Public Policy Advocacy
The Vietnamese American Community Center is a focal point for many in the Southeast Asia community. Because we provide “client centrist” services (where the client is the focal point for all services) and complete wrap-around services”, we have the ability to provide bilingual workshops to educate the community regarding a host of issues that may compromise their health.
In 2015, we continue to work with our community partners to educate our community regarding the toxic chemicals in nail products. While the focus has been on nail salon workers the last couple of years due to available funding, we are simultaneously involved with other advocacy projects that are equally impactful to the general health and welfare of community members (e.g., smoking cessation and getting more funding from the State of California and County of Alameda for senior programs.)
Nail Salon Project
This continue to work on the “Nail Salon” project to advocate for safe practices among nail salon workers. The nail salon industry continues to grow and attract low-skill immigrant workers and women seeking self-sustaining employment. The California Breast Cancer Research Program reports that the state of California has over 300,000 nail salon workers, with over 80% of the workforce comprising of Vietnamese immigrant women. Alameda County alone, for instance, is home to about 1,400 cosmetology establishments and 11,000 licensed manicurists and cosmetologists.
Given these statistics, we want to make sure that our community workers are safe and educated on the risk.
This year, we worked with the StopWaste Community Outreach people to educate our community about how to reduce waste and to recycle and sort trash properly. We provided educational material and flyers to encourage everybody in our community to minimize waste and to incorporate stop waste strategies within VACCEB. We also instituted a compose program at VACCEB to save our organic material for pickup to further recycle and reduce waste.