2023 Newsmaker: Asian American stories of resistance and joy

Newsmaker: Asian American stories of resistance and joy

Our new article on National School Board Association’s American School Board Journal.


July 11, 2023

Despite persisting discrimination, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are pushing for increased visibility of their communities and their heritage, both inside and outside of the classroom.

The American public school system is changing. As the epidemic of anti-Asian hate swelled to a new peak during the COVID-19 pandemic, activists have pushed back against harmful stereotypes. In school systems across the U.S., policymakers have advocated for changes to their state’s curriculum to reflect better the diversity of their student body and surrounding communities. Illinois, the first state to require the teaching of Asian American history in 2021, began implementing this new curriculum in public schools this academic year. In May, Florida became the most recent state to require Asian American history to be taught in its classrooms.

The progress made by Asian American activists, policymakers, and educators has been impressive, but the work is not finished. Anti-Asian hate and ignorance continue to pervade classrooms, despite these efforts. In May 2023, the Maryland state legislature passed a bill that provided grants to local school systems to encourage more student field trips to museums, such as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) museums. Yet, students continue to face discrimination, even with additional efforts to increase diversity. A first grader in Maryland’s Howard County Public School System was repeatedly harassed by her peers on the way home from school, where other students would make inappropriate gestures and make fun of her Chinese heritage. Moreover, required reading materials and a lack of nuanced discussions about U.S.-China foreign policy have increased anti-Chinese sentiments within classrooms. These sentiments are often directed at Chinese American students. Linfeng Chen, a Howard County school board member, recalled that his son felt ostracized when the school morning announcements replayed news reports about the “spy balloon.”

Other Chinese American students felt uncomfortable reading Red Scarf Girl in their middle school English classes because they felt that the book painted the Chinese government in a negative light and placed those stereotypes on all Chinese people. Nearly half of all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide reported experiencing discrimination in 2023, and Asian American students are a part of that statistic. Even with the progress in incorporating Asian American history into school curricula, discrimination and anti-Asian hate still plague Asian American students. Our public school system must address this hatred and incorporate more inclusive, culturally competent changes to classrooms.

In the face of these challenges, the Asian American community in Howard County has pushed for the school system to recognize their culture and traditions. The Asian American communities rallied together for years to petition the school board to add Asian American holidays to the school calendar, which only included Christian and Jewish holidays. In 2016, the school board voted to expand its calendar to include Eid Al-Adha, Lunar New Year, and Diwali as days for school closure to allow Asian American students the opportunity to celebrate these holidays with their families at home.

Asian American students and parents have strived to share their holidays and cultural traditions with peers and school faculty, as well. Every year, around Lunar New Year, families visit their children’s schools and spend their day making dumplings for the school’s teachers and staff. They also bring paper lanterns and other red-colored decor to line the hallways. Just as the hallways are decorated each year around Halloween and Christmas, the Lunar New Year decorations brighten the hallways and make students excited about the holiday.

Asian American youth have used their agency as student leaders to create clubs and events that celebrate the diversity of cultures at their school. In Howard County, Project Lotus aims to share Asian American culture. Its members collaborated with other student clubs, such as the Black Leadership Union and the Muslim Student Association, to host a Culture Day to celebrate the diversity within the schools’ student body. Lily Peng, a high school student and the founder of Project Lotus, expressed that “the months of planning were all worth it to see the community come together and celebrate each other’s cultures.” The event boasted performances and cultural activities that attendees could participate in. Reflecting on the impact of that night, Lily believed that Culture Day “reaffirmed the importance of diverse communities” at her school. Asian American culture and traditions are a part of the diversity that make up our schools, communities, and country. Recognizing and including the Asian American community is not adding to the picture of America but completing it.

Despite persisting discrimination, Asian Americans have pushed for the visibility of their community and their heritage inside and outside of the classroom. The Asian American community is an intrinsic part of the fabric of the U.S. Asian Americans are students, leaders, mentors, volunteers, and community members in towns and cities across the nation. Our history, culture, and traditions deserve to be learned about and celebrated.

Judy Zhou (jz711@georgetown.edu) is a student at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. Lily Peng and Julia Chen are 11th-grade students in the Howard County Public School System, Maryland. Linfeng Chen (linfeng.chen@gmail.com) is a member of the Howard County School Board. Yun Lu (yun.lu@hcpss.org) is vice chair of the Howard County School Board. Chao Wu (chao.wu@house.state.md.us) is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, District 9A.

2022 Issue

2021 Issue

Renewed HOV permit application for plug-in electric vehicles

The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is pleased to inform you that starting Monday, June 12, qualified plug-in electric vehicle owners will be eligible to apply for a new High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Permit.

