CAPA21 Advances with 501(c)(4)

AAPI voter engagement data project to be first initiative

When CAPA21 launched in late 2014, we committed to supporting a wide range of progressive candidates who reflected the diversity of our AAPI communities.

We actively sought out candidates from communities still under-represented at the political table, such as South Asian, Filipino, and Korean Americans. We’re proud of our investments in these candidates and know that we still have a long road ahead.

It was also important that we cultivated a diverse group of seasoned leaders to advise us and give us perspectives that span our AAPI communities. We could not have come this far without the help of Leadership Council Co-Chairs Tessie Guillermo, Kiran Jain, Virginia State Del. Mark Keam, Phong La, Ginger Lew, Steve Ngo (honorary), Mona Pasquil, Courtni Pugh, Dilawar Syed, Maeley Tom, and Helen Zia.

Our mission also included aspirations to fund AAPI field operations and projects to improve AAPI participation in the political process. As we narrowed down the potential projects in these areas, we determined that a 501(c)(4) would be a better entity to house these efforts.

Instead of creating a new 501(c)(4), we have identified an existing organization and started the process of assuming leadership of that group. Once we have completed the transition process, we can share more details.

AAPI Voter Engagement Data Project

From that 501(c)(4), our first project will be an AAPI voter engagement data tool to develop a more systematic and precise understanding of AAPI populations, including where and why they participate in politics, and how best to communicate to AAPI registered and prospective voters.

The database will allow users to select the date, state and geographic level (Congressional district, county, etc.) to see voter counts by age and ethnicity using information compiled from researching voter file in targeted states. We will share more details as the project develops.

Building AAPI/Latino Collaborations

Last year, we announced that CAPA21 co-founder and Chair Glen S. Fukushima had joined the Latino Victory Project National Committee.

“We can realize our country’s brightest future when Latinos, AAPIs, and other communities of color work together on common goals,” said Glen in LVP’s announcement. “We must continue to pursue opportunities to achieve our shared interests, but also stand with one another against those who seek to divide us.

The second project from our new 501(c)(4) will involve an AAPI/Latino voter engagement collaboration. Part of this project will include educating voters about successes from history created from our communities working together, improving the frame of immigration justice issues to reflect how AAPIs are impacted, and improving civic relationships between communities of color in general.

We could use your help in these efforts. Donate to CAPA21 today and join us in growing AAPI political empowerment!

National AAPI Political Committee CAPA21 Endorses Hillary Clinton

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The national political action committee CAPA21 formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, saying that her track record as an AAPI champion is unmatched by any other presidential candidate of any party.

CAPA21 is the first major AAPI political action committee to endorse Clinton and the first to make an endorsement in the presidential race.

“Hillary Clinton has clearly demonstrated her commitment to AAPI communities and issues,” said Glen S. Fukushima, CAPA21 co-founder and Chair. “As Senator, she was a leader on issues to improve the lives of AAPI families and communities. As Secretary of State, she understood that the importance of the Asia-Pacific region in U.S. foreign policy, which strongly impacts recent AAPI immigrant communities.”

“Hillary Clinton has appointed AAPIs to top positions in her campaign, crafted an AAPI-focused vision, and was the only candidate to hold a major event exclusively devoted to AAPIs,” said Dale Minami, CAPA21 co-founder and President. “A candidate’s actions, not just words, on AAPI priorities preview how she will perform once in office.”

CAPA21 is a national Asian American Pacific Islander PAC based in San Francisco, established in 2014 by Fukushima, Minami, and others to invest in progressive candidates, AAPI field operations, and AAPI voter engagement projects. CAPA21 is a successor to the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA), founded in 1988 as the country’s first national Asian American PAC and served the community until 2008.

“CAPA21’s vision is of a country where AAPIs have a powerful presence and role in all branches and levels of government and politics, achieved through AAPI voters who are engaged and empowered,” said Courtni Sunjoo Pugh, a CAPA21 Leadership Council Co-Chair. “Hillary is the best candidate to help us achieve that vision for AAPIs.”

