• Advocacy Initiatives

  • GAACC advocates for our members, Asian Pacific American (APA) businesses in Central Texas, and the APA community in general both locally, statewide and nationally.

    At the federal level, we are MOU partners with the Asian Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and support the following:

    1. Increasing APA Business Opportunities
    2. Promote International Trade
    3. Comprehensive Immigration Reform
    4. Disaggregation of APA Data
    5. Workforce/Leadership of APA Employees


    On the state level, we host an APA Business Day at the Capitol with the Asian Chambers from Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Finally at the local level, we support the adoption of rules and regulations that promote economic growth and equity with relevant public agencies such as City of Austin, Travis County, Capital Metro, and independent school districts.

    Need some cultural or APA information training? Experiencing an issue that is impacting your business? Reach out to us as we can speak to your group and may be able to intervene or advocate on your behalf.

    2019 Policy Positions

    School Finance Reform
    School finance is very complicated and with recapture not all the property taxes that are collected by the school district stays with the school district. "Rich" districts like Austin but also Round Rock, Eanes, etc do not get to keep the taxes collected but have to pay into the State fund and that goes to "poor" districts and charter schools. It is estimated that nearly 51 percent of all local revenue collected by AISD from property taxes will be subject to recapture in FY2019. GAACC supported school finance reform, which was passed in the 2019 legislative session.
     
    Convention Center Expansion

    GAACC supports the expansion of the Convention Center which would be paid by an increase in the the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) imposed on visitors, with the stipulation that the construction and concession vendors be reflective of the community in Austin. The facility has been at capacity for 5 years, unable to accommodate larger groups. Austin is the 11th largest city and our convention center is the 48th in terms of exhibit space.

    • 2015/16 - Stakeholders (including GAACC) provided input, masterplan created, townhall meetings were held
    • 2017/18 - UT Study was completed and offered 5 scenarios for the expansion


    In May 2019, Austin city council unanimously directed city staff to gather information necessary to move forward with expansion, preservation of Palm School, and creation of a public tourism improvement district (supported by hotel industry) that would also help cultural arts and the homeless Read report here While the expansion has support of many in the community including the Downtown Austin Alliance and the Austin Chamber, Unconventional Austin is a group that opposes it. Read report here

    Transportation
    The Central Texas population just hit 2 million and it is projected to double by 2040. In that same time, road capacity is expected to increase by only 15 percent. We support Capital Metro's plan for a complete system of reliable and frequent transit with congestion-proof services that operates free from other traffic: Project Connect

    Public Charge Rule Changes
    On August 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published final regulations that would dramatically change the effect of the public charge grounds of inadmissibility to the United States. We oppose these changes as it can negative impacts those seeking permanent resident status through family member petitions, which is common among Asian Pacific Americans. Note: There is currently an injunction stopping it from being used.

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