The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) is the oldest community organization in Chinatown. The parent organization of the Chinese Community Center, the CCBA was founded in 1883 and has represented and served the needs of Chinese Americans in New York City ever since. Historically it has performed a quasi-governmental role in the Chinese community. Throughout its history, business ownership has been a goal of many residents of Chinatown, and has been supported both financially, and through training by the CCBA.
Currently, CCBA represents the Chinese-Americans living in the Greater New York Metro area. Internally, CCBA is the hinge that keeps the Chinese-American community intact and vigorous. Specifically, the CCBA:
- Provides social services
- Provides personal and commercial conflict resolution and mediations
- Promotes Chinese traditions and cultural heritage
- Serves as a bridge between Chinese American immigrants and the main stream groups
- Promotes Chinese-American interests
- Engages in charitable activities
- Sponsors educational and recreational activities
- Sponsors and promotes youth services
- Provides and advocates for small businesses
CCBA is an umbrella organization of 60 member organizations representing a cross-section of New York’s Chinese community. They include professional and trade organizations such as the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese American Restaurant Association; civic organizations such as the American Legion, Lt. Lam Lau Post; religious, cultural and women’s organizations; fellow-provincial organization such as the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Association and the Lin Sing Association; and family organizations such as the Lee, Eng, and Chan Family Association.
CCBA spearheaded the move to form the Chinese Voters Federation in May 2004 to encourage qualified Chinese-American citizens to register and vote. It also supported the formation of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation. Immediately following the earthquake and tsunami disasters in south Asia, CCBA raised more than $500,000 for the victims.
Recently, CCBA solidified the relations with different City departments and agencies to solve many on-going problems in Chinatown, including insufficient parking spaces, illegal enforcement of parking regulations, confusing sanitation enforcement regulations, etc. Working closely with the NYPD, the NYPD community affairs bureau now hosts monthly seminars on different safety topics at the CCBA. Its efforts have resulted in the establishment of a direct channel to the government without language barriers.
The CCBA also works with many main stream organizations to provide services to the Chinese-American community, such as the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and the American Cancer Society. In December 2006, CCBA and the American Red Cross of Greater New York signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate programs in Chinatown that will help prepare and train the Chinese community for any kind of emergency.
The CCBA fulfills its functions by working closely with local businesses and residents as well as by maintaining close contact with Chinese-American organizations located throughout North America and integration into the mainstream of American society.