The HOV permit will allow drivers to use the HOV lanes on Interstate 270 and US-50 regardless of the number of vehicle occupants. The program previously sunset on September 30, 2022, but has since been renewed by House Bill 123, Chapter 121 Acts of Maryland 2023, and signed into law by Governor Wes Moore.

The MVA will begin accepting applications on June 12, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

All eligible vehicle owners must apply for a new permit through the myMVA eServices portal here or visiting an MVA branch office. Please note that prior permit holders should remove expired permits from their vehicle and reapply for a new permit. The new program includes a $5 application fee and is valid through September 30, 2025.
If you would like to share any information to constituents regarding the new HOV permit program, you can refer them to the MVA website for applicable program requirements and to access the application form. The website link is:


2023 HCCA Annual Meeting on June 13.


ALL,Your Ledo’s Pizza will be waiting for you this Tuesday, 13 June at the Hawthorn Center starting at 6PM. Thanks for the many who have registered to our Howard County Citizens Association, HCCA Annual Meeting.

For those who haven’t you can go to our website at https://howardcountyhcca.org/ for further details. Our Event will also be conducted virtually. This is your opportunity to ask any questions and provide suggestions for potential improvements regarding our County and State.

We are honored to have as our Special Guests the following:

County Council Members: Deb Jung, Liz Walsh

State Delegates: Vanessa Atterbeary, Jen Terrasa, Chao Wu

Stu Kohn, HCCA President

BWI noise update to the HCCA membership

BWI noise update to the HCCA membership and listserv.

Important opportunity for Citizens to comment on over flight noise.

The Federal Aviation Administration has posted an opportunity for citizens to complete a survey and provide comments on current policies and the use of DNL to measure noise. Recommend you use this link http://www.faa.gov/noisepolicyreview for a review a Webinar related to this request for input. You can view a past Webinar from May 16th

The text below is from the FAA and was provided by Senator Van Holland’s’ Office passed onto the BWIRT.

On Monday, May 1, 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will publish in the Federal Register a Request for Comments seeking public input on four key considerations of its Civil Aviation Noise Policy. The FAA is asking the public for input regarding how the FAA analyzes, explains, and presents publicly, changes in aircraft noise exposure to affected communities. The posting of the Request for Comments will start a 90-day comment period during which the public can share their input by submitting a written comment to Docket FAA-2023-0855 at http://www.regulations.gov. The comment window will close on Monday, July 31, 2023.

The Request for Comments builds on and responds to public feedback on the FAA’s January 13, 2021 Federal Register Notice. That Notice provided an overview of the FAA’s noise research portfolio and sought input to assist the FAA in assessing how resources should be directed to better understand and manage the factors underlying concerns from aircraft noise exposure. The resounding theme of comments filed in response to that Notice requested that FAA begin the process of updating its noise policies, rather than wait for the outcome of ongoing research efforts.

The FAA is committed to providing ample and meaningful public engagement opportunities during the public comment period. We have scheduled a series of four webinars between May 16 – 28 to provide stakeholders an opportunity to engage with us on this topic.

We have launched a project website at http://www.faa.gov/noisepolicyreview, which will provide updates, resources, and access to webinar recordings. We will also soon launch a Spanish language website to expand our outreach efforts. We look forward to your participation and engagement with the Notice.

Maryland Bills SB 162 and HB 204 pass to amend the Maryland Aviation Commission

SB 162 sponsored by Senators Lam, Beidle, Elfreth & Guzzone https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/SB0162

HB 204 sponsored by Delegates Hill, Bagnell, Chang, Feldmark, Grossman, Guzzone, Lehman, Ruth, Terrasa and Ziegler. https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/HB0204

LINK to Post passage text for the Bills

2023 Regular Session – Senate Bill 162 Chapter (maryland.gov)

Synopsis of the bill \Law provided by the BWIRT:

This legislation will modify the requirements of the established Maryland Aviation Commission to assess and mitigate negative impacts of aviation traffic at BWI Marshall. The legislation will require the Commission to establish policies based on accepted scientific research on creating and maintaining healthy and livable communities, consider information and advice from community stakeholders. The law will require that four (4) of the total of twelve (12) appointed to the Maryland Aviation Commission members be from Howard and Anne Arundel County appointed by State representatives. The BWI Roundtable would like to be a part of the vetting and recommended to the state representatives the candidates for appointment, to ensure a track record of advocacy and knowledge in airport impacts on surrounding communities.

