April 18, 2014

June 18: AAA-Fund Annual Reception

Editor’s Note: Facebook Like & Tweet with us as the event nears. Also see our 2013, 2012, 2011 & 2010 (alternate) and 2009 reception posts.

AAAF logo

Bel Leong-Hong * Irene Bueno * Melissa Hampe * Gautam Dutta * Tom Goldstein
“Host Committee in Formation”

PAC Donor

Invites you to
Our 14th annual celebration honoring
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
“When We Vote, We Win”
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Democratic National Committee
Wasserman Room
430 S Capitol St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
(Metro to Capitol South; see Google Maps)

Suggested Donations

Host: $2,000
Sponsor: $1,000
Friend: $500
Guest: $125 ($100 online by 4/30)
Non-Profit/Public Sector: $100 ($75 online by 4/30)
Student/Young Professional: $55 ($40 online by 4/30)

PAC Donations:
Diamond: $5,000 – GOLD: $3,500 – SILVER: $2,500

Donations will go to AAA-Fund to support its continuing efforts to unite and activate our community.

To RSVP, buy online or contact Lida Peterson (lida@cimpa.org; 703.622.1381)

Paid for by the Asian American Action Fund, 3036 O St NW #Basement, Washington, DC 20007-3114.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee


AAA-Fund Endorses Swati Dandekar to Make History in Iowa

Editor’s Note: Stay atop Election 2014 here at our blog, at our Facebook & at our Twitter.

AAAF logo

For Immediate Release March 14, 2014

Contact: Gautam Dutta

AAA-Fund Endorses Swati Dandekar to Make History in Iowa

Dandekar would be First Iowa Woman to Win Federal Office and First South Asian Woman Ever in Congress

WASHINGTON, DC— Today, the Asian American Action (AAA) Fund announced their endorsement of Democrat Swati Dandekar for U.S. House of Representatives in Iowa’s First Congressional District. Dandekar is running in an open race to fill the seat of congressman and current Senate candidate Bruce Braley.

“It’s high time Iowa finally elected a woman to Congress. We are honored to support such a dedicated public servant,” said Gautam Dutta, Executive Director of the AAA-Fund. “Swati Dandekar has a proven record of success advocating for Iowans. Her experience fighting for greater educational access and science research to spur economic competitiveness make her an ideal candidate for Iowa. Her unique life story as a first-generation immigrant from the heartland would break new barriers if she were to become the first South Asian female elected to Congress.”

Dandekar holds a bachelor’s in biology and chemistry from Nagpur University and a graduate degree in dietetics from Bombay University in India. She lives in Marion, Iowa with her husband and two sons.


The AAA-Fund is a Democratic political action committee whose goal is to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on every level of local, state and federal government in America. To achieve this goal, we address the chronic under-representation of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) as campaign volunteers, campaign contributors, and candidates for political office. The AAA-Fund has endorsed candidates across the country.

Happy Lunar New Year

We the Blogteam want to wish you and yours a prosperous, healthy and wealthy Happy Lunar New Year in this Year of the Horse. Please comment below with your wishes and greetings!

An Evening full of Conversation and Delightful Wine Pairings with Congressman Ami Bera

Editor’s Note: This article follows up our earlier invitation. Both Dr. Bera & Rep. Honda are 2013 AAAF Endorsed Candidates.

Dr. Ami Bera, Representative Mike Honda

The Asian American Action Fund kicked off its fundraising efforts for 2014 with an evening with Congressman Ami Bera (CA-D). An intimate group of AAA-Fund supporters and board members gathered at the Capitol Hill home of Monisha and Rob Santamaria on Wednesday, January 18 to hear the Congressman’s thoughts on a range of issues from international relations with China and India to skyrocketing college tuitions. The evening was highlighted by delicious food, catered by Joseph Marcolin (a.k.a. Joey Garlic of The Pug), and delightful wine pairings.

During the event, Congressman Mike Honda made an appearance to join in the festivities for the evening. Both Congressmen explained the importance that elections this year will have on increasing opportunities for APA candidates and the critical role AAA-Fund plays on supporting such candidates. When asked about his favorite memory during his first term, Congressman Bera spoke about being sworn in to Congress as his father, who had emigrated to the U.S. in 1958, watching from the gallery. “In one generation, he saw his son become a member of Congress,” he added.

After the event, Paul Tiao, a returning AAA-Fund Board member said, “It was indeed a delightful event. We had a meaningful discussion with Congressmen Bera and Honda that was filled with policy, politics, jokes and laughter all around. The event was a great success and we need to build on the momentum.”

Indian-Americans in Congress.

Here we post the answer to tomorrow’s newsletter’s trivia question.

Dr Amerish “Ami” Bera, only the third Indian American to be elected to the United States Congress.

The 1st Indian-American in the US Congress was Dr. Dalip Singh Saund in 1955.

Answer’ from India Abroad celebrates Indian-American triumph at glittering event.

