**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Arlington Heights, IL – Tammy Duckworth, candidate for Illinois’ 8th Congressional District, was joined during a campaign rally today by a diverse coalition of Asian American leaders and local elected officials including Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Senator Dan Kotowski and State Representative Daniel Biss. Over 100 people attended the rally at the European Crystal Banquet Hall in Arlington Heights.
“Unless we have a seat at the table, our voices will not be heard,” Tammy said. “The strength of our nation is in our diversity. It doesn’t matter what your background is, what your tradition is, or what your culture is. We’re all Americans and we are in this together.”
Asian American leaders and activists have been mobilizing volunteers for weeks as part of Operation: Elect Tammy, a collaborative grassroots effort between the Indian American Democratic Organization (IADO), the Asian American Steering Committee for Tammy Duckworth, the Asian American Action Fund (AAAF) and other community members.
“We are working very hard to elect Tammy,” IADO President Harendra Mangrola said.
Tammy, who was born in Thailand to an American father and Thai mother of Chinese descent, will become the first Asian American member of Illinois’ Congressional delegation if elected.
“We are here united, 100 percent, behind Tammy Duckworth,” local community leader Raja Krishnamoorthi said.
After losing both her legs in 2004 when her helicopter was hit by an RPG during a combat mission in Iraq, Tammy later served as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs from 2006-09 until President Obama named her Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where she served from 2009-11.
“Tammy is one of the most inspiring people I know,” Schakowsky said. “[She] encapsulates the philosophy of our country, where we make sure that we provide opportunity to everyone.”
“We now have an outstanding Asian American candidate in Tammy Duckworth, whose courage and service to our country has made her a hero to all of us,” said Nancy Chen, head of the Asian American Steering Committee for Tammy.
Her remarkable history coupled with her vision of creating jobs, improving the economy, strengthening public schools and supporting immigrant families has resonated with Asian American voters.
“An election is about the future. We’re here because we want tomorrow to be a better day for our family,” said Jae Choi Kim, President of AAAF-Chicago. “Electing Tammy will get us closer to fulfilling that vision.”
Approximately 13 percent of residents in the 8th District are Asian American with Pakistanis, Asian Indians, Koreans, Filipinos, Chinese/Taiwanese and Vietnamese making up the bulk of the voting bloc.
According to a recent Pew Research Center report, the Asian American population in the United States grew at a rate of nearly 50 percent from 2000 to 2010, making them the fastest growing racial minority group in the country. With millions being poured into campaigns this election season by so-called super-PAC’s, entreaties into the Asian American community are becoming increasingly important in races across the country.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2012.