tv Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa NBC November 4, 2018 5:30am-6:01am PST
robert handa: hello and welcome to "asian pacific america." i'm robert handa, your host for our show here on nbc bay area and cozi tv. we start our show with one of the most important events for every community, especially for asian americans, pacific islanders, and immigrants. we're talking about the 2020 census and trying to make sure every person is counted and in turn help the community in just about every way you can think of. then we celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of san francisco taiko dojo. we look at the dazzling group and talk about their artistic and cultural performance to the bay area and the world. then we wrap up with our traditional artistic and cultural performance with mosaic silicon valley's strings and bow, a multicultural collaboration of american
artists playing western and eastern music. there'll be here with a piece reflecting the vibrant mosaic of different cultures all on our show today. i believe most of the public knows what the census is about, trying to make an accurate count of the population, including those traditionally hard to count, but many people still may not realize how crucial it is that everybody, everybody be accounted for. with me right now is nick kuwada, the program manager for santa clara county census 2020, who for the past decade has worked hard to engage new immigrants to vote and advocate for themselves. in fact, he wants everybody to be heard. welcome back to the show. nick kuwada: thank you very much. robert: give us an idea. first of all, we were talking earlier about when people hear 2020, they may not realize how much needs still to be done and how much people need to be thinking about it prior to 2020. nick: right, and i think that's the misleading thing about planning early and planning efficiently, is a lot of folks think of 2020 as so far away.
they think of it as something, "oh, it will happen and i'll deal with it when it happens." but that's--totally undermines the whole purpose of a lot of the work that goes into making sure that the census is complete, that it is accurate, that everyone knows about it, especially those in the hard-to-count communities. robert: that's right. we want to talk about some of the consequences of when you--when that doesn't happen. but give us an idea why it is so hard to actually find people. a lot of people think of it as something that should be fairly routine. why is it so hard to find certain segments? nick: sure, i think when we think of the normal census taker, you're right, it is pretty simple. we're talking about, for the most part, very few questions, a 10-minute job of just filling out your basic information. but there are communities out here in the area and in california, most importantly, who don't have as easy of a time accessing that information. and this census particularly solves--has actually a lot of problems that could pose, you know, pretty dire consequences
to some of these communities, folks like immigrants who maybe don't speak english as their primary language, or may have cultural barriers to accessing that information, or wanting to give that information, folks who are without homes, folks with disabilities. it's hard to track these people down. even students and very young children are often left off the census and not counted. robert: yeah, and i always think that it's kind of important for these people to feel like they are important enough to be counted because i think that that is kind of the first step for them to become more engaged in the community. nick: absolutely, and we do want to build off of this census for future things like civic engagement, getting registered to vote, participate in your democracy, but you're right, the census is the building block, it is the base block for all other forms of advocacy in our community. so, you know, in addition to the fact that it brings about $76 billion to our state every single year, about $2,000 per resident here in santa clara county, it also provides us a means of accessing our democracy because
by that count, it also a portions are us representatives. so with fewer people counted, even if people are actually living there, we're actually losing money and political power. robert: that's right and in some pretty major areas, too. nick: that's correct. robert: you know, a lot of people feel like, "well, okay, so i'll let myself be counted," you know, if they are one of the people that maybe traditionally is hard to count, or people will say, "i'll cooperate. i have no problem with that." but how does somebody actually help? how does somebody actually help you do a better job? nick: well, there's obviously different levels of engagement. the very first level and the most engaged, of course, you can become an enumerator. you know, the census bureau will be doing some pretty intensive hiring in the area later on in 2019 and again in 2020 right before the census and training those folks to go out to count people who have not filled out the census form or who have not responded. you could also, you know, very simply spread the word. you know, a lot of times people are living in situations that they don't feel comfortable talking about things--political
things like as simple as the census, and you can do your part by just merely spreading the word. if you see a home or, you know, you have neighbors who maybe don't live in what most folks would consider a normal or conforming home, you know, maybe it's time to be a good neighbor and say, "hey, you know, have you looked at the census? have you filled that out? do you need to get a replacement form?" robert: right, and, of course, address one last thing, which is it still in court, but the citizenship question that people keep thinking about. nick: right. and i think a lot of folks are still very scared of this question, and i would still encourage folks to look past that, to understand that it does mean something and that there are a lot of people thinking about that question right now. it is still in litigation, so we're still thinking about what our solution will be for that. but that the census is so important that without, you know, a proper counting, letting that be a barrier for you to actually access that all--you know, everything that the census does, i think is a shame. so you really have to push past that, you really need fill up the census.
it's very important, and it's going to be important for the next 10 years. robert: okay. well, we'll have you back, okay? nick: thank you very much. appreciate it. robert: well, coming up, a group that does a lot for the community and can speak firsthand about the importance of the census. the silicon valley community foundation is here next.