NextGen flight path update:

The BWIRT (D.C. Metroplex BWI Community Roundtable) has been meeting with FAA and MAA representatives to establish new flight procedures for departures and arrivals. After many hours of review and input from the BWIRT Technical committee, the proposal for departures is expected to be implemented in June of 2024. BWIRT members are the only civilian group to be able to visit and meet with FAA engineers to suggest and influence changes to NextGen flight paths. The new flight procedures will create 2 flight paths from runway 28 the East-West runway and runway R-15 that affects Howard County. The FAA originally proposed this plan back in 2017 -18 to the BWIRT and it has taken this long to have FAA review the proposed changes and vet them to be published for the airlines and pilots to go live. The two flight paths will create roughly a 70-30 split of the traffic leaving BWI over Howard County. There also a change to the flight procedure way points to adjust traffic to follow a path representative of pre-2015-16 NextGen implementation. This was done to give some flight dispersion and relief to the areas of Howard County that are currently receiving constant over flights.

The link below is to the MAA slide presentation to the BWIRT describing the notational new departure flight path changes for runway R15 and runway 28. Go to page 17 through page 30 of the presentation to review the existing and future flight paths. This is the latest example available of the changes the FAA would implement in 2024 for departures from BWI.

120418_FAA-Proposed-Procedure-Analysis.pdf (marylandaviation.com)

This is a link to the MAA\BWI community website where you can find all the Round Table, FAA and MAA meetings and correspondence. You will also find reports on noise and how you can track and place a noise complaint.

A simple comparison between Google’s bard and Microsoft ChatGPT

Question: What are Delegate Chao Wu sponsored bills?

Google Bard answer:

Delegate Chao Wu has sponsored a number of bills during his time in the Maryland General Assembly. Some of his most notable bills include:

  • HB0598 – Education – Funding for General Education Programs – Definition Alterations: This bill would change the way that the state funds public schools. It would direct more funding to schools with high concentrations of poverty and English language learners. (Comment: the second sentence is wrong. The bill focuses on correcting the undercount of student enrollments in our current funding formula)
  • HB1195 – Development Transparency Act of 2023: This bill would require developers to disclose more information about their projects before they are approved. This would give the public a better chance to weigh in on development plans. (Comment: I even did not think about the advantage in the second sentence)
  • HB0213 – Election Law – Local Public Campaign Financing – Boards of Education: This bill would allow local governments to establish public campaign financing programs for school board elections. This would help to level the playing field for candidates and reduce the influence of special interests. (Correct)
  • HB0244 (SB0253) – Estates and Trusts – Registers of Wills – Electronic Filing and Signatures: This bill would allow registers of wills to accept electronic filings and signatures. This would make it easier for people to handle their estate planning matters. (Correct)
  • HB0325 (SB0390) – Provision of Veterinary Services – Practice of Veterinary Medicine and Rabies Vaccines: This bill would allow veterinarians to provide certain services, such as vaccinations, without a license. This would make it easier for people to get their pets vaccinated. (Correct)
  • HB0342 – Environment – Plastic Products – Postconsumer Recycled Content Program: This bill would require manufacturers to use more recycled content in plastic products. This would help to reduce pollution and protect the environment. (Correct)
  • HB0347 – Attorney General – Climate Change Actions – Authorization: This bill would authorize the attorney general to take legal action against polluters and other entities that are contributing to climate change. This would help to protect the environment and the health of Marylanders. (Correct)
  • HB0383 (SB0109) – Interagency Commission on School Construction – Systemic Renovation Projects – Eligibility: This bill would expand the eligibility criteria for the Interagency Commission on School Construction’s systemic renovation program. This would allow more schools to receive funding for renovations. (Correct)
  • HB0488 (SB0482) – Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program – Mental Health Professionals in Public Schools: This bill would create a loan assistance repayment program for mental health professionals who work in public schools. This would help to recruit and retain qualified mental health professionals in schools. (Correct)
  • HB0525 – Education – School Safety – Threat Assessment and Intervention: This bill would require school districts to develop threat assessment and intervention plans. These plans would help to identify and address potential threats of violence in schools. (bill number and bill title does not match)

These are just a few of the bills that Delegate Chao Wu has sponsored. He is a strong advocate for education, economic development, and environmental protection. He is committed to working with his colleagues in the Maryland General Assembly to build a better future for all Marylanders.

ChatGPT answer:

As an AI language model, I do not have access to real-time information on the current legislative activity or sponsored bills by Delegate Chao Wu. However, I can tell you that Delegate Chao Wu is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates and represents District 42B, which covers parts of Howard County.