CAPA21’s Leadership Council Co-Chairs include Ginger Lew, Maeley Tom, Mona Pasquil, Mark Keam, Steve Ngo, Phong La, Tessie Guillermo, Kiran Jain, and Dilawar Syed.

Asian American voters in the last decade have nearly doubled from more than two million voters in 2000 to 3.9 million voters in 2012 (Center for American Progress, AAPI Data). It is estimated that Asian Americans will reach five percent of voters nationally by 2025 and 10 percent of voters by 2044.

Asian American voter numbers are critical swing votes in Nevada, Virginia, and Florida and influenced the presidential elections in those states, as demonstrated in 2008 and again in 2012.

Despite the growing importance of AAPIs, our communities face poor or non-existent language assistance at the voting booth, poor outreach from political parties, and oppressive voter ID laws (Center for American Progress).

In this context, Hillary Clinton’s outreach to AAPI communities has been especially significant.

Secretary Clinton has:

  • Appointed a record number of AAPIs to major roles her campaign, including: Huma Abedin, campaign vice chair; Dennis Cheng, finance director; Maya Harris, senior policy adviser; Mini Timmaraju, women’s outreach director; and Lisa Chandadveja, AAPI outreach director.
  • Created a substantive connection to AAPI communities through the formation of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary Leadership Council, a group of more than 150 elected officials, community, and grassroots leaders.
  • Outlined her positions on AAPI issues through her “Vision for a Thriving AAPI Community,” recognizing continued challenges to our prosperity, such as enduring racism, language barriers, and a gender wage gap.
  • Hosted an official campaign event devoted exclusively to AAPIs on January 7 in San Gabriel, California, joined by Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Rep. Judy Chu and dozens of AAPI elected officials and community leaders from across the nation.

CAPA21 is at http://capa21.com and on Twitter @capa21pac.

Congratulations to the New AAPI Victory Fund

CAPA21 extends its congratulations and best wishes to the AAPI Victory Fund, a Super PAC focused on AAPIs. The group announced its launch this morning in D.C.

CAPA21 Leadership Council Co-Chair Dilawar Syed is co-founder and Vice Chair of the AAPI Victory Fund.

In a media advisory, the group wrote: “With the margin of victory of less than five percent in key battleground states and AAPI eligible voters in those states exceeding that number, the AAPI Victory Fund will mobilize AAPI millennial, young professionals, baby boomers and senior voters in an unprecedented way and move them to the ballot box. The work of the AAPI Victory Fund will be the make-or-break for the 2016 Presidential candidates.”

Former two-time Cabinet Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, and AAPI Victory Fund Chairman Shekar Narasimhan were among the speakers scheduled for today’s media briefing.

The AAPI Victory Fund joins an expanding universe of political organizations dedicated to advancing our AAPI communities, including:

America’s Opportunity Fund (DC) – America’s Opportunity Fund’s mission is to support federal and statewide candidates and elected officials who represent the interests of communities of color, and who inspire participation in government for the benefit of all Americans. http://americasopportunityfund.com

Asian American Action Fund (DC) – The AAA-Fund is a progressive political organization that is dedicated to empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the United States. Through the AAA-Fund, Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) from different ethnic groups and from all over the country work together to increase the voice of the APA community in local, state and federal government. http://www.aaa-fund.com

CAPAC Leadership PAC (DC) – The mission of the CAPAC Leadership PAC is to ensure fair representation in the U.S. Congress by increasing the number of Asian American and Pacific Islander legislators and supporting federal candidates with large AAPI constituencies that support the needs and values of the AAPI community. http://www.capacleadership.org

CAPA21 (California) – CAPA21 is an Asian American Pacific Islander political action committee that invests in progressive candidates, AAPI field operations, and projects to improve AAPI participation in the political process. Our vision is of a country where AAPIs have a powerful presence and role in all branches and levels of government and politics, achieved through AAPI voters who are engaged, informed, and empowered. http://capa21.com