♪ the holidays begin here at the disneyland resort. robert: we've been talking about how crucial the census is, and i know it may not sound like the most riveting topic, but it is so important that people pay attention and make sure it goes as well as it should. joining us now is our longtime friend, anne im, immigration program manager for the silicon valley community foundation. she was a mover and shaker at aaci, asian americans for community involvement, and on the legislative staff of senator dianne feinstein as well as former san mateo county supervisor rose jacobs gibson. right now, her mission is to make sure that there is a fair accurate census. welcome back. anne im: thank you.
robert: you heard what nick was talking about. give me an idea here in terms of what you also want people to understand about the census maybe from a community point of view. anne: yeah, it's so important that everyone's engaged, and one of the things that we've been trying to tell people is that there's a role for everyone. so this is one of those issues where the more cooks in the kitchen the better. so we need nonprofits involved, we need churches involved, business, government, foundations. it's a partnership, and that's what's going to make this a successful count. robert: and they're the ones that also benefit, right? anne: absolutely. absolutely. robert: how do they benefit, for people that don't understand the connection between being part of this count and the nonprofits and the community groups and the other agencies involved? anne: yeah, so the nonprofit organizations, first i'll say, they're critical part of actually getting the message out as trusted messengers in the community so that everyone gets counted. but if you think about the return that our communities get in terms of federal dollars for the census, making sure that nonprofits are a part of that process is critical.
and as we get more federal dollars, whether it's for schools, or health services, or transportation or housing, that then impacts the communities that nonprofit organizations are serving. and so the more that we can get in federal dollars to our communities, the better off all of our communities can be, and it'll make the work a little bit easier, i think, of the nonprofit organizations. robert: yeah, sometimes the amount that they say is being allocated kind of throws people. they hear a fairly large amount and they think, "oh, great." and but--like nick mentioned, it could be like $2,000 for each person. when you add that up on in terms of people who are missing or not being counted, that adds up to a lot of dollars and a lot of programs, huh? anne: it does. it adds up very quickly. robert: yeah. so how is the process? how does it go in terms of, you know, how the community foundation, for example, benefits or how they get involved? and how do people--as i was saying to nick, how do people get involved in helping? anne: absolutely. so what we will be doing is providing grants to
organizations to actually do community outreach and to help people with the census and to just market and get the word out to encourage people to participate. so that will be happening in 2019. part of what we're doing right now is raising funds so that we can get that money out to the communities. we're also doing convenings and we're bringing stakeholders together, like government and nonprofit organizations so that they can start preparing for the work that's ahead. robert: yes, grants are always a very good motivation. anne: yes. robert: any big events coming up or anything already in the works that you want people to keep kind of on their radar? anne: well, we have a lot of work that we're kind of in planning right now. so there will be more ahead, but if people go to our website, siliconvalleycf.org as we approach 2020, we'll have more information available. robert: what is maybe the biggest obstacle you face in terms of trying to make sure that you get as effective a census count as possible? nick mentioned a few.
what's the biggest obstacle that you face? anne: yeah, i mean, i'm the immigration program officer at the foundation so i'm working with a lot of immigrant communities and nonprofits serving immigrant community, and i think one of the biggest obstacle is the fear that people have right now. we've experienced ice raids. there is a anti-immigrant sentiment that people are feeling. there's also fear that people have around privacy and protection of their personal information and so getting people to kind of overcome that fear, that's a big challenge. especially when we look at this census, this is a count of everyone in the community, whether you're a citizen or undocumented. everyone needs to be counted, right? so there's a lot of fear among people who are undocumented in getting counted because they're afraid of how that information can be used. robert: all right. well, got to keep talking about it so that people won't be afraid, right? anne: yes. robert: all right, thank you very much for coming back. good to see you again. anne: thank you so much. robert: all right. well, time to change the beat up a little. coming up next, a visit with san francisco taiko dojo as they
resulting sound of taiko music fills the heart as well. san francisco taiko dojo has made a significant impact on the bay area since its grandmaster came here half a century ago. and as you'll see and hear, they've created their own new beat to an old drum. ♪ male: taiko drumming is always a celebration. it is a traditional historic art form that now celebrates change from the sound of the music to the people who play it. san francisco taiko dojo is celebrating its 50th anniversary. it was the first taiko group in north america founded in 1968 by grandmaster seiichi tanaka who found his passion as a young boy in japan, in a culture much different than america.