To find information on Delegate Chao Wu’s sponsored bills or legislative activity, you can visit the official website of the Maryland General Assembly, where you can search for bills by sponsor or delegate, view the status of bills, and access other relevant information related to the legislative process in Maryland.

Test date: 4/24/2023, 10:46PM.

A 90-day report about 2023 MD Legislative Session

A 90-day report about 2023 MD Legislative Session

The 90 Day Report is divided into 12 parts, each dealing with a major policy area. Each
part contains a discussion of the majority of bills that passed in that policy area, including
background information and comparisons to current law, as well as a discussion of significant bills
that did not pass. Part A contains information relating to the operating budget, capital budget, and
aid to local governments.

2023 Columbia Elections

This year’s election in Columbia is very competitive. Here is a summary of all village elections and CA board election. Since the CA president is interim, the next new board will determine who will be the next CA president.

  1. Dorsey Search
    • No election this year.
  2. Haper’s Choice
  3. Hickory Ridge
    • Candidate Forum, In-person
    • This in-person Candidate Forum at The Hawthorn Center will feature candidates for the Hickory Ridge Village Board and the Hickory Ridge Representative to the Columbia Association Board. Residents may submit questions for candidates as they enter the Forum. As many questions will be answered as time will allow. Masks are strongly-recommended for this event.
    • 7:00pm – 9:00pm
    • Hawthorn Center
    • 6175 Sunny Spring, Columbia, MD 21044
  4. Kings Contrivance
  5. Long Reach
  6. Oakland Mills
  7. Owen Brown
  8. River Hill
  9. Town Center
  10. Wilde Lake

AIB Hiring – Deputy Director for Operations

AIB Hiring – Deputy Director for Operations

The Deputy Director for Operations will be responsible for overseeing the internal processes and procedures of the agency and managing the day-to-day operations. The Deputy Director will ensure the effective and efficient administration of the agency.

The Salary range for this position is $100,166.00 – $155,248.00/year plus benefits. Learn more and apply by April 17, 2023.


Hiring: Maryland Alliance of Public Charter Schools (MAPCS)

Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 5:30pm-7:30pm

MAPCS Office 1500 Union Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21211

Please share this widely!

It’s hiring season! We are excited to expand our educator workforce for the 2023-2024 school year. Maryland Alliance of Public Charter Schools (MAPCS) will host its annual hiring fair this March. RSVP below and share this invitation widely!

Charter school leaders will be in-person to share more about their schools, upcoming opportunities and host initial interviews on-site.

Job candidates should arrive with resumes, interview-ready to meet with school leaders for teaching and student support roles for the 2023-2024 school year.

In-Person Event

RSVP here today! <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001LYhy6ZpWfrFopx58yPIH9YItOaElW3UeYr6QSPAWjxOpCGWdJa0Gi30rxnhVBmB_271eqL_HAEtvjBEuwWlJcRvY6EGbaE6SQwwlnRJl6Frwu7D4cSwWfBjvsiMPq2UOZ9nXeAfCqimQLwpg4XqTTbW38-gDoZBB&c=aMY1UIRHhuAZQiKcFhaOWyc6k-g8c38pColMaTEW6OTYL2Rf2ckfJQ==&ch=bigQAz0uQ1PdcvJZ4mtl4JMBffSStgj2nBx9y0cqrmGov0ZvEcLp9g==__;!!BE8q0vBWmvix!L49MZd4VriDPHM364qlE7RUqb_U5WUk7VTuq7O8jO5c-sUtNTyYgkYlfIgAjXYcOjWEJOEapVB43Dc6yH7oMWzE$>               

Share this flyer! <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001LYhy6ZpWfrFopx58yPIH9YItOaElW3UeYr6QSPAWjxOpCGWdJa0Gizt2YqF0x7UZ1G9p8BocZSysnegIj6rRrpPuAOnf66t3Fap2nuBSUvz9b1SE7TqbCLiKj4iSkYCSBqEGznhQCbmilA1QzAERmOU0t8NZv6g3rvjw2mdGE5-xus396v_WlB1nnsKxOGOGlD9YeqklHTmgqFsyR_UMVtYXwDl3NecZ8HTNYYR5F3p2gssMdttBRQ==&c=aMY1UIRHhuAZQiKcFhaOWyc6k-g8c38pColMaTEW6OTYL2Rf2ckfJQ==&ch=bigQAz0uQ1PdcvJZ4mtl4JMBffSStgj2nBx9y0cqrmGov0ZvEcLp9g==__;!!BE8q0vBWmvix!L49MZd4VriDPHM364qlE7RUqb_U5WUk7VTuq7O8jO5c-sUtNTyYgkYlfIgAjXYcOjWEJOEapVB43Dc6yYgU5sJI$>      




Visit our New & Improved

Public Charter Schools Job Board

Find a Public Charter School Job!

