TARC (W) Introduction
The birth of the Texas Asian Republic Caucus (TARC) stemmed from my first involvement in the National Republican Heritage Group Council (NRHGC) back to early 1980s. The leadership of NRHGC first asked me about forming a state chapter in Houston, spring 1979. Eventually, I founded the Texas Chapter of Asian American National Republican Federation (TAANRF) under the Asian American National Republican Federation (AANRF) in 1982. The AANRF was chaired by Dr. Ben John Chen of New York City. I was good at organizing people but never intended to head any group. I would rather play a supportive role instead of the head. Thus, I invited Bill Ong, a native Houstonian Chinese to serve as the first chairman while I served as program coordinator for the 500 people inaugural event held at the Adams Mark Hotel, Sunday, October 24, 1982. I invited all the 1982 GOP statewide candidates and office holders and Mrs. Anna Chennault of Washington, D. C. Mrs. Chennault was well known among the Chinese Americans and was the chairman of the Chinese American group under the NRHGC. I delivered an opening speech while Mrs. Chennault gave the keynote speech. This was my first time to met Mrs. Anna Chennault. Unfortunately, the TAANRF did not function well under the leadership of Bill Ong and his successors. (file:xtoNRHGC050489).
The GOP convention experience in Dallas in 1984 was a sad chapter of Asian Americans’ history of political involvement but inspired me to form the Texas Asian-American Republican Caucus (TARC). I was appointed as an alternate delegate at large to the convention as a “reward” for my political/campaign involvement through the Republican Women’s Club. It was very disappointing to witness many Asian American “leaders” being misled and unable to get to the convention floor. The entire experience is detailed in the file of GOPinvolvement84. After realizing the “wrong” path the enthusiastic Asian American activists were heading, I was convinced that it was imperative to form an Asian American partisan organization directly under the existing official GOP state party. That is the only way Asian Americans could become delegates to the state and national convention if they chose to form their own ethnic groups. Various ethnic groups under the National Republican Heritage Groups (Nationalities) Council could not get onto the National Convention floor. Their “empty” titles and groups were not recognized by the state GOP party simply because they were not involved in the local party activities and campaigns. In other words, they were not integrated into the mainstream. Naturally, anyone could get involved in the mainstream just as I did to become a delegate without any ethnic affiliation. As a result, I consulted the GOP state chair, George Strake, Jr. who advised me to form an auxiliary organization like the Republican Women’s Club under the state party soon after the GOP 1984 convention.
It was not easy to form an Asian American GOP group due to its ethnic/cultural diversity. I started contacting several ethnic community leaders and began to draft the By-Laws
and Constitution. After many meetings and discussions for more than one year, the final version was adopted on March 2, 1986. At that meeting, I was elected as the temporary chairperson to convene the meeting. The Executive Committee was selected and formed. The By-Laws and Constitution were ratified, adopted and signed by all attendees. The details of the meeting can be found in the minutes (file:minutes020386).
There are five local chapters besides membership at large: Bay Area Asian Republican, Greater Houston Chinese American Republican, Harris County Sikh American Republicans, North Texas Republican Asian Assembly and Vietnamese-American Republican Party. All the membership lists could be located in files: membership.
The first annual and organizational meeting was held on December 6, 1986 after several local chapters were formed. Between March and December, I worked very hard to get various chapters organized, including one in Dallas.
April 26, 1986 held an Executive Committee meeting and minutes could be found in the field as file: minutes260486.
June 1, 1986 election meeting for interim officers for the forthcoming state convention on June 27 and 28 and November election.
October 5, 1986 Executive Committee and chapter meetings were held in Dallas.
December 6, 1986 five vice chairs were elected by all attendees at this organizational and annual meeting. These five vice chairs were placed on the ballot for the chair election on December 27. According to the By-Laws the chair and co-chair were selected by these vice chairs. Ballots were mailed in to the Nomination Committee. On December 27, 1986 the Nomination Committee opened the ballots and tallied the votes. The results were that Mr. Nguyen Van Ngai was the chair and I was the co-chair. During Mr. Ngai’s tenure, I did all the work and he carried the title as all correspondences related to the following events show.
