Founded in 1895 in San Francisco, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance has over 100 years of history of continuous existence serving in a dual role as a social club and as a national non-partisan activist for Chinese American empowerment and community service. The Alliance was originally conceived as a social club. It was to be a place for self-development by the earliest native-born American citizens of Chinese ancestry. In vogue with the times, they formed their organization on the model of a fraternal brotherhood, to which they were denied entry because of their ethnic background. During the era of the harshest anti-Chinese sentiments then prevalent in California, the desire of these young citizens to organize was a daring move. Today sixteen Local Lodges from coast-to-coast make up the nationwide C.A.C.A. family.
Our members, men and women of Chinese heritage, work together with friends to realize the Alliance’s actions in community improvement and youth development. The projects of each Local Lodge differ depending on local interests and needs. They range from staging cultural festivals to developing senior housing, to sponsoring museums, to helping the needy, and to the public celebration of the ever-popular Chinese New Year, to name a few. Realizing that the major promise of the future is in the young, all Lodges participate in the Alliance’s National Project of developing youth leadership. National center prieces for this program include scholarships, the annual English essay contests, and Asian Students in Action conferences.