Asian Americans Join Hands to ‘Build Political Power’

Representing over a dozen ethnic Asian American political groups, the coalition of Asian American organizations held a press conference on May 15 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., seeking to unite and coordinate the efforts of the Asian American candidates who are running for public offices across the nation in the November Mid-Term election.

Some of the groups that have united to maximize political representation and victory in the November 2018 elections are: AAPI Progressive Action, AAPI Victory Fund, America’s Opportunity Fund (AOF), APALA, Asian American Action Fund, ASPIRE PAC, CAPA21 Action Fund, Desis for Progress, Indian American Impact Fund, KAYA, Korean Americans for Organizing (KAFO), PIVOT and (RUN).

 

to speak about community outreach efforts ahead of the Nov. 6 election, and the launch of the AAPI Clearinghouse, which will support Indian American and other AAPI congressional candidates for the Nov. 6 general election.

In 2018, there are over 50 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) candidates running for Congress. This effort was to showcase rising star AAPI congressional candidates from across the nation. “AAPI political organizations are launching an online and social media clearinghouse for AAPI political campaign and election activity. This AAPI Clearinghouse will give political activists a place online to learn about these groups and political candidates they are supporting and find opportunities to get involved in political campaigns and activities in the 2018 mid-term elections and beyond. Through the Clearinghouse, these progressive groups aim to collaborate with each other to engage AAPI activists in political and policy action, strengthen their political voice, empower the AAPI community nationwide, and demonstrate the power and influence of our community on the country’s future,” a statement issued here stated.

“The AAPI Clearinghouse will provide political activists a unified place to learn about the more than 50 AAPI candidates who are running for Congress and the opportunities to support them in the 2018 mid-term elections and beyond,” said the coalition of organizations, in a press statement.

“Through the Clearinghouse, the organizations aim to collaborate with each other to strengthen their political voice, empower the AAPI community nationwide, and demonstrate the power and influence of the AAPI community on the country’s future,” noted the coalition.

Rep. Judy Chu, D-California, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, was joined by several Indian American congressional candidates, including Hiral Tipirneni, D-Arizona; Aruna Miller, D-Maryland; and Aftab Pureval, D-Ohio. Other AAPI candidates attending the press conference included David Min, D-California, and Andy Kim, D-New Jersey.

Indian American political activists Shekar Narasimhan, chairman of the AAPI Victory Fund; Gautam Raghavan, who leads the Indian American Impact Fund; and Koustubh “K.J.” Bagchi, chair of Desis for Progress. also spoke at the event, along with several other AAPI leaders.

“The electorate in America has changed, and the old campaign playbook of ignoring smaller communities resulted in disastrous results in the 2016 elections,” said Narasimhan. “Elections continue to be won by the slimmest of margins and ensuring success requires candidates to get the ‘margin of victory’ votes. With the right investment and cultivation, we can ensure a sustainable majority,” said Narasimhan.

“At a time when our community and our values are under attack by xenophobic rhetoric and regressive policies, it is more critical than ever that Indian Americans build and wield political power to fight back,” said Raghavan. “We are inspired and energized by the over 80 Indian American candidates on the ballot in 2018, and in particular, the four Congressional challengers and six state and local candidates we have endorsed thus far. Voters are hungry for the kind of fresh thinking and bold leadership that they represent, and we look forward to helping them run, win, and lead,” he said.

“There is so much at stake with this year’s mid-term elections. That’s why an unprecedented number of AAPI candidates are running for Congress so we can have a larger voice in our political system. We cannot take any opportunity for granted. It starts with launching the Clearinghouse so candidates and voters from across the country know where to turn for resources. By working towards a unified goal, AAPIs will secure our place at the table,” said Rep. Judy Chu, who is also the immediate past chair of ASPIRE PAC. For more information, please visit: https://aaafund.org.

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