Guide to the Chinese American Voters Education Committee Archives CEMA 61

Finding aid prepared by Callie Bowdish, Greg Simon, Chip Badley and Paola Nova
University of California, Santa Barbara, Davidson Library, Department of Special Collections, California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives
Santa Barbara, California, 93106-9010
(805) 893-8563

Title: Chinese American Voters Education Committee Archives
Identifier/Call Number: CEMA 61
Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara, Davidson Library, Department of Special Collections, California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 6.0 linear feet
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1986-1992
Date (inclusive): 1984-2000
Abstract: The Chinese American Voters Education Committee (CAVEC) Archives covers the period from 1985 to 1996. In this collection there is overlap between CAVEC and the Chinese American Democratic Club (CADC). Most of the documents are Chinese American Democratic Club related records. San Francisco local politics are viewed from this group’s interaction with politicians, political groups, and coalitions. The club’s newsletters, administrative records and clippings focus on political activities and civil rights important to Chinese Americans in San Francisco.
General Physical Description note: 14 boxes (10 document boxes and 4 oversize boxes)

Conditions Governing Use note


Conditions Governing Access note

Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

Processing Note

This collection was processed by Callie Bowdish, Greg Simon, Chip Badley, and Paola Novo-Araya at CEMA in May 2009.

Preferred Citation note

Chinese American Voters Education Committee, CEMA 61, Department of Special Collections, University Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Biographical/Historical note

The Chinese American Voters Education Committee (CAVEC) was founded in 1976 and incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit, public benefit corporation in 1978 by a group of community activists who foresaw the emergences of the then relatively small Asian american community as an integral part of San Francisco's civic life.
The mission of the organization was and continues to be to support the enfranchisement of Asian Americans, particularly new citizens, into American civic, cultural and social life. CAVEC has been at the forefront of developing citizen education programs for the Asian American community. Through community dialogue, bilingual citizen guides, bilingual leadership and grass-roots organizing, CAVEC has played an instrumental role in the birth of public consciousness in San Francisco's immigrant Asian American community.
CAVEC's accomplishments include serving as the community primary resource for voting rights education and advocacy; educating and influencing several generations of Asian American community leaders including Judges Lillian Sing, Julie Tang and Lenard Louie, Supervisors Tom Hsieh, Mabel Teng and Leland Yee and activists like Andrew Sun, Henry Der, Grant Din, Harold Yee and Isabel Huie; attracting generations of immigrants to community service, voting and volunteerism through public education campaigns; and serving as the community repository of technical and administrative expertise in demographic and sociological analysis.
by Douglas S. Chan, Chairman 1997 and David E. Lee, Executive Director 1997

Scope Note

The Chinese American Voters Education Committee (CAVEC) Archives, CEMA 61, along with the Chinese American Democratic Club Archives (CADC), CEMA 49, chronicle an important San Francisco group dedicated to keeping Asian Americans politically active in San Francisco. Most of the documents are CADC related records. Administrative functions, special events, and topics of special concern to them are represented in this collection’s documents. Issues important to CAVEC members, as well as other members of the community, such as housing, education, civil rights, affirmative action and San Francisco politics are covered in this collection. CAVEC's affiliations with other San Francisco groups and officials are apparent in their correspondence, endorsements, and newsletter documents.

Series Description

Series I Administrative Records 1985 – 1995
Administrative records includes traditional board documents such as agendas, minutes and budget information. The CADC Issues Committee and CADC Political Technology Committee’s documents are part of this series. The series spans from 1985 to 1995 with bulk dates between 1986 and 1991.
Series II Correspondence 1983 – 1990
Correspondence both incoming and outgoing gives the best insight into what was politically important to this group. Also included are official government documents as well as correspondence between club members.
Series III Endorsements and Candidate Information 1980s-1990s
Endorsements and candidate information includes publications and fliers providing information about various candidates running for offices in the City and County of San Francisco. CADC interview documents are included. The series spans from the 1980s to the 1990s and includes information on prominent San Francisco politicians, some who became U.S. senators such as Senator Diane Feinstein.
Series IV Events 1980s – 1990s
Events include CADC-hosted events as well as ones that CADC and CAVEC members attended. These events include campaign fundraisers, anniversaries, and other occasions. This series spans from the 1980s to the 1990s.
Series V Club Newsletters and Press Releases 1983 - 1996
Both internally-produced newsletters and publications as well as externally produced articles about the CADC and CAVEC are included. There is an extensive collection of the CADC Fiery Dragon News. This series spans from 1983 to 1996.
Series VI Government Documents 1983-1991
The series contains official government-produced election material including ballots and mailers. It spans from 1983 to 1991.
Series VII CAVEC (Chinese American Voters Education Committee) 1978-1996
The series contains correspondence, notes, memos, and other documents pertaining to the Chinese American Voters Education Committee. Also included in this series is information on the Asian American Voter Registration movement of 1995 as well as CAVEC recruitment documents. Dates covered are from 1978 to 1996.
Series VIII CAABA (Council of Asian American Business Associations) 1986-1988
CAABA (Council for Asian American Business Associations) is a statewide non-profit organization that seeks to promote the interests of the Asian American business community in California. (taken from CAABA website, Dates covered are from 1986 to 1988.
Series IX Subject Files 1980-1990s
This series includes files on Asian American politics, education, government, housing, San Francisco politics, and other miscellaneous subjects such as the Embarcadero Freeway demolition of 1991. This series spans from 1980 to 1990s with bulk dates between 1985 and 1994.
Series X Videos (undated)
Includes two video tapes associated with CAVEC. Both tapes are Public Service Announcements (PSAs), commercial-length spots designed to promote an oftentimes political or organizational topic. Both PSAs in CEMA 61 focus on the Asian American vote and the importance of registering to vote and subsequently voting. Both PSAs are approximately thirty seconds long with accompanying footage on both tapes. One tape is from 1992 and the other is undated.
Series XI Miscellanea (undated)
This box contains assorted business cards, newspapers, campaign buttons and CAVEC buttons.

