Monthly Archive for March, 2009

Meeting Notes: March 12, 2009

Click here to download March Minutes (doc)

TCC Meeting Notes: Thursday, March 12, 2009

9:30 AM, meeting at Sackler Building, Room 853 of Tufts University.

Attendees: Alex Zhang, Andrea Talis, Angela Sun, Anna Tse, Barbara Rubel, Beverly Wing, Bill Moy, Carrie Tang, Dennis Lui, Elaine Ng, Enoch Liao, Kerry McGowan, Lara Merida-Fernandes, Marie Moy, Megan Cheung, Nick Cetrulo, Nilushka Nethisinghe, Pamela Lee, Samuel Tsoi, Sherry Dong, Weijie Huang

Agenda Items

Outcomes / Action Items

I. Refreshments, Welcome, Introductions

II. Organizational Presentation: Sharewood Project (free healthcare clinic), Nick Cetrulo

Please spread the word and visit for more information.

III. Effects of the Stimulus Package: How Chinatown can Advocate for Resources, discussion facilitated by Elaine Ng (Agency Director of BCNC) and Alex Zhang (ACDC).

- Funds allocated to be mostly distributed through existing channels.

- Monday, March 23, 2009: Public hearing at the Boston Public Library to hear from service providers on workforce development.

- Be aware of these hearings, as time is short.

- Meeting with senior management to discuss advocacy on Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 10:00AM. Strategy meeting for stimulus. Contact Elaine Ng and Alex Zhang for more information at and

Elaine Ng and Alex Zhang will coordinate this meeting.

All: please let your agency directors know of this meeting.

IV. Announcements

1. CHNA grants, Sherry Dong

Contact Sherry Dong at

The Boston Alliance for Community Health has issued its General Mini-Grant for 2009. In years past, they have been able to issue several mini-grants per year, general, pediatric and cancer focused topics. This year, this will be the only mini-grant opportunity. Given that, it is important that we submit a proposal on behalf of TCC with the strongest chance of being funded.

Reminder that only current dues paying organizational members may be considered on behalf of TCC. As your Link Team Leader, please contact me with your interest in submitting an application, with concept and brief description if possible, and with questions. The RFP is attached for your perusal.

The RFP will be due on or before Monday, April 6, 2009 by 5:00 pm so the sooner we discuss and confirm which member organization will be submitting, the sooner the application can be written, reviewed, revised, etc. before submission. Sherry will be away from 3/26 – 4/2, so the sooner the better.

2. Purposed / Codified TCC Grant Admin Costs

As a volunteer driven entity, The Chinatown Coalition relies upon officers and members to share the work which includes coordinating meetings and communications and printing materials. The costs of meeting refreshments, event sponsorships, and other minor operational expenses are paid for with the annual dues from members. On occasions, TCC receives contributions from community members because it has assisted with an event such as the annual job fair which is now run by Betty Yau after thirteen years of TCC leadership or under-spends on some minor grants it receives.

One of the areas that TCC consistently invests time and effort is helping members with their grant proposals, especially the CHNA grants were TCC is the applicant of record. TCC calls upon its officers, or RGNs, to review the funders’ goals, the proposals and proposed program activities to ensure that they are aligned, competitive and responsive to the needs of the community. This involves a commitment from TCC to also ensure the integrity of the program. For this reason, TCC will be instituting a 5% administrative fee for all grant proposals for which it is the applicant of record. The funds will be used for TCC operational expenses, special projects, or event sponsorships undertaken by TCC. None of the RGNs will receive compensation for the work they perform on behalf of TCC.

3. Community Needs Gathering

On April 15, 2009 The Boston Foundation will come to speak with EDs in the Chinatown community.

4. Candidate’s Forum (Third Suffolk State Representative Race)

Quincy Elementary School cafeteria (885 Washington Street, Chinatown)

Tuesday, April 28 from 6:00-8:00pm

Co-sponsors to date: Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Leather District Neighborhood Council, Chinese Progressive Association

5. Candidate’s Debate (Third Suffolk Representative Race)

Tuesday, April 21 from 12:00-1:30pm at AACA

Contact Sunny Schwartz for details.

6. Job Postings: Childcare Director and ESOL Teacher for AACA

See website for details:

7. Survey regarding attitudes of indoor smoking & smoke-free housing policy

Conducted by ACDC, contact Alex Zhang at

8. Survey by AAPIP / AGM (Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy and Associated Grant Makers) on how the current fiscal crisis is impacting API organizations and communities in Greater Boston. AAPIP is using this information to update our colleagues in the philanthropy world about the how API organizations have been impacted.

Each organization should only fill out the survey once:

Thanks to Tufts University for the meeting space and refreshments!

Next Meeting: Thursday, April 9, 2009 @ BCNC 4th floor Conference Room.


