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.


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


Statement on Recent Hate Crimes

CAPA21 stands with the victims of the recent hate crimes in Sunnyvale against Muslims and South Asians and against Jews at the Poway synagogue.

The frightening increase in such crimes against Muslims, Arabs, other people of color, and Jews reflects the hatred spewed by the President who has created a climate of violence and antagonism against such groups and immigrants.

Unless he is defeated, we will witness and experience a monumental rise of intolerance against ALL racial and religious groups.

We must stand together as Americans against bigotry and fear now or the present will become our future.



2018 Midterms CAPA21

Democrats Took Back the House and You Helped Asian Americans Make a Difference in the Midterms

“I think CAPA21’s fundraising for the midterms has been groundbreaking. I can’t think of another progressive Asian American PAC that has raised $100,000 in an election cycle. More efforts like this are needed to help Asian Americans engage in political empowerment.” ~ Donald K. Tamaki

It was a huge blue wave and Democrats picked up the most House seats in a generation. And “California hasn’t been this blue since the Civil War.”

When CAPA21 launched our Asian Americans #TakeItBack campaign through CAPA21, our goal was to raise enough donations to help Asian Americans play a strong role in wresting the House away from the Trump-enabling Republicans.

You helped us accomplish that. Because of the support of our donors (see list below), CAPA21 reached our $100,000 campaign goal for candidates and field activities.

A few races are still undecided, but we provide below a status of the races we invested in. We also provide links to more information about the field activities we supported.

On behalf of CAPA21 PAC Chair Glen S. Fukushima and campaign partner Hoyt Zia, thank you for your incredible support.

Dale Minami
President, CAPA21 PAC


Note that the races we list as wins are not officially decided until the relevant authorities certify the election results. With your generous support, we made three rounds of donations to candidates in California swing districts and to key Asian American candidates (amounts reflect totals to date).

(WIN) Andy Kim for Congress – New Jersey – $5,000: This race was just called today in favor of Kim, winning 49.9% to 48.8% over incumbent Rep. Tom MacArthur.

(WIN) Mike Levin For Congress – California 49th District – $5,000: Levin won this seat left open by Rep. Darrell Issa’s retirement over Diane Harkey, 55% to 45%.

(WIN) Josh Harder for Congress – California 10th District – $5,000: Harder ousted incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham 51.3% to 48.7%.

(WIN) Katie Hill for Congress – California 25th District – $5,000: Hill kicked out incumbent Rep. Steve Knight 52.6% to 47.4%.

(WIN) Harley Rouda for Congress – California 48th District – $5,000: Rouda beat incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher 52.2% to 47.8%.

(WIN) Jacky Rosen for U.S. Senate (Nevada) – $5,000: Rosen denied incumbent Sen. Dean Heller a second term, winning 50.4% to 45.4%.

(WIN) Gil Cisneros for Congress – California 39th District – $1,500: Republican Young Kim’s lead over Cisneros evaporated and the AP called this race for Cisneros on Nov 17. GOP Rep. Ed Royce’s retirement opened this seat.

(UNDECIDED) Gina Ortiz Jones for Congress – Texas – $5,000: Ortiz Jones is trying to close a 1,150-vote gap with incumbent Rep. Will Hurd. As of this email, media outlets report a recount is possible.

CAPA21 endorsed and donated to the following candidates who executed strong campaigns, but lost:
Andrew Janz for Congress – California 22nd District – $5,000
TJ Cox for Congress – California 21st District – $5,000
Hiral Tipirneni – Arizona 8th District – $2.000
Beto O’Rourke for U.S. Senate (Texas) – $5,000
Heidi Heitkamp for U.S. Senate (North Dakota) – $2,000

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to expend the entire amount of donations raised due to contributions received close to Election Day, but we will use the remaining funds for future efforts including the 2020 races for Congress and for President.

Asian Americans Against Trumpism – $7,500
APIAVote – $5,000
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – $5,000
Blue Momentum PAC (Rep. Ted Lieu’s leadership PAC) – $2,500

Click here to learn how these groups impacted the midterms!


The CAPA21 PAC recognizes and thanks those on the front lines – the early donors – who have made generous contributions to this effort:

Hoyt Zia and Leigh-Ann Miyasato
Glen S. Fukushima
Minami Tamaki LLP
Clement Kong
Don Tamaki
Johnnie Giles
Dale Minami and Ai Mori
Mona Lisa Yuchengco
Dr. Craig Yamada and Dr. Monice Kwok
Kei-On Chan
Renie Yoshida Grohl
Bryan Springmeyer
Chris Noma and Steve Fong
Colbert Matsumoto
Dianne Fukami
Henry Der
Joan Haratani
John Yang
Michael G. Lee
Minette Kwok and Gerald Okimoto
Paul Osaki
Richard Sakai and Connie Young
Sydney Kohara
Edwin Oshika
Gayle Chan
Audrey Yamamoto
David Louie
Diane Lee
Emerald Yeh
Jane Chin
Jon Osaki
Roy and Georgette Imura
Tasha Yorozu
Angela Oh
Audee Kochiyama Holman
Hiroshi Shimizu
Maeley Tom
Emi Gusukuma
Jeff Woo and Shirley Tan
Katherine Lee
Louise Ing
Mas and Marcia Hashimoto
Sean Tamura-Sato
Stan Yogi
Vincent Pan
Carol Izumi
Doris Gee
Eddie and Pam Kochiyama
Jeff and Sandy Mori
Laurie Shigekuni
Philip Kan Gotanda and Diane Takei
Sam Mihara
Teresa Tan
Tina Lee and Steve Ngo
Todd Fujinaga
William G. Wong
Shirley Nakao
Ben and Dianne Fong-Torres
Billy Chan
Cal Abe
Celia Lee and Clarke Holland
Dr. Roland Minami
Eddie Wong
Gary Lee and Lisa Oyama
Glenn Magpantay
Kathryn Fong
Martha Nakagawa
Nancy Yamaguchi
Patricia Shiu
Paul Igasaki
Richard Komatsu
Satsuki Ina
Vicky Chin
Wilfred Lim
Yu-Yee Wu
Karen Kai and Bob Rusky
Shin Inouye
Donna Fujii
Darren Teshima
Susan Almazol
Emiko Omori
Mary Ridley

If you donated and don’t see your name here, please let us know so we can recognize you!