NEW YORK: A Chinese advocacy group is using techniques ranging from
press conferences to door-to-door visits to publicize the benefits
available to those affected by the World Trade Center attacks.
Laura Liu, staff organizer of the Chinese Staff and Workers' Association
(CSWA), said her group was just one of the many New York immigrant
groups helping their communities.
Chinatown, the physical and emotional epicenter of New York City's
Chinese population, abuts the former site of the WTC and current site of
the cleanup, with many business and residential areas still restricted
due to emergency measures.
Liu said the CSWA began talking to the general, Chinese, and US Chinese
media as soon as it could after the attack. In a series of press
conferences, the group has spoken about issues related to available
assistance (including workers' compensation), as well as how members of
the Chinese community can aid the relief effort.
"Non-English-speaking immigrants may not know how to report someone
missing, or may be afraid to report people missing," said Liu.
The best way to reach the large, but sometimes insular Chinese
population, especially recent immigrants, is meeting with them one on
one, Liu explained.
However, uncoordinated assistance, as well as complicated claims, have
led Liu to try to organize workers who may fall through the cracks -
especially those who have lost subcontracting work. "We're trying to get
the word out to organize them to let them know we feel they are entitled
to some form of compensation," she said.