Meeting Notes: February 12, 2009

Click here to download February Minutes (doc)

TCC Meeting Notes: Thursday, February 12, 2009

9:30 AM, meeting at Chinese Economic Develop Council (CEDC) at 65 Harrison Ave., 7th floor

Attendees: Barbara Rubel, Beverly Wing, Dennis Lui, Enoch Liao, Jane Leung, Kerry McGowan, Nilushka Nethisinghe, Richard Goldberg, Samuel Tsoi, Sherry Dong

Agenda Items

Outcomes/Action Items

I. Refreshments, Welcome, Introductions

II. Announcements

A. Emergency Preparedness Planning (EPP) Part 4, Beverly Wing

· Boston providing EPP for past 3 years

- RFP on January 26 due last Monday

o Application: choose 1 of 2 or both components:

- Initiate new collaboration

- Further education / outreach

- TCC applied for both – $20,000 maximum. Grant period ends June 30.

o Work more closely with Coalition members and integrate EPP into curriculum, on-going activities.

- Offer staff training

o Bring information out to another venue

- Relied on press to get message out

- Work with new constituency of youth, work with YES youth program, possible comic or video on YouTube or Facebook

o YES, AACA, Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, BCNC on behalf of TCC

  1. CHNA Mini-grants, RFP will be issued soon, due in March, Sherry Dong

· Sherry is the link team leader for TCC to mini-grants

- This year early issue one RFP as pooled funds

- Only 1 application from TCC, so interested groups should contact Sherry

- Due March (late)

- Contact Sherry Dong if your group is interested in CHNA mini-grants

III. Organizational Update, Phillips Brooks House Association.

Kerry McGowan, PBHA’s Director of Programs

· PBHA is a student-run, staff-supported, non-profit

- Governed by student cabinet, officers elected every year

· About 70+ programs – all volunteer

- About 1,200 Harvard undergrads involved each year

- Only student-run homeless shelter in the country is at Harvard Square

- Prefers to run community-based programs

· Dual mission:

(1) Serve communities

(2) Train undergrads in non-profit management

· 12 staff supporting programs, don’t really handle operations

- Serve as links to communities and as institutional memory with student turnover

- Step in to address issues of liability, financial advisors, etc.

- Kerry is 1 of 4 program directors but they just advise, don’t “direct”

· Funding

- Budget is about $1.5 million annually. Raised by students, through grants, alumni, and some events.

· Talk about Chinatown programs (see handout)

- 6 programs which allow PBHA to serve Chinatown year-round

(1) Chinatown Afterschool Program

(2) Chinatown Big Sibling

(3) Chinatown Teen Program

(4) Chinatown Citizenship Program

(5) Chinatown ESL Program

(6) Chinatown Adventure (CHAD)

IV. Follow-up: Coalition Readiness Assessment, Nilushka Nethisinghe, Greater Boston Center for Healthy Communities

- October 9: Nilushka came to administer Coalition Assessment Tool

- Working with YES for a community prevention strategy and implementation

- 12 members filled out survey at regular meeting

- Go over strengths and area concerns

A. Coalition Structure

- Challenge: agreement in current org chart may be refined by not comprehended

- Unclear on decision-making process

B. Coalition Capacity

- Half of the members unsure if coalition actively engaged all members

- Unclear difference between paying and non-paying members

- Should engage more residents, business members

C. Community

- Agree

o All members agree TCC works actively in the community

o Use resources in TCC and community

o Did not intentionally collect data on substance abuse

- Disagree

o Half of the members felt substance abuse issue

o Majority members agree substance abuse control needs more work

D. TCC Readiness

- Members well-networked, understood community

- Participation in members

- Agree community is aware of TCC presence

- Nilushka provided document with more information

o Member direction

o Mission / vision

o History / accomplishments

o Engage members in strategic information

o Clear defined roles, dues

o Update decision process

o New and seasoned members more interaction

- Discussion

o Good that TCC invited David Moy to talk to new members re: background

o Make membership dues more clear

- Confusing. Good to have clear payment structure.

- Beverly: Historically there were 2 membership levels.

o Full membership, dues paying – must attend 4 meetings before

o Associate membership – non-voting

- We wanted TCC to stay welcoming / open, so didn’t make a big deal about dues.

- Next Steps

o Exec Committee come back with something, even if just materials as a starting point.

o Pursue funding sources for staff.

o Include next Executive meeting dates in future agendas.

- Exec Committee come back with something, pursue funding sources for staff

V. Announcements:

  1. Focus Group
  2. Tufts Organization Update, Sharewood Clinic
  3. CEDC – space available on 5th floor – incubation space for small businesses, discounted prices

Next Meeting: Thursday, March 12, 2009 @ BCNC 4th floor Conference Room

Meeting Notes: December 11, 2008

Click here to download December Minutes (doc)

TCC Meeting Notes:
December 11, 2008

9:00 AM, meeting at Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

Attendees: Anna Tse, Barbara Rubel, Carrie Tang, Chutze Chou, David Moy, Debbie Ho, Dennis Lui, Elaine Ng, Enoch Liao, Janelle Chan, Kerry McGowan, Kevin Peng, Lisa Chice, Lisette Le, Marie Moy, Richard Goldberg, Sarah Cluggish, Sherry Dong, Shirley Mark, Stephanie Fan, Sue Kim, Thomas Lee

Agenda Items

Outcomes/Action Items

I. Refreshments, Welcome, Introductions

II. TCC’s Historical Context & Perspective with Founding member David Moy (formerly BCNC Executive Director, current Program Officer at the Hyams Foundation)

· 1990 or 1991 – Started talking about The Chinatown Coalition when he first came back to Chinatown in the economic downturn cycle.

· Create coalitions so communities could collaborate on how to use funding, how to make the community healthy.

· Got funding for 2-3 years’ operations to work with youth and families.

· TCC kept meeting monthly, but it was more important than money. First time in Chinatown organization history to bring organizations together, and brought in institutions (NEMC, Tufts, etc.) but they didn’t get a voice / vote.

· Over time, this built up trust.

· Over time, mini-grants, assessment of Asian youth, etc. Basically, things happened through the trust that would not otherwise have happened. And people had questioned why Chinatown couldn’t get it together.

· Compared to Jamaica Plain, David saw many divisions, in-fighting, etc. It took almost 2 decades of work to build this trust.

Moving forward, what’s going to happen?

· Economically, worse than previous cycles – deeper cuts, so organizations are going into survival mode.

· But it’s different because groups are actually talking with each other.

· Many government services / funds have been cut. Foundations are losing one-third of their endowments.

· Suggest letting funders know what’s going on. Otherwise, they won’t be thinking of you, or they’ll assume you’re okay.

· Foundations calling for strategic alliances and mergers to save costs. But that only works with groups that have trust. Foundations need to put money into technical assistance for groups to explore this.

· Coalitions also discussing changes in public policy – e.g. rising costs for health care have re-surfaced discussions of group health insurance like the trade unions.

· Foundations also need to put funds into Public Policy discussion.

· Other benefits:

- Coming back from the State House to encourage people to call legislators.

- Large list of organizations / coalitions is harder for politicians to ignore.

· Two more things:

1. As you make staff cuts, reserve some funds / staff for organizing, otherwise you’ll be lost behind funding.

2. Keep donors personally involved and updated.

- Giving from individual donors, especially since they give out of a passion for the cause; and they usually keep giving as long as they have jobs!

- These folks are not only pockets of money, but partners. They need to be part of the organizing effort, contacting legislatures, etc.

3. Developing younger leaders – like Thomas Lee – who rise up and get opportunities.

- TCC gives opportunities to younger leaders to get broader experience and exposure.

Thomas Lee: TCC can be a place to collaborate, discuss issues. Different elements of Chinatown claiming to speak for the community. TCC tries to be a place to discuss this with civility.

Debbie Ho: You need to advocate to non-profits to get them to come out to meetings to get more power and influence. Honestly, there are a lot more organizations out there that could use / benefit from TCC.

David Moy is also the co-chair of Asian-Americans in philanthropy. David proposes regional hearings to discuss / find the impact of the economy on Asian non-profits. Ask: what’s happened to your organization, your services, your constituents? Convene either in Chinatown or Boston city Asian-American non-profits.

Shirley Mark: Non-profit Congress. Non-profit Strategy Group: MA Non-Profit Network.

Stephanie Fan: Developing Charismatic Non-profit Organizations. The Charismatic Organization by Deborah Jospin. Can come do a workshop for free since Chinatown is a partner of Tufts University.

III. Tufts University Institutional Master Plan update

- Meeting by BRA tonight (December 11, 2008) at 6:00 PM at Posner Hall Auditorium for more information.

- Master Plan now includes entire Health-Science Campus. But no new projects from 1993 plan.

a. Will convert part of Posner parking into open green space for the foreseeable future. But in the long-term it will be a building.

b. Signage and kiosks for campus.

c. Windows, brick of buildings on Harrison Ave face.

Stephanie Fan requests Tufts consider first floor of R1 site for library.

d. Comment period for Master Plan amendment: address letter to Katelyn Sullivan at or mail to:

Katelyn Sullivan, BRA, One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201.

e. For a copy of the Chinatown Community Report in both English and Chinese, contact Tufts Office of Community Relations (617) 627-3780.

IV. The State of the Economy: Discussion of financial impacts for community service providers

Discuss – convene Asian American non-profits to hold a hearing to assess the impact on the economy.

V. Announcements:

  1. AACA has a new website for communicating at work:
  2. City Council hearings on bilingual ballot on Monday, December 15 at 10:00 AM on new Home Rule Petition.
  3. Chinese Historical Society of New England exhibit at Radcliffe still on, and will try to move it to Chinatown.
  4. Mayor wants to put $40 million into Filene’s and Kensington. Consider calling city and learning more about this.

Next Meeting: Thursday, January 8, 2008 @ BCNC 4th floor Conference Room