We are actively seeking quality candidates to join our public charter educator workforce! Parents, caregivers, recent college graduates, youth development professionals, and more are encouraged to apply for educator and school support staff opportunities this spring.

Poem (Icarus)

Poem: Icarus 

by Eileen Wu

Background information: Icarus is the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology. According to myth, the two were imprisoned on an island and Daedalus, a genius inventor, built crafted wings held together by wax to help them escape. Daedalus told Icarus to fly between the sun and the ocean, because the ocean’s spray will dissolve the wax and the sun’s heat will melt the wax. However, so delighted at the feeling of flying, Icarus flies too high. His wings fall apart and he dies. Obviously, my poem takes creative liberties with the myth, specifically, the reason Icarus goes flying. However, I hope I was able to stay true to the myth’s heart. Enjoy!

There was once a boy

Who dreamed of flight

Of countless prospects

With no end to sight

The father gifted his son

A pair of wax wings

But told the youth

To fear the sun and sea

Giddy with excitement,

The boy ignored his father

Leaping off a jagged cliff

Toward the azure water

The boy adjusted trajectory

To angle closer to the sky

His father’s warning rang in his ears

But the words were brushed aside

The boy screamed in horror

As he plunged and fell

His descent, a wild spiral

So rang his death bell

Was the murderer the father?

Was it the sun or the gods?

Perhaps it was the boy

Who defied the decided odds?

“Who?” The boy may wonder

“Who should I condemn?

“Who is it but I, Icarus

“Who brought about my end?”

~Eileen Wu

$150 Cash Refunds for Instacart Workers that made deliveries in DC

My name is Emily Barth. I am an attorney at the DC Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in the Office of Consumer Protection. The OAG is requesting help from all DMV community partners in returning $1.5 million dollars to eligible Instacart workers that made deliveries in DC and were not properly paid by Instacart – we believe that over 10,000 individuals in the DMV region are eligible, and we need help getting the word out. Instacart workers who made deliveries in DC may be eligible for a minimum cash refund of $150 as the result of an OAG lawsuit—but workers need to file an online claim form by March 25, 2023 to get their money. The claims website is https://instacartworkerrefundsdc.com/

Would you please consider promoting the following information on your various channels? We’ve included some social media options below and in the attachments.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and thank you in advance for helping us reach more eligible workers. You can email me directly at Emily.barth@dc.gov with any questions. We want to return this money to the workers that earned it! Thank you for your support.

OAG Social Media Post & Handles

If you’d like to amplify OAG’s tweet about the Instacart worker claim process, it is available here: https://twitter.com/DCAttorneyGen/status/1620460589247242240?s=20&t=AmnGdRBlHBPSU4RsTGXaJA

If you post on social media about this, we’d appreciate if you could tag us. Here are our official handles:

Suggested Newsletter Item

Headline: $150 Cash Refunds for Instacart Workers that made deliveries in DC

Instacart workers who made deliveries in DC may be eligible for a cash refund of $150 or more—but workers need to file an online claim form by March 25 to get their money.  You do not need to be a DC resident to be eligible.

Because of a lawsuit filed by the Office of the Attorney General, Instacart workers who made at least one delivery in DC between October 1, 2016 and April 30, 2018 can receive cash payments of at least $150. As many as 10,000 workers across the DC region could be eligible to receive these payments.

Workers must fill out an online claim form by March 25, 2023, to qualify for payment. More information and the online claim form are available at: instacartworkerrefundsdc.com


Emily Barth

Emily Barth

Assistant Attorney General


Office of Consumer Protection

Public Advocacy Division

D.C. Office of the Attorney General

400 6th Street NW, Washington D.C. 20001

Later High School Start Time for HCPSS

HCPSS High school will start at 8:00 a.m. for 2023-2024 academic year. I am very glad to see this progress.

  • Schools in Tier 1 will begin at 8:00 a.m. and dismiss at 2:45 p.m. These include all 13 high schools, several middle schools, Cedar Lane School and Homewood Center. 
  • Schools in Tier 2 will begin at 8:40 a.m. These include a combination of middle and elementary schools with middle schools dismissing at 3:25 p.m. and elementary schools dismissing at 3:10 p.m. 
  • Schools in Tier 3 will begin at 9:15 a.m. and dismiss at 3:45 p.m. These include the remainder of elementary schools.