October 22, 2014

AAPIs a Crucial Vote

Asian American vote for Democratic President

Although pundits and commentators have attributed Barack Obama’s victory in 2012 to support from the Hispanic and African American communities, many have overlooked the critical role that Asian Americans played in that election. That year, President Obama won 73 percent of the Asian American vote, up from 62 percent in 2008. Asian Americans supported Obama in greater margins than any voter group except African Americans.

While Asian Americans currently only comprise 5 percent of the U.S. population, their numbers are predicted to swell to 9 percent by 2050. Furthermore, in swing states like Nevada and Virginia, Asian Americans already wield significant voting strength. As of the 2010 Census, Asian Americans form approximately 7 percent of Nevada’s population and 6 percent of Virginia’s. In other swing states, like North Carolina and Florida, the growth of the Asian American community outpaces the national average.

Even in non-swing states with high Asian American populations, their votes can be very influential in primary elections. For example, Hillary Clinton’s victory over President Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries in California, where Asian Americans comprise 8 percent of the Democratic electorate, was largely due to the 3-1 margin of support she garnered from that bloc.

As the 2016 presidential race begins to heat up, Republican and Democratic strategists will undoubtedly focus more attention on this crucial voting bloc.

– Michael Dee

Question of the Month: Xmas

Who’ll have the funnest Christmas: President Obama, Mitt Romney, or Kim Kardashian?

— Gautam Dutta

History in the Making: Goodwin Liu?

Now that President Obama will get four more years, will he make history by appointing an Asian American to the Supreme Court?  Don’t be surprised when California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu’s name is mentioned in the coming year.

— Gautam Dutta

Election 2012 Update

We congratulate all incoming Senators and Members of Congress:

  • Mazie Hirono (HI)
    Mazie Hirono (HI)
  • Tim Kaine (VA)
    Tim Kaine of Virginia
  • Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
    Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
  • Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
    Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
  • Grace Meng (NY-06)
    Grace Meng (NY-06)
  • Mark Takano (CA-41)
    Mark Takano (CA-41)
    won 57% to 43%
  • Rob Bonta (CA-AD18)
    Rob Bonta
    winning 51%-49%

Too close to call

We cannot say a huge enough thanks to everyone. Special congratulations and elated delight to AAAF of Greater Chicago whose numerous months long phone banking, website editing, email forwarding, logistical organizing, people pulling & generally good cheer & energy for the easy-to-volunteer events, sharing their many delights and overall pulling so many for so many critical last minute get out the vote all for Tammy Duckworth has given us such a brilliant example of an effective grassroot campaign.

These Congressmen & Congresswomen represent the largest caucus of Asian American and Pacific Islander Members in any single Congressional session as well as other records:

  • Hirono – first Asian American woman and first Buddhist to serve in the U.S. Senate
  • Duckworth, Meng – first Asian Americans to represent their states IL and NY respectively
  • Gabbard – first Hindu American in US Congress, first Samoan American elected as a voting member of Congress
  • Takano – first openly gay minority Member of Congress

We are thrilled not only to share in the delights of our elected officials above but also to our other endorsed candidates:

Lastly, just seen on the ED Show on MSNBC:

Demographic groups Voted for Obama Voted for Romney
Whites 39% 59%
Black 93% 6%
Latino 71% 27%
Asian 73% 26%

Thank you to all!

Update Nov 12: Our Dr. Ami Bera is leading!

Update Nov 17: Bera Wins!

Obama Will Win

President Barack Obama will be reelected tonight.  It’s as simple as that.  Mitt Romney couldn’t handle Obama’s hard earned grassroots strength.  The way things look right now, Obama will take Ohio and Florida — two states Romney simply could not afford to lose.

This is huge — and Asian Americans will have played a major role in Obama’s victory.  One case in point:  the battleground state of Nevada (one-seventh Asian American).

More on this later.

— Gautam Dutta

Just Vote

Election 2012 is here, and now it all comes down to you.

