and pioneered new models for multilingual organizing with our working-class Asian immigrant base. Indeed, during the past five years, Cathy and CAAAV’s organizers have played a critical role in building a more just New York City for working-class Asian immigrants and all New Yorkers.

Our recent accomplishments include:

  • Preserving Manhattan’s Chinatown as a home for working-class Chinese immigrants and other communities of color: During Cathy’s tenure, CAAAV has continued fighting to hold predatory landlords accountable and promote rezoning efforts to preserve Chinatown as a community for working-class Chinese immigrants and other `communities of color. We have advanced our rezoning plan for Chinatown and the Lower East Side and received commitments from Community Board 3 and elected officials to protect our waterfront outpacing luxury developers who are vying to build mega towers, which could displace long-time Black, Latinx and Asian residents. Additionally, we have brought forth an investigation from the NY State Attorney General against one of the largest predatory equity landlords in Chinatown, organizing the working-class Chinese tenants of Marolda Properties to stop the predatory landlord from displacing long-time residents.
  • Organizing Asian immigrants in New York City public housing and pioneering new models for multilingual organizing: Over the past few years, CAAAV identified and rapidly mobilized around the need to organize the growing numbers of Asian and South Asian tenants in New York City public housing, launching a Public Housing Organizing Project, publishing a report on language access in New York City public housing and introducing first-of-its-kind legislation in the New York City Council to mandate that NYCHA provide language access.
  • Protecting all New York City tenants: In 2015, CAAAV won a citywide law regulating tenant relocators who preyed on immigrant rent-stabilized tenants to take buyouts. Additionally, CAAAV helped win citywide rent freezes for 1 million New Yorkers for two years in a row.
  • Standing with Black communities impacted by police violence: CAAAV has a long history of standing alongside other communities of color. From 2014-2016, CAAAV played vocal role supporting the family of Akai Gurley, a young Black man who was killed by former NYPD officer Peter Liang, fighting to hold Liang and all police officers accountable and pushing for systemic change with the NYPD and NYCHA. Additionally, CAAAV joined Ferguson October and has fought for justice for Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham and Mohammed Bah.
  • Building grassroots Asian American and Pacific Islander power across the country: As part of the Coordinating Committee of Grassroots Asians Rising (GAR), CAAAV played a critical role in organizing a national convening of 70+ organizers from 19 cities on the state of organizing Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the Trump era.

CAAAV’s Board of Directors is grateful for Cathy’s fierce leadership and is conducting a nationwide search to find a successor who will build on our organization’s legacy of radical Asian American organizing. In addition, we have created a new position with our Chinatown Tenants Union solely dedicated to membership organizing as we invest in our base-building and leadership development. Job descriptions for the Executive Director Chinatown Tenants Union Membership Organizer positions can find be found here. We look forward to working with CAAAV’s members, staff and our new Executive Director to imagine the next visionary phase for CAAAV.

Osman Ahmed
Incoming Board Chair, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities