Lunar New Year Social Event “D.I.N.E. With Us”

The theme of the magazine this month is “Update on New Laws.”  As usual, our hardworking Editorial Board has assembled excellent authors who have contributed very informative articles.  Though not a “new law,” I write about an exciting “new event” that started as a grassroots effort by two judges and is now sponsored by the Diversity Committee.

In 2017, the Diversity Committee was more active than ever.  The Diversity Awards presented to ten firms in the County in January 2018 is a shining example of the rising awareness and dedication to diversity and inclusion.  Significantly, and perhaps coincidentally, in 2017, Governor Jerry Brown appointed the first Filipino-American Judge in Contra Costa County, Hon. Benjamin T. Reyes II.

Last fall, not long after he was sworn in, Judge Reyes contacted our Executive Director Theresa Hurley and me to discuss an event he was interested in developing along with the CCCBA.  Judge Reyes recruited Judge Joni Hiramoto, while Theresa and I looped in our Diversity Committee and the incoming Committee Chair, Mika Domingo.  After several emails, a delicious lunch meeting in El Cerrito, and more planning, the “first annual” Lunar New Year Dinner for the CCCBA is on calendar for February 22, 2018 at 5:30 pm.   Now, just days away from the event, we are at near-full capacity, and have wonderful law firms and individuals sponsoring the dinner.  I am looking forward to this purely social event (tagged Diversity In the New Era) with CCCBA members and judges!

Lunar New Year (aka “Chinese New Year”) is often considered the most important day of the year for Chinese and other Asian populations – celebrated by more than a quarter of Earth’s population.  The Lunar New Year is based primarily on the moon’s orbit around Earth.  Lunar New Year this year is February 16, 2018, and it is traditionally celebrated for seven to 15 days.  According to the Chinese calendar, this new year is 4,716, and is considered a year of the “dog” under the Chinese “zodiac.”   Some popular traditions include hanging lanterns, married adults giving “Red Envelopes” with money to young children, dragon/lion dances, fireworks, and eating.  Click the link for more information about Lunar/Chinese New Year history and traditions.

The way our Lunar New Year Dinner developed exemplifies how the CCCBA welcomes volunteers, ideas, and new energy.  Please do not hesitate to contact Theresa Hurley, me, any Board Member or any Section Leader if you would like to join a Bar Committee, propose an event, or to volunteer in any capacity.  Regardless of your availability to volunteer your time, please do join us at any of our numerous MCLE programs and/or our purely social events (like Lunar New Year and our Happy Hours).  I look forward to “D.I.N.E.”ing with you in 2018!