20 Jul עופר איתן Says: 250 Asian American and Pacific Islander elected officials, …
More than 250 prominent Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have endorsed Joe Biden.
The diverse group includes members of the Democratic National Committee and elected officials, as well as a few leaders in the arts. David Chiu, who was the first Chinese American on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and is the current chair of the California Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, and actor Lou Diamond Philips are among the noteworthy names.
“We need to elect a President who will bring leadership back to Washington, who can help re-center our nation’s moral compass, heal our nation’s soul, and bring us back to the path towards justice, equality, and integrity,” the group said in a statement Friday.
DNC Chair Tom Perez told NBC Asian America that he feels the endorsements are reflective of the critical role the AAPI population will play in the November election.
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the electorate, and mobilizing AAPIs will be decisive in delivering Democratic victories across the country,” Perez said.
Others on the list include Tom K. Wong, director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Center; Tuyet Duong, former senior advisor of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and Sri Preston Kulkarni, who’s running to represent Texas’ 22nd Congressional District.
Christine Chen, executive director of civic engagement nonprofit APIAVote, said that while the AAPI community isn’t a monolith, with a diversity of stances among different subgroups, the endorsements track with the demographic’s general shift toward the left in recent years.
“Asian Americans are leaning more progressive and show higher approval of how the Democratic Party overall handles issues on jobs/economy, health care, education and race,” she said. “These endorsements definitely follow that trend and shows the effort of AAPI leaders that want to support what they think is best for their communities.”
Chen added that the inclusion of local community leaders on the endorsement list could prove influential in mobilizing the AAPI electorate, particularly if the endorsees are considered trusted messengers in the community.
The Asian American electorate has grown significantly in the past 20 years, ballooning by 139 percent, according to a 2020 Pew Research report. It is currently made up of more than 11 million eligible voters. In comparison, the white electorate has grown by 7 percent in the same period. Moreover, the Asian American electorate is composed of a majority of naturalized immigrants, who account for two-thirds of the group. Perez mentioned that the DNC has made “historic investments” in outreach to the demographic.
“In 2020, battleground states from Nevada and Arizona to Virginia and Georgia are ground zero for AAPI organizing, and that’s why we’ve made historic investments and built up critical infrastructure to engage and mobilize AAPI voters ahead of November.”
Chen acknowledged that during this election cycle, she’s witnessed a notable uptick in targeted outreach efforts to mobilize the community during the primaries. Citing the participation of both Biden and Eddie Calvo, governor of Guam and a Trump surrogate, in the recent APIAVote’s digital presidential town hall streamed by NBC Asian America, Chen said candidates have been participating in specialized digital campaigns. However, more can be done to involve Asian Americans, she said, adding that ultimately she hopes to see consistent outreach to the AAPI community beyond the 2020 cycle.
“While we are excited to see this outreach, we need to see earlier outreach efforts and we are looking to see in the upcoming three months if they will conduct outreach activities in-language and produce translated materials,” she said. “We also want to see a more robust field campaigns that understand and utilize the power of the local community and specifically engages with AAPI voters that traditionally have never been contacted in-language.”
Read the full list of endorsements below:
DNC AAPI Members
● Bel Leong-Hong, National AAPI Caucus Chair
● Keith Umemoto, Member & AAPI Caucus Secretary/Treasurer
● Otto Lee, Member & AAPI Caucus Vice Chair
● Chris Lu, At-Large Member
● Christina Sablan, Northern Marianas Islands National Committeewoman
● Michael A. White, Northern Marianas Islands National Committeeman
● A.J. Durrani, Texas National Committeeman
● Sierra Yamanaka, Arizona National Committeewoman
● Jadine Nielsen, Hawaii National Committeewoman
AAPI Caucus Leadership
● Sylvia Lee, Arizona Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
● Devang Shah, Maryland Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
● Ying Gee, Michigan Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
● Gracie Galloway, North Carolina Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
● Dan Santos, Clark County (NV) Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
● Praveen Meyyan, Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia Chair
● Cora Quisumbing-King, New Hampshire Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Co-Chair
● Sumathi Madhure, New Hampshire Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Co-Chair
● Joshua Ang Price, Arkansas Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
● Melissa Ramoso, California Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
● Sam Shim, Ohio Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
● Francine Ly, Asian American Democrats of Texas Vice President
● Kishan Putta, DC Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
● Angelito Tenorio, Democratic AAPI Caucus of Wisconsin (Ad Hoc) Co-Chair
● Paula Phillips, Democratic AAPI Caucus of Wisconsin (Ad Hoc) Co-Chair
State Elected Officials
● Betty Yee, California State Controller
● Senate President Ron Kouchi, Hawaii Senate
● Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee, Guam Legislature
● Sen. Richard Pan, California State Senate
● Sen. Sheik Rahman, Georgia State Senate
● Sen. Clarence Nishihara, Hawaii Senate
● Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, Hawaii Senate
● Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran, Hawaii Senate
● Sen. Laura Thielen, Hawaii Senate
● Sen. Lorraine Inouye, Hawaii…