(The League of Women Voters - Hong Kong celebrated the holiday season with a lunch at the iconic Verandah in Repulse Bay.
We supported the Ronald McDonald House by providing gifts for its monthly birthday parties. We were joined in these efforts by Mr. Eric Lu, our Honorary President and husband of the U.S. Consul General, and Ms. Sandra Horowitz, wife of the U.S. Deputy Consul General.
Dr. Karen Grepin gave a fascinating talk on her work on ebola. Rather than being depressing, her work with big data to understand uptake of other forms of healthcare during an ebola outbreak was uplifting. Due to her work, governments offered free health care during outbreaks to ensure that people needing medical care (not just for ebola but for malaria, difficult pregnancies, etc.) to survive sought it out rather than staying away. These efforts probably saved many hundreds of lives.
Dr. Jennifer Lang is an architectural historian and building conservationist with over 30 years of combined professional and academic experience in built-heritage conservation.
Currently she is the Director of the MSc(Conservation) program and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong where she directs and teaches graduate students in architectural conservation.
Jennifer has a BA in Art History from New York University, an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, an MS in Conservation from Hong Kong University and a PhD in Architecture from Hong Kong University. Her dissertation focused on the industrial architecture and company town housing aspects of the Taikoo Sugar Refinery built by the Swire Company in Hong Kong from the 1880s to the 1970s.
Jennifer and her family have lived in Hong Kong for nine years. She is passionate about architecture and history and feels fortunate to be living in Hong Kong.
Jennifer gave a fascinating talk on Hong Kong's approach to conserving historical buildings.
The League of Women Voters -HK was invited to help register voters at the AWA's annual Welcome Back Breakfast. Beth Hall and Kym Kettler-Paddock talked to around 20-25 people, all of whom were interested in learning how to vote from overseas.
We also had the privilege of meeting Mr. Eric Lu, our honorary President, and Ms. Genevieve Siebengartner from the US Consulate General.
Thank you to the AWA for their invitation!
During our Welcome Back Lunch, Kym Kettler-Paddock gave an update on the state of the bipartisan efforts to replace citizenship-based taxation with a form of residence based taxation or territorial taxation.
Representative George Holding (R- NC) introduced Bill H.R. 7358 at the end of the last congressional session. This bill must be re-introduced in order for it to be considered by the House. Representative Don Beyer (D- VA) has been named as a potential co-sponsor of the bill. He is apparently considering the bill and will suggest modifications.
To read the entire bill, click below:
To read a one-page summary of what the bill is intended to do (in plain English, not legalese), click below:
The League of Women Voters was invited by Hong Kong's largest American primary and secondary school to provide Voter Registration information to new parents.
Kym Kettler-Paddock and Beth Hall handed out information and talked to voters eager to learn about voting overseas.
The national League of Women Voters has shared a document with us which looks at security issues surrounding elections in the United States. Please click on the file below to access the entire PDF.
The League of Women Voters - Hong Kong held their 42nd Annual General Meeting at the Helena May Club. We approved the minutes from last year, reviewed the budget, and voted on a new slate of officers. Minutes can be found here.
Over lunch, we heard Suzanne Younan's inspiring story of her efforts to rid Hong Kong's dragon boat teams of single-use plastic bottles. You can find more information on the Green Dragon's Facebook page. And check out her first book, 'The Green Dragon', which is available from various booksellers, including Bookazine.
The League of Women Voters heard from Peter Maize about the work that International China Concern does for abandoned and disabled children in China.
Peter has lived in Hong Kong for 30 years, initially working as a journalist, before he began working to help families struggling with poverty and disability. He lives in Sai Kung with his wife Wendy, a member and former president of the League of Women Voters in Hong Kong.
International China Concern provides care and opportunities to abandoned children and families who have children with disabilities. This organization was started in 1993 in response to children in China with disabilities being abandoned at birth. China Concern works with the Chinese government in communities to change attitudes toward disabilities and support families to care for their disabled children.
The story of how International China Concern received its NGO status --nobody seems to know how it happened--was like hearing about a modern day miracle. Many of us were secretly dabbing at the corners of our eyes as we watched the organization's video showing how they work to ensure that every child, no matter how disabled, reaches his or her potential.
The League of Women Voters gathered to hear Matt Friedman of The Mekong Club speak about the use of slave labor to make products we may use everyday. (This was a joint event with the American Women’s Association’s Lunch and Learn program. )
There are more slaves today than at any other time in history. That shocking fact, presented by Matt Friedman, summarizes the statistics: 45.8 million people in 167 countries are exploited every day for their labor, especially in South-East Asia. These people make the recognized name-brand products we buy and they harvest or process the food we eat. The Mekong Club is a leader in engaging and inspiring the private sector to lead the fight against the epidemic of modern slavery.
Matt explained how the Mekong Club works with corporations to ensure that their supply chains do not source from companies using slave labor. The more companies refuse to do business with suppliers using slaves, the demand for slave labor will do down.
Matt told some shocking stories that made many of us cry. But we are not helpless: we can help to end modern slavery by simply writing an email or a letter to one of our favorite companies and asking them whether their company has a policy of refusing to buy from suppliers that use slave labor.
Who could have imagined that deciding to do one act of kindness a month towards Hong Kong's homeless would have ended up in creating a charity that now lifts the homeless out of despair and poverty, employing them and giving them community?
Impact HK never started out with the intention of creating a charity. Three years ago, the founder – Jeff Rotmeyer – had the idea of doing one kind act per month for the homeless. This would mean a walk through the more impoverished areas of Hong Kong and handing out supplies to those in need. This initiative really touched the hearts of volunteers throughout Hong Kong, becoming quite popular and giving Impact HK the opportunity to make greater impact. They progressed to doing two walks a month, then four, and so on. They now do up to 50 walks per month in six locations across Hong Kong, and ImpactHK became a registered charity in March 2017.
You can go on walks with ImpactHK to extend friendship and kindness to the homeless by clicking here.