No matter which state you live in, your vote will make a huge difference:  whether for the White House, for Congress, or for your state or local area.

Will President Obama get a second term to finish all the good work that he has started?  Should California get rid of the death penalty (Proposition 34)?  Should a leader (Tim Kaine) who has reached out to Americans of all backgrounds be elected to the U.S. Senate?  Or should a politician (George Allen) who openly attacked Asian Americans be elected instead?

These are only some of the choices on the ballot tomorrow.

Make sure others don’t speak for you.  If you haven’t already done so, please vote.

— Gautam Dutta

Why I Vote for Obama 2012

Those who know me know I am all about details, precision planning, credible details with proof & reality checks. That said, here’s why I’m voting as I will:

For measure, some things I don’t are about:

  • that everyone says Obama will very likely win by landslide especially among AAPIs (much is said about the power, participation, and presence or lack thereof each election but personally, that’s not a factor when I vote); I can think for myself without the official political dribble

So there you have it. Go register, be a poll monitor, vote & join a viewing party.

I voted for Obama

AAPI Democratic Network: AAPI Leaders Across the Nation Endorse President Obama Uniting Support from Key Battleground States

Editor’s Note: The below is a reposting of “AAPI Leaders Across the Nation Endorse President Obama Uniting Support from Key Battleground States” at the Asian American and Pacific Democratic Network..

Asian Voices, Asian Votes, Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Network


Vida Benavides

AAPI Leaders Across the Nation Endorse President Obama

Uniting Support from Key Battleground States

Breaking news: Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders from across the country are endorsing President Obama for a second term. This endorsement comes at a critical time in the election as the polls tighten. With 1 in 6 AAPIs living in battleground states, the support of the AAPI community can decide this election.

“President Obama has fought hard to ensure that everyone plays by the same rules, so that the American Dream is within reach for all of us. As the granddaughter of Chinese American immigrants, I am proud to serve under President Obama’s leadership as the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress, and I wholeheartedly support his candidacy for a second term,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu.

“We are endorsing President Obama because on matters that are of crucial importance to the AAPI community — the economy, small business, education, immigration, civil rights and healthcare — President Obama stands with us,” said national civil rights leader Karen K. Narasaki.

“With so much at stake in this election, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders cannot afford to sit this out. By showing up at the polls, our communities can and will make a difference in this election, especially in swing states like Virginia. I urge everyone to exercise their right to vote and make an informed choice for the future,” said Mark Keam, the first Asian-born immigrant to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Community advocate Rozita Lee said, “I support the candidate who understands me as a Filipino American woman from Nevada and will lead us forward. We do not need a candidate who will take us back in time and turn back the clock on advances for women and minorities. We need to move forward, not backwards.”

“President Obama has fought hard to protect programs that have provided for the most vulnerable in our community for decades. From safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare to making housing affordable for seniors, President Obama is with our community 100%, and that is why I support him 100%,” said Florida Chinese American Community Leader Winnie Tang.

“President Obama has the right vision and plan for building our economy and putting people back to work. He fights for middle-class families, not tax cuts for the wealthy. He shares my values and beliefs and I am happy to endorse his re-election,” said Colorado Attorney Harry Budisidharta.

“As a Chinese American parent, I understand that investing in the education of our children creates new opportunities and provides a better future for all of us. During his first term, President Obama has delivered on his promise to keep college affordable for all Americans, and has doubled the amount of grants awarded to low-income students. I support the President’s re-election so that all students will have a fair shot at the American Dream,” Chih Ping Chen, Ohio Chinese American Community Leader.

“President Obama has cut taxes for small businesses 18 times and fought for tax credits to allow us to hire new workers and make capital improvements. He understands that small businesses are often a family affair for Asian Americans and is the product of sacrifice, hard work, and sweat. He is leading us out of the worst recession of our generation and I trust that given four more years, he can and will do more to support small business across the country. He has my vote,” said Pennsylvania small business community leader Nina Ahmad.

