Government Agency

Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs

Website:

apia.dc.gov

Location:

Washington, DC

Formation:

1987

The Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA) is an agency of the Government of the District of Columbia (D.C.) that assists constituents in accessing government services. Specifically, MOAPIA serves D.C.’s Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in matters of economic development, education, employment, housing, safety, and health and human services issues. [1]

MOAPIA was created in 1987 and was originally part of the Executive Office of the Mayor until October 2001, when it became an independent agency under DC Act 14-85. MOAPIA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in D.C. through advocacy and engagement; and advises the Mayor, Council, and District agencies on the needs and concerns of AAPI citizens. In this capacity, MOAPIA serves as the liaison between the D.C. government the AAPI communities. [2]

In the FY 2019, the agency was budgeted nearly $1.4 million. [3]

Activities and Services

A major program MOAPIA is the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Grant which is extended to qualified Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) that provide direct services to D.C. AAPI communities. [4] In FY 2020, the grant focused on cultural and linguistic programs that tie in with Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) priority areas of economic and workforce development, youth engagement and education, health education and linkage to human services, and promotion of the arts and humanities. Organizations are eligible to up to $75,000 to pursue these causes. [5]

In FY 2019, nine organizations were awarded a combined $247,750 in grant making, of which some went towards “identity development” and towards building “connection and community among Asian and Pacific Islander LGBTQ residents.” [6]

In 2018, MOAPIA created a “cultural competency training video” for the D.C. Metro Police which included a variety of suggestions on how to be more “culturally sensitive” and how to “better comprehend different challenges the community faces.” [7] In the same year, MOAPIA developed workshops in public schools targeted at younger students to “paint a more positive picture for them about immigration and immigrants in the U.S.” [8]

Also in 2018, MOAPIA, in conjunction with Mayor’s Office on African Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs, hosted a “Know Your Rights Town Hall” which focused on immigration rights and what legal services are available for minority residents. [9] Additionally that year, MOAPIA with the D.C. Department of Housing and Community and Development (DCHD) and the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) installed twenty decorative metal street banners in the city’s historical Chinatown district to help convey a sense of cultural traditional and identity. [10]

Annual events hosted by MOAPIA include a Lunar New Year celebration, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration, Diwali celebration, and toy drive. [11]

The Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Community Development helps to advise the Mayor, Council, and MOAPIA on the views and needs of the AAPI community. It consists of at least 15 members, led by a chair, all of whom are D.C. residents. In a recent report, MOAPIA recommended that in light of proposed changes to immigration policies on the federal level, that the commission remain informed and active about these changes to protect and support D.C. immigrant communities. [12]

Pursuant to the D.C. Language Access Act of 2004, MOAPIA provides interpretation services for government programs in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. [13]

Staff

Ben de Guzman is the Executive Director of MOAPIA. Guzman, a left-wing activist, previously served as the Community Outreach Specialist in the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Questioning Affairs, where he was charged with agency’s constituent services and community engagement efforts. He has a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. [14]

Dory Peters is the Deputy Director of MOAPIA. Peters develops office policies and strategic plans and manages the agency budget which includes contracts and procurement. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from De La Salle University of the Philippines and is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, and Hokkien. [15]

Ngoc Trinh is the Director Operations of MOAPIA. Trinh manages the MOAPIA outreach team and helps to design and implement outreach projects for the agency. She also serves as the agency risk manager, responsible for coordinating the implementation of risk assessment and control programs. Additionally, she developed the agency’s Continuity of Operation Plan and Emergency Response Plan. She has a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins. [16]

In FY 2020, MOAPIA staff salaries totaled nearly $600,000. [17]

In 2015, Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed David Do as Director of MOAPIA after serving in the Executive Office of the Mayor under Mayors Adrian Fenty (D) and Vincent Gray (D). [18] Do would later go on to become director of the D.C. Department of For-Hire Vehicles, a position he still holds. [19]

References

  1. “General Questions about MOAPIA.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/page/general-questions-about-moapia ^
  2. “Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. “Page Post.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/company/dcmoapia/about/ ^
  3. “Mayor Bowser Presents Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/node/1318181 ^
  4. “FY 2020 Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Grant.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/page/fy-2020-asian-american-and-pacific-islander-community-grant ^
  5. “FY 2020 Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Grant.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/page/fy-2020-asian-american-and-pacific-islander-community-grant ^
  6. “Mayor Bowser Announces FY 2019 Asian and Pacific Islander Community Grant Awards.” Government of the District of Columbia. Accessed March 20, 2020. https://mayor.dc.gov/release/mayor-bowser-announces-fy2019-asian-and-pacific-islander-community-grant-awards ^
  7. “Responses to Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Performance Oversight Questions.” Committee on Government Operations Council of the District of Columbia. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://dccouncil.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/oca.pdf ^
  8. “Responses to Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Performance Oversight Questions.” Committee on Government Operations Council of the District of Columbia. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://dccouncil.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/oca.pdf ^
  9. “Responses to Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Performance Oversight Questions.” Committee on Government Operations Council of the District of Columbia. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://dccouncil.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/oca.pdf

    ^

  10. “DC Government Debuts New Street Banners in Chinatown.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/release/dc-government-debuts-new-street-banners-chinatown ^
  11. “Annual Events.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/service/annual-events ^
  12. “Responses to Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Performance Oversight Questions.” Committee on Government Operations Council of the District of Columbia. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://dccouncil.us/wp content/uploads/2019/03/oca.pdf ^
  13. “DC Language Access Act of 2004.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/node/433232 ^
  14. “Ben de Guzman Biography.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed April 8, 2020.

    https://apia.dc.gov/biography/ben-de-guzman ^

  15. “Dory Peters Biography.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/biography/dory-peters ^
  16. “Ngoc Trinh Biography.” Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://apia.dc.gov/biography/ngoc-trinh ^
  17. “Public Employee Salary Information.” DC Department of Human Resources. Accessed March 29, 2020. https://dchr.dc.gov/public-employee-salary-information ^
  18. Chibbaro, Lou. “Gay man to head D.C. Office of API Affairs.” Washington Blade. Accessed March 29, 2020.

    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/01/26/gay-man-head-d-c-office-api-affairs/ ^

  19. “David Do, DFHV Agency Director.” Department of For-Hire Vehicles. Accessed March 29, 2020.

    https://dfhv.dc.gov/biography/david-do-dfhv-agency-director ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs


Washington, DC