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NPR has a story today detailing some challenges faced by voting-eligible Asian American citizens.

From name confusion by officials to communication barriers, frustration and other difficulties may discourage or deny the rights of eligible voters.

Enacting Voter ID legislation in North Carolina will prove to be detrimental to the voter rights of minority communities in the state.

As people here in North Carolina are scrambling getting ready for the DNC in Charlotte, down in Florida the GOP are starting their convention, already delayed by Isaac.

For those interested, here is a round-up of what all you can find on TV coverage.

YouTube has also put together this really cool page for politics that presumably will cover both conventions and the rest of the election season this year: YouTube Politics.

The NC Justice Center has put together some resources, fact sheets, links and events on the deferred action process for young immigrants, based on the information released by the Department of Homeland Security this past Wednesday, Aug. 15.

On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will not deport young people from the U.S. who meet certain requirements. Those who qualify will be given “deferred action” and will be eligible for work authorization.

Who is eligible?

An individual must prove they meet the following criteria:

  • came to the United States under the age of 16;
  • has continuously resided in the United States for a least 5 years before June 15, 2012 and was present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
  • is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a GED certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  • has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety; and
  • was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.

Find out more by visiting the website here: http://www.ncjustice.org/deferred-action

By now, many of you have probably already heard of the unfortunate Wisconsin shooting at the Sikh temple. The gunman Wade Page, who lost his military career due to a history with alcohol, has ties to North Carolina and held White supremacist views.

It’s difficult when these things happen and we learn from his friends that Page was “a very kind, very smart individual — loved his friends. One of those guys with a soft spot,” who had problems dealing with alcohol, was a loner, lost multiple jobs, and had his home in Fayetteville foreclosed on. And while that all paints him to be almost a sympathetic figure, a lot of people, including myself, are really just filled with frustration and anger both towards him and for him. Why would he see taking lives of others as a solution to any of his problems (if that was what it was)? And why do we perpetuate a racist and xenophobic society, one equally unkind to the socioeconomically distressed, that would drive him to such hateful actions?

And it’s in thinking about all these strong emotions that I find it amazing to see such a calm, peaceful, friendly, welcoming response from the Sikh community:

And it gives me hope.

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APIAVote, a national non-partisan organization that works to mobilize Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in electoral and civic participation, is hosting a training session called the Norman Y. Mineta Leadership Institute in Raleigh, N.C., at the North Carolina Justice Center, the parent organization of NC Policy Watch.

Partnering with local organizations such as the National Association of Asian American Professionals-RTP (NAAAP-RTP), Asian Pacific Americans for Progress-NC (APAP-NC), Blueprint NC, and the NC Justice Center, APIAVote seeks to encourage Asian Americans to become more active and engaged in the electoral process and democratic way of life, regardless of political affiliation.

The workshop seeks to provide a framework for civic engagement and effect tools for community organizers to build civic engagement programs in Asian American communities.

The training will be followed by a livestream of the APIAVote Presidential Town Hall broadcasted from George Mason University, where Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates are invited to speak to the AAPI community.

Visit here for more information about APIAVote events.

Registration for the training is here.