Rep. Mike Honda, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and CAPAC Chair Emeritus, expressed the following, “With less than a week from election day, the race remains extremely close. The AAPI vote is, and will be, the margin of victory in this year’s presidential election and the critical vote to re-elect President Obama and move this country forward. President Obama is our first AAPI president and I am proud to support his re-election.”

As part of Asian Voices, Asian Votes, Asian American and Pacific Democratic network, we stand together to endorse President Obama.

Bel Leong Hong, DNC Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair
Kevin Acebo, Former Deputy Mayor, City of Los Angeles, CA
Marilei Denila, Los Angeles Chapter Co-chair, Kaya – Filipino Americans for Progress, CA
JoAnn Fields, Public Relations Officer, Filipino American Caucus of San Diego County, CA
Tessie Guillermo, Community Leader, CA
Johanna Hester, National President, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, CA
Michael Inacay, Los Angeles Chapter Co-chair, Kaya – Filipino Americans for Progress, CA
Genevieve Jopanda, National Co-chair, Kaya – Filipino Americans for Progress, CA
Daphne Kwok, Community Leader, CA
Dale Minami, Partner, Minami Tamaki LLP, CA
Tung Nguyen, MD, General Internist, CA
Angela Oh, Attorney/Public Lecturer, CA
Michael Pangilinan, San Francisco Chapter Co-chair, Kaya – Filipino Americans for Progress, CA
Melissa Ramoso, Los Angeles Chapter Co-chair, Kaya – Filipino Americans for Progress, CA
Meriam Reynosa, San Francisco Chapter Co-chair, Kaya – Filipino Americans for Progress, CA
Dilawar Syed, Entrepreneur & Community Leader, CA
Katerina Villaneuva, Community Leader, CA
Kent Wong, Vice President, California Federation of Teachers, CA
Vida Benavides, Principal, Dewey Square Group, CA/DC
Harry Budisidharta, Attorney at Law, CO
Chih Ping Chen, Community Leader, OH
Andrew S. Hamano, Community Leader, CO
D.J. Ida, Community Leader, CO
Stan Matsunaka, Former Colorado State President, CO
Karen Nakandakare, Community Leader, CO
Derrick Okubo, Community Leader, CO
Sam Thomas, Communications Director, Desi-Dems, CO
Ben de Guzman, Co-Chair Emeritus, Asian Pacific Islander Queers United for Action, DC
Katrina Dizon, DC President, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, DC
Marita Etcubanez, Washington DC Chapter Co-chair, Kaya – Filipino Americans for Progress, DC
Kimberly Goulart, Communications Co-Chair, Korean Americans for Obama, DC
Laura Shin, National Coordinator, Korean Americans for Obama, DC
Ginger Lew, Former Senior Counselor, White House National Economic Council, FL
Wei Li, Vice President, Shandong Fellowship Association of Florida, FL
Xianqin Qu (曲显芹), President, Shandong Fellowship Association of Florida, FL
Hari Singh, President, Indian Horizon of Florida, FL
Winnie Tang, President, Florida Chinese Federation, FL
Esther Puakela Kia’aina, Community Leader, HI
Jadine Nielsen, Communit y Leader , HI
Ngoan Le, Vice President of Programs, The Chicago Community Trust, IL
Geri Sanchez Aglipay, Chicago Chapter Chair, Kaya – Filipino Americans for Progress, IL
Unmi Song, Executive Director, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, IL
Sandra Yamate, CEO, The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, IL
Paul Lee, National Bar Leader and Law Firm Partner, MA
Leo Kim, National Field Co-Chair, Korean Americans for Obama, MD
Jason Lagria, National Co-chair, Kaya – Filipino Americans for Progress, MD
Minh Le, Mid Atlantic Advisor, Vietnamese Americans for Obama, MD
Jon Melegrito, Community Leader, MD
Kris Valderrama, Maryland State Delegate, MD
Dr. Nazmul Hassan (Shahin), President, Bangladeshi American Democratic Caucus (BAC), MI
Roland Hwang, , Northville Democratic Club, MI
Peggy Nagae, Community Leader, MT
Rozita Lee, Community Leader, NV
Loida Lewis, Community Leader, NY
Subodh Chadra, Community Leader, OH
Jay Goyal, Community Leader, OH
Ray Hing, Community Leader, OH
Ron Katsuyama, Co-Founder, Asian American Council, OH
Siu-Leung Lee, Community Leader, OH
Theresa Lee, Community Leader, OH
Yung-Chen Lu, Community Leader, OH
Margaret Wong, Community Leader, OH
N. Nina Ahmad, Small Business Owner, Scientist, and Community Organizer, PA
Glenn Hing, Community Leader, PA
Nina Chen Langenmayr, Community Leader, PA
Tsiwen Law, Community Leader, PA
Stella Tsai, Community Leader, Bar Association, PA
Gordon Quan, Former Mayor Pro Tem, City of Houston, TX
George Willy, Partner, Immigration Law Firm, TX
Toa Do, Board member, Vietnamese Americans for Obama, VA
Vincent Eng, Partner and CEO, VENG Group, VA
Melissa Unemori Hampe, Deputy Executive Director, Asian American Action Fund, VA
Vel Hernandez, Mid Atlantic Youth Director, Vietnamese Americans for Obama, VA
Linh Hoang, Mid Atlantic Field Director, Vietnamese Americans for Obama, VA
Mark Keam, Delegate, Virginia House of Delegates, VA
Gene Kim, Communications Co-Chair, Korean Americans for Obama, VA
Sunil Mansukhani, Principal, The Raben Group, VA
Irene Natividad, President, GlobeWomen, Inc, DC
Hung Nguyen, Board member, Vietnamese Americans for Obama, VA
Anh Phan, Mid Atlantic Communication Director, Vietnamese Americans for Obama, VA
Melvin Tabilas, Washington DC Chapter Co-chair, Kaya – Filipino Americans for Progress, VA
John Yang, Former President, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association , Former Chair, Asian American Justice Center, VA
Pramila Jayapal, Author and Activist, Founder, OneAmerica, Distinguished Taconic Fellow, Center for Community Change, WA
Hyeok Kim, Nonprofit Executive Director, WA
Albert Shen, Community Leader
Karen Narasaki, Civil Rights Leader, WA/DC
Sonal Shah, Former White House Director of Social Innovation
Osman Siddiquei, Former U.S. Ambassador, Republic of Fiji, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu,