January 10, 1987 Exe. Committee met to form various standing committees
October 25, 1987 Exe. Committee met in Dallas and adopted a special resolution that an election for Chairperson will be conducted by mail ballot during the first week of November, 1987. The letter from Esther Yao to Nguyen Ngai dated October 29, 1987 detailed the issues involved and can be found under file: xtochair291087.
The ballot listed five vice chairs. November 7, 1987 was the deadline to send in the ballots from five voting candidates to the general secretary of the TARC; each one was entitled to two votes. The results were that I was the chair and Dr. Y. T. Huang was the co-chair.
November 2, 1987, Mr. Nguyen Van Ngai, the chair, suddenly resigned from the chairmanship on the eve of the election. He sent out a memo and a letter to the Executive Committee Members and GOP State Chair, George Strake respectively. The correspondence can be found in the files.
I, Esther Lee Yao, the new chair, sent out a memo to Executive Committee members and Chapter chairmen on November 24, 1987 to outline the goals and tasks for the upcoming 1988 election year that included vitalizing all local chapters.
In my memo of December 13, 1987, I began to get TARC organized and back to the right direction/track after a year of no accomplishment during the tenure of the previous chair.
In January 5, 1988 memo, I formulated the agenda for January 13 general meeting. In my memo of January 14 to the Executive Committee and chapter chairmen, I announced that Dr. Y. T. Huang would chair and organize the credential and membership committee to assess the status and organization of each affiliated chapters. Two chapters were updated as mentioned in my memo of February 4, 1988.
February 23, 1988 we sponsored a public meeting for people to meet with state elected officials and TV reporter from Channel 11.
February 27, 1988 the first Ex. Committee meeting held under the new officers (files:xtoExCommittee231287)
March 5, 1988, the Bay Area Asian Republicans (BAAR) held a meeting for members to meet with their precinct chairmen (see file:xinvitationfromBAAR290288)
On March 26, 1988 I was invited to speak to the GOP State EX Committee members as chair of TARC, an auxiliary organization of state GOP. (file: speechtoTXGOPEXCom260388p1 and p2)
April 2, 1988 The Ex Committee meeting (see file:AgendaExCommittee020488)
May 22, 1988 The Vietnamese Republican Chapter of Houston was reactivated (file:xfrVietChair220588)
June 9, 1988 Held both Exe. Committee and General Meetings at the State GOP Convention. The State GOP Convention was held from June 9-11, 1988. This gave TARC members an opportunity to interact with the mainstream Republicans. (file:xTARCmembers250588) During the meeting, the Constitution of TARC was amended and signed by the committee members.
To recruit members the P.O. Box address was set up and paid by me, Esther Yao, as P.O. Box 590144, Houston, TX 77059-0144
On November 11, 1988, I sent out a memo for election of new officers on December 3, 1988. (File:xExCommitteeChapterchairs111188)
December 3, 1988 Election of new officers and Mrs. Pauline Van Tho became the new chair. After the election, there was a presentation, “How to Obtain Political Appointments” by Mrs. Molly Pryor, Chair of the Appointment Committee of Harris County GOP and she was also the state director for Senator John Tower.
December 10, 1988, I was invited to speak at the State GOP Ex. Committee meeting but had schedule conflict. I gave the proxy to Pauline Van Tho who delivered my speech at the meeting. (files:proxyauthorization301188 and SpeechtoTxGOPExCom101288p1 and p2)
TARC held a Lunar New Year Party at my house on February 11, 1989. File:invitationLunarNewYrParty110289
In 1989 during the Houston mayoral race, I galvanized Asian Houstonians to support the incumbent, Mayor Kathy Whitmire. I also organized the Asians to support US Senator Phil Gramm.
I attended the TX State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) on behalf of Mrs. Pauline Van Tho who was the TRAC Chair in Austin on March 11, 1989.
I did recognize people/members’ involvement in TARC and their contribution to various campaigns. I tried to seek appointments for them at both state and federal levels. Files: AppointmentslistTX180888 and AppointmentFormTX88 and other correspondences.
Meanwhile, I was involved in several Asian non-partisan political organizations, such as attending the National Republican Asian Assembly conference on June 25-26, 1989.
As of May 24, 2010