Founded in 1973 as the Organization of Chinese Americans, OCA is a national nonprofit organization consisting of over 100 chapters and affiliates across the country, dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. OCA aims to embrace the hopes and aspirations of nearly 12 million Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.
OCA-East Bay Chapter was established in 1987 to represent the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, mainly focused on the City of Oakland.
To maintain an association of Asian Pacific Americans in the East Bay area to advance the interest of all Asian Pacific Americans.
To promote friendship and cooperation among its members.
To discourage and eliminiate all forms of racial and ethnic prejudice and discrimination in society.
To promote equal opportunity and full participation of Asian Pacific Americans in mainstream America.
To promote cultural heritage and enhance the image of Asian Pacific Americans.
Neighborhood Improvement - In 2016, OCA-East Bay started the PickITup Chinatown initiative as a way to get stakeholders to feel more ownership of their community. On every second Sunday, with sponsorship by local businesses, OCA-East Bay has organized 40-50 volunteers to pick up several pounds of waste out of Chinatown including but not limited to broken furniture, cigarette butts, syringes, broken glass and many other items. The goal of this effort is to get Chinatown more engaged about maintaining their neighborhood, as well as motivating businesses and the City to take more action.
Civic Engagement - In 2016, OCA-East Bay participated in Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts including voter registration tabling and an Asian Community Ballot Party.
OCA-East Bay also has history of conducting Oakland Mayoral Candidate Forums, educating Asian voters about Ranked Choice Voting, and hosting receptions or luncheons for community members to know prominent elected officials.
Community Response In 2010, there were two high-profile murders in Oakland of Chinese men not from Oakland. In partnership with Chinatown community leader Carl Chan, OCA-East Bay participated in meetings about interracial violence. OCA-East Bay and the community also raised over $100,000 for families of the two victims to provide support as they both lost their primary family providers.
In 2013, the widow of Jinghong Kang who was from Virginia was subpoenaed to testify at a court-hearing for the suspects in her hushand's murder. OCA-East Bay and community groups restarted fundraising activities, raising an additional $8,000 to cover some of the last minute travel expenses.
Fair Treatment In 2008, OCA-East Bay worked with Asian and Latino organizations to file a lawsuit against the City of Oakland over lack of language access in violation of Oakland's Equal Access Ordinance. Recruitment of Chinese and Spanish speaking staff is an on-going challenge.
Student Empowerment In 2007, OCA-East Bay began the Frank Kiang Memorial Scholarship in honor of Founding OCA-East Bay member, Former Port of Oakland Commissioner and business leader Frank Kiang. Because of his affiliation with the Port, OCA-East Bay co-administers the scholarship with the Asian Employees' Association at the Port of Oakland. For the past seven years, OCA-East Bay and the Kiang Family have participated in the AEA Scholarship Program and through the Kiang Scholarship have given over over $20,000 in the past few years.