APEN Civic Engagement Coordinator Karen Yeung supervising an APEN canvasser

My name is Karen, and I am APEN’s Civic Engagement Coordinator. When I first began volunteering for APEN, I learned that a lot of people are unable to live in a safe and healthy environment. This is what motivated me to join APEN after I graduated — to fight for a better living environment for everyone. 

And that is why I support Schools and Communities First. Schools and Communities First is a ballot measure that would reclaim $12 billion a year for schools and public resources, making sure that shady corporations pay their fair share.

Education is very important. As the first person in my family to go to college, my parents taught me that if you had a better education, you could have a better quality of life. 

I immigrated to America when I was in grade 11 and I took classes at Laney Community College in Oakland. I was studying architecture and wished to design a nice environment for people to live in. At the time, the schools were facing large budget cuts and we had to figure out how to complete our studies on time. The school was not able to provide enough classes for students to enroll and many professors were leaving because they were underpaid. We deserved better.

Regardless of wealth or status, we all deserve a quality education. That’s why APEN is collecting signatures from voters across California to qualify Schools and Communities First for the ballot this November. We need to collect 1.6 million voter signatures in order to get on the ballot. As of January, we’ve collected over half-million signatures already — but we need your help to get us over the finish line.

This Sunday, February 23, we will be collecting signatures in Oakland’s Chinatown. Sign up here to help us canvass in Chinatown for Schools and Communities First this Sunday!

Another crucial way to help support the campaign is to share your story with APEN. Stories are so powerful — they play a huge role in helping us demonstrate why funding for our schools and community services is so important.

Did education make a big difference in your life or the lives of those you care about? What about community services, like health clinics, parks, and your local library? If so, we’d love to hear about it!

Share your story with APEN today.