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CAPA21

PAC of AAPI Members of Congress Encourage Presidential Candidates to Prioritize AAPIs in Campaigns

ASPIRE PAC, the political arm of Asian American and Pacific Islander Members of Congress, sent a letter today to declared candidates for the Democratic nomination for President encouraging them to prioritize AAPI communities in their outreach, hiring, and campaign materials.

The letter was led by ASPIRE Chair Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), Congressman Ami Bera (CA-07), Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17), Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03), Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06), Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (CNMI), Congressman Michael San Nicholas (GU), Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), and Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41).

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing population in our country, and we are already an important constituency in key electoral states such as California, Nevada, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. It’s crucial that candidates seeking the Democratic nomination pay attention to Asian American and Pacific Islander voters across the country,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng, Chair of ASPIRE.

“We encourage you to keep Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in mind as your campaign makes hiring decisions and prioritizes outreach to different voting blocs as you campaign for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. History has shown us that we are stronger when all voices are represented at the decision-making table,” wrote the Members.

ASPIRE PAC was established to work for fair representation in the U.S. Congress by supporting and increasing the number of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) policymakers and federal candidates with large AAPI constituencies. The PAC works to support the values and address the issues important to the AAPI community.

The full letter:

May 8, 2019

Dear Candidate:

ASPIRE PAC is the political arm for Asian American and Pacific Islander Members of Congress. We encourage you to keep Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in mind as your campaign makes hiring decisions and prioritizes outreach to different voting blocs as you campaign for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. History has shown us that we are stronger when all voices are represented at the decision-making table.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing population in our country. We are already an important constituency across the country, and will strongly influence the outcome in key electoral states such as Nevada, California, New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts.

There are many opportunities for a presidential campaign to show its commitment to our community. As you make hiring decisions, plan your events and speak across the country, we ask that you will keep the AAPI community in mind. As you engage with different communities, it is crucial to use in-language outreach tools and AAPI media outlets.

We are often overlooked by campaigns and remind you that showing up can go a long way.

Sincerely,

Rep. Grace Meng, Chair
Rep. Ami Bera
Rep. TJ Cox
Rep. Pramila Jayapal
Rep. Andy Kim
Rep. Judy Chu, Past Chair
Rep. Rho Khanna
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi
Rep. Ted Lieu
Rep. Doris Matsui
Rep. Stephanie Murphy
Rep. Stephanie Murphy
Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
Rep. Michael San Nicolas
Rep. Michael San Nicolas
Rep. Bobby Scott

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CAPA21

APALA Activates AAPI Voters in the 2018 Midterms

APALA’s civic engagement program in the 2018 midterm election cycle focused specifically on door knocking, phone banking, registering voters, and protecting voters at the polls in California, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

The CAPA21 PAC contributed to APALA in support of this effort.

In California, big dialysis and landlord associations pushed voters to say no on caps for dialysis fees (Proposition 8) and no to ending rent control limits (Proposition 10) but elected pro-worker candidate Gavin Newsom and other pro-worker candidates into city councils. In Washington, voters said yes to police training and criminal liability in cases of deadly force (Initiative Measure No 940), but no to levying a carbon fee (Initiative Measure No. 1631).

In Nevada, our communities successfully lowered barriers to voting by saying yes to automatic voter registration at the DMV (Question 5) and elected Democrat Jacky Rosen to the the U.S. Senate.

In Virginia, voters replaced Republican Representative Comstock with Democratic candidate Jennifer Wexton as a clear push back on the Trump agenda.

Across the board, early vote and election day turnout was high.

In addition to chapters in targeted areas, APALA chapters and members across the country educated, mobilized, and turned out the vote in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. With 71% of Asian Americans having never been contacted about elections, our program made major strides in voter contact for our community.

APALA chapters alongside their unions, worker centers, and community partners conducted culturally competent voter education at community town halls in Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean.

In districts across the nation, APALA was proud to be among the few organizations to reach out to the AAPI community and bridge the wide voter contact gap we’ve typically seen. As union members and workers, our chapter members connected voters to how elections impact our families’ economic well-being and how we can continue fighting for our communities post-election.

“Corporate interests continue to spend an unprecedented amount of money to defeat ballot measures that would have benefited our communities and candidates who would have fought for workers,” said Alvina Yeh, APALA National Executive Director. “This election shows how important our work continues to be, as we engage with our communities to fight for under-resourced programs and to resist undue corporate influence in our society.”

By organizing our communities, expanding the electorate with first time voters, and getting them to the polls in record numbers, Democrats regained the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives with the addition of 26 seats, including historic wins for progressive women of color candidates in several districts across the country.

“We celebrate our work this election cycle to keep families together, ensure working people earn living wages, guarantee access to health and nutritious foods, create safe environments for LGBTQ folks, provide educational opportunities for our youth, and so much more,” said Yeh. “We will use this momentum to bring more people along, to grow our movement, and to continue to build people power.”