May 07, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact:
Danny Turkel, danny@votolatino.org 
Jennifer Baik, jbaik@apiavote.org

VOTO LATINO, APIAVOTE, AND MISSION ASSET FUND LAUNCH IMMIGRANT NEIGHBOR FUND TO ASSIST FAMILIES LEFT OUT OF COVID-19 RELIEF WITH SUPPORT FROM EAST WEST BANK 

Washington, DC – Voto Latino Foundation, Mission Asset Fund (MAF), and APIAVote have launched the $4 million Immigrant Neighbor Fund – with a $1 million investment by East West Bank – to assist families that were excluded from receiving COVID-19 relief funds from the CARES Act. These are the same people who are disproportionately on the frontlines, holding our economy together; they are service industry workers, healthcare professionals, food service and agricultural workers. They are the ones keeping us fed, keeping us healthy, and keeping our society running as smoothly as possible. 

Unfortunately, many are also at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19 and so it is our responsibility to protect them as they work day in and out to support us. 

“In times of crisis, it is especially crucial that our communities come together and support the most vulnerable among us,” said Voto Latino founding president and CEO, María Teresa Kumar. “We are very grateful for the support of Dominic Ng and East West Bank for their leadership and contribution - it exemplifies the role that each of us across industries needs to play, to aid all our residents. It’s what a good neighbor does.” 

East West Bank is a premier U.S.-based bank operating in seven states and is one of the largest minority depository institutions in the country. “More than 40 years ago, East West Bank was founded to serve the immigrant community,” said Dominic Ng, its Chairman, President and CEO. “In serving those who cannot access other assistance programs, this Fund aligns with our enduring values and culture.” 

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities are often overlooked,” said Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote. “The populations we serve are in desperate need of relief, and we cannot stand by as they suffer. Not only has COVID-19 severely affected local communities, but it has also brought a new wave of hate crimes and discrimination against the Asian community–crimes that the Latinx community suffers each day in the current political climate. The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and its partners have received more than 1,500 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents since mid-March 2020.

"We need everyone," Chen continued "including our government, to be held accountable for making sure these families do not go unnoticed. This partnership with Voto Latino Foundation and Mission Asset Fund will provide some relief for families scared for their immediate futures.” 

“Mission Asset Fund works with immigrant families, helping them improve their financial lives, but right now, as they risk their lives and health at the frontlines of this pandemic, they should not have to rely on charity to get through this crisis,” said Jose Quiñonez, Founder and CEO of Mission Asset Fund. “By joining with VL and APIAVote, we are doing what we can to ease the financial burdens being placed on the most vulnerable, showing them that they are not alone.” 

Voto Latino Foundation and APIAVote will publicize the program and collect donations, which will then be administered and distributed by Mission Asset Fund. The funds will provide people the ability to meet basic needs such as rent, groceries, and transportation, with most of the support initially going to California and Texas. 

Those interested in supporting the Fund and donating can do so at ImmigrantNeighborFund.com. 

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Voto Latino Foundation (VLF) is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 organization that empowers the Latinx community to claim a better future through civic participation. 

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian American Pacific Islanders in electoral and civic participation. APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged. See our website for more information at http://www.apiavote.org/ 

MAF works with low-income and immigrant families to improve their financial lives by helping them become visible, active, and successful participants in the U.S. financial mainstream. 

East West Bank is one of the largest minority depository institutions in the country and one of the largest independent banks headquartered in California. East West has over 125 locations, including in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Texas and Washington.