seiichi tanaka: no television, no nothing, no amusement so festival was a very important event. so we had a summer festival and an autumn festival, and every autumn festival town people would play taiko. male: as we talked with the sensei or teacher, he clutched a pair of 50-year-old drumsticks he had made by hand. holding on to tradition was characteristic of the young tanaka, who believed to play taiko meant hitting the drum hard, very hard relentlessly the way grandmasters taught him. the pounding style earned tanaka an interesting nickname. tanaka: everyone think i'm a devil master. so very much tradition, to me, the hard practice is beautiful. no pain, no gain. ♪
male: the hard-hitting hard-practice philosophy is still a part of the grandmaster's method today, but he acknowledges a far cry from how he taught when he first opened his bay area dojo and students kept quitting. tanaka admits he wasn't sure how to change until he saw his wife practicing a soft form of martial arts. tanaka: my wife's doing the tai chi, chinese tai chi. so the tai chi is not the hard hard, very soft moving like a touch in the air. oh, that's very--i learned something from a hard hitter to a softer hitter. ♪ male: the wisdom to change to a more versatile expressive art form was good timing. the bay area was changing, and tanaka as well san francisco taiko dojo were able to evolve with the new silicon valley. tanaka: they are computer people coming. so those people are not exactly want to become a professional
drummer, but the taiko is therapeutic. so now i have become a more taikotherapist. male: a taikotherapist. male: second year performer, kara drapala, agrees with her taikotherapist kara drapala: i work in tech. you know, i sit in front of a computer all day, but then i can come here to practice, i can sweat, i can yell, i can hit a drum. ♪ kara: the way he teaches is not just teaching, you know, dohns, and docus, and cautus, he's really teaching body movement. he's teaching how to feel the group's energy, how to portray that, how to put a show on. tanaka: beating drum and scream same time so everybody feel good after. male: like authentic? tanaka: so as a result, very therapeutic. ♪
male: the evolution form the four pillars of tanaka's dojo philosophy: developing the mind, body, spirit, and musicianship. ryan kimura has seen it up close as a disciple for almost 30 years and points out, no pain, no gain is still part of tanaka's expectations. male: so how is ryan the taiko player now different than the one who started? ryan kimura: i'm definitely older so everything hurts. ♪ ryan: i'm not the most expressive person all the time when i'm outside maybe at work or my personal life, but i feel like this is my outlet. it's different with taiko for me personally, right? i feel like it's not me performing for folks, but it's with the audience together and my fellow drummers and sensei all together we play and like that's that huge feeling and spirit that comes out. male: now, the grandmaster with his newer and older students head together toward their 50th-anniversary milestone and share pride in the role san francisco taiko dojo has played
in making what was once an obscure art form into a permanent, ever-growing part of the cultural landscape. kara: it's just destined to kind of grow and change and encompass more and more, and i think that's--as long as you keep the traditional aspect of it, you keep that in mind, you can definitely experiment and see what else you can come up with. ryan: there's one thing that says about us as players and even himself is that we're just crawling babies in all of this and so we are still so young and there's still so much more to express. male: and as tanaka has embraced during his 50 years in the diverse bay area, even a grandmaster never stops learning. tanaka: so i have to learn from the student. so i met many, many people. many, many people just come today from north to south and some europe, asia all over. male: and you learn from the students? tanaka: yes.
♪ robert: well, the 50th anniversary international taiko festival featuring grandmaster seiichi tanaka and san francisco taiko dojo will be pounding the stage of the san mateo performing arts center, saturday, november 10 at 7pm and sunday, november 11 at 3pm. that's at 600 north delaware street in san mateo. there will also be special guest artists from japan. for more information, go to nbcbayarea.com. robert: and now it's time for a live performance here in our studio. strings and bow will join us with their unique combination of western and eastern music. you want to hear this.
they took away the old installed the new and gave us the bathroom we've always wanted. call 925-233-6471 and save $1000 off your complete bathroom remodel of mosaic silicon valley to present a piece of traditional north indian classical music, a composition of mine called "dialogues and suha." i'm arjun verma, robert howard, su dakar dinata,
♪ [applauding] robert: thank you very much. that was great. arjun: thank you. robert: all right. okay, mosaic silicon valley's strings and bow, you can find out more about them on our social media site. thanks for watching. we'll see you next week. thanks for joining us here on "asia pacific america." join us again next week, and we'll have more guests and we'll have them come back again soon.
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