Trial by Storm

Leaders rise to the occasion.  After Sandy devastated New Jersey and New York, President Obama took precious time off campaigning to make sure that help was on its way.

And that was the right thing to do.  Even New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who had lit into Obama’s record at the Republican convention, had effusive words of praise for our President.

Not coincidentally, Obama has risen in the polls — because voters reward leadership.

Tragedies can bring out both the best and worst in us.  By helping those in need, President Obama has reinvigorated the spirit of sharing and giving.

— Gautam Dutta

Back to the Future?

Will Obama lose the election but keep the White House?

The way things are looking, that’s not a rhetorical question.  Right now, Obama is holding onto slender leads in most of the battleground states, while Romney is leading the national polls.

What does that mean?  Obama could lose the popular vote, but win the Electoral College — just like George W. Bush did in 2000 (thanks to his 537-vote “victory” in Florida).

While some might see such an Obama victory as poetic justice, it tells me that we must get rid of the Electoral College pronto.  In this time and age, it simply defies reason — and the core principle of democracy — that anyone can win by losing.

While this election is far from over, it’s not too early to think about ways to improve how we elect our President — especially the National Popular Vote plan, which AAA-Fund strongly supports.

The rules of an election matter.  Let’s see how they’ll affect Election 2012.

— Gautam Dutta