Related Collections

Chinese American Democratic Club Archives (CEMA 49), Chinese American Political Association Archives. (CEMA 48) and Kearny Street Workshop Archives (CEMA 33)

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Administrative records
Chinese Americans--California--San Francisco.
Chinese Americans--Politics and government.


Series I Administrative Records

Box 1, Folder 1-4

Agenda 1985 - 1990s

Box 1, Folder 5-8

Appointments 1987-1989

Box 1, Folder 9-10

Budget 1984-1990s

Box 1, Folder 11

CADC Issues Committee 1991

Box 1, Folder 12

CADC Political Technology Committee 1987

Box 1, Folder 13-16

Memos 1988-1990, undated

Box 1, Folder 17-20

Minutes 1982-1985

Box 2, Folder 1-10

Minutes 1986-1993

Box 2, Folder 11


Box 2, Folder 12-19

Notes 1983-1990

Box 2, Folder 20-22

Reports and Speeches

Box 3, Folder 1-6

Retreat Information 1980-1995

Box 3, Folder 7-17

Rosters and Mailing Lists 1980-1992

Box 4, Folder 1-2

Rosters and Mailing Lists 1991-1993

Box 4, Folder 3-8

Rules and Bylaws 1980-1990


Series II Correspondence

Box 4, Folder 9-15

Incoming 1983-1990

Box 4, Folder 16-21

Outgoing 1984-1990

Box 4, Folder 22-24

Club Members (Internal)

Box 5, Folder 1

Government Officials


Series III Endorsements and Candidate Information

Box 5, Folder 2-12

Endorsements and Candidate Information

Box 5, Folder 13-15

Ballot Pamphlet 1990-1991

Box 6, Folder 1

CADC Ballot


Series IV Events

Box 6, Folder 2-3

CADC Anniversaries

Box 6, Folder 4

CADC- 1991 Chinese New Year Dinner

Box 6, Folder 5-9


Box 6, Folder 10


Box 6, Folder 11-12

Molinari fundraising Event 1987


Series V Club Newsletters and Press Releases

Box 7, Folder 1-17

Internal 1983-1996

Box 8, Folder 1-6

External 1970-1990


Series VI Government Documents

Box 8, Folder 7-10

Government Documents 1983-1991



Box 8, Folder 11-21

CAVEC 1978-1985

Box 9, Folder 1-10

CAVEC 1990-1996

Box 9, Folder 11

CAVEC- Asian American Voter Registration 1995

Box 9, Folder 12

CAVEC- Recruitment Documents

Drawer Miscellaneous Posters

CAVEC- Poster with Registration Forms Attached undated

General Physical Description: The text on the poster reads "Just a Reminder: You Can Determine The Destiny of Your Child If You Vote. Register Early and Vote." Below the poster, forms are stapled. The image on the poster includes an Asian boy and girl in black and white.


Box 9, Folder 13-18

Council of Asian American Business Associations 1986-1988


Series IX Subject Files

Box 9, Folder 19

1980 Census Tract Data

Box 10, Folder 1-3

Asian American Bar Association of the Grater Bay Area 1987-1989

Box 10, Folder 4-6

Asian Politics

Box 10, Folder 7

"California's Asian Population" and miscellaneous articles

Box 10, Folder 8

City and County of San Francisco

Box 10, Folder 9


Box 10, Folder 10

Embarcadero Freeway Demolition 1991

Box 10, Folder 11

First Chinese Baptist Church

Box 10, Folder 12


Box 10, Folder 13


Box 10, Folder 14

The Skilled Campaign Worker workshop 1986

Box 10, Folder 15


Box 10, Folder 16

Politics (Newspapers)

Box 10, Folder 17-18



Series X Videos


CAVEC PSA Tape 1 V3406/VHS

Language of Material: Chinese

Video Description

PSA (Public Service Announcemnt) of Asian children and teenagers reciting the American Pledge of Allegience. PSA concludes with "For their future, register and vote." The text is both written on the screen in English and spoken in Chinese. CAVEC information listed at bottom of the screen. PSA is followed by a recording of a sporting event with accompanying commericals. 1992.

CAVEC PSA Tape 2 V3407/VHS

Video Description

PSA of an Asian woman alone in an apartment. She hears and repeats continuous phrases and then asks for her turn to talk. Text at the end of the PSA reads, "You don't have a voice if you don't vote." CAVEC information listed at end of PSA. PSA repeats 6 times on the video. Undated.

Series XI Miscellanea and Newspapers

Oversize Box

This box contains assorted business cards, newspapers and newspaper articles, campaign buttons and CAVEC buttons.
Box 11, Box Oversize


Box 12-14, Box Oversize

The San Francisco Journal June 1976 - July 1980