DC, Jan 15: Dr. Ami Bera Fundraiser

We the Asian American Action Fund (AAAF) kick off our 2014 fundraising with an intimate dinner with Congressman Ami Bera on Wednesday, January 15th. The event will feature delicious food and wine pairings. Tickets start at $500 and we encourage advance online contributions.

Dr. Ami Bera (also see Wikipedia article) is an AAAF 2013 Endorsed Candidate. His campaign for both his re-election as well as representing California’s 7th congressional district embodies the AAAF’s mission & spirit. Please join us in celebrating & supporting his work.

Asian American Action Fund
Cordially invites you to a
Congressman Ami Bera

An intimate evening with Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) highlighting delicious food and delightful wine pairings.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
7:00 pm
Monisha and Robb Santamaria Residence 913 8 St., NE
Washington, DC 20002

Suggested Donations
Friend | $500 • Sponsor | $1,000
PAC Donations: Silver | $2500 • Gold | $5000

Donations will go to the AAA-Fund to support its continuing efforts to elect Asian American Democrats and politically activate the Asian American community.

Limited Space – RSVP Required!

Please RSVP to Monisha Santamaria monishasantamaria@gmail.com 646-479-0554


Asian American Action Fund’s
Dinner with Congressman Ami Bera January 15, 2013

To Start
Lancyre Rose 2012
89 Points Wine Spectator – A vibrant style, with concentrated dried berry and melon flavors accented by dashes of pepper. Dried mango and pineapple notes emerge on the rich finish.

Barrique Cellars Pinot Noir 2012
92 Points Schneider’s of Capitol Hill – Inky purple in color with lots of blackberry and dark cherry fruit, a big, fat, soft middle, excellent juicy mouthfeel and a soft finish.

Antucura Calcura 2008
90 Points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar – Juicy and suave, with a fine-grained texture to the blackberry, cassis and spice flavors

To Finish
Jorge Ordonez No.2 Victoria 2012
93 Points Stephen Tanzer ́s International Wine Celler – Brilliant yellow hue. Fresh and intense, with a mix of sensations of freshly peeled apple, orange peel, bee pollen and aromatic herbs. Concentrated, fat but refreshing. Long finish. Served at the banquet of the 2012 Nobel Awards.

Catering by Joey Garlic; Wine Pairings by Schneider’s of Capitol Hill

Paid for by the Asian American Action Fund 510 I St NW, Suite 100 Washington, DC 20001
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee

AAA Board of Directors
Marybelle Ang
K.J. Bagchi, Deputy Secretary
Irene Bueno
Gloria T. Caoile
Richard Chen, Blog Executive Editor
Rose Chu
Gautam Dutta, Executive Director
Caroline Fan
Thomas Goldstein
Melissa Hampe, Deputy Executive Director
Ken Inouye
Bel Leong-Hong, Chair-Elect
Jae Choi Kim
Otto Lee
Irene Lin
Howard Moon
Monisha Santamaria, Secretary
John Tagami
Paul Tiao
Yeni Wong, Chair
AAA Fund Advisory Board
Phil Nash
Toby Chaudhuri Kahan S. Dhillon, Jr. Justin Gillenwater Hon. Paul Igasaki Erika Moritsugu
AAA Fund Honorary Board
US Representative Honda (CA), Chair US Senator Akaka (HI)
US Senator Inouye (HI)
Secretary of Commerce Locke (Fmr.) Secretary of Transportation Mineta (Fmr.)
US Representative Becerra (CA)
US Representative Bera (CA)
US Representative Bordallo (Guam) US Representative Chu (CA)
US Representative Clarke (MI)
US Rep. Faleomavaega (American Samoa)
US Representative Green (TX)
US Representative Hanabusa (HI)
US Senator Hirono (HI)
US Representative Matsui (CA)
US Representative Scott (VA)
US Representative Underwood (Guam) (Ret.)
CA Controller John Chiang
CA Assemblymember Eng (Ret.)
CA Assemblymember Furutani (Ret.) CA Senator Lieu
IA Senator Dandekar (Ret.)
MD Delegate Barve
MD Delegate Lee
MD Delegate Valderrama
MN Senator Moua (Ret.)
OH Representative Goyal (Ret.)
TX Representative Vo
VA Representative Keam

AAA Fund Endorses Shari Song for King County Council

November 2, 2013
Asian American Action Fund Proudly Endorses Shari Song for King County City Council
Rising Star and Business Leader Seeks to Continue History of Community and Public Service

The Asian American Action Fund, a national Democratic Asian American political action committee, is pleased to endorse Seattle realtor Shari Song for King County City Council. Song is a first time candidate but a longtime community leader with business experience. She has served on the boards of the Korean American Chamber of Commerce and the Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), chaired the Diversity Commission of the City of Federal Way, and most recently was a Member of the Seattle Police Korean Community Advisory Council. Song was awarded the King County Recognition Award for Community Service, and serves as a Director for the Mission Church Learning Center in Federal Way.

Executive Director Gautam Dutta stated, “Shari Song will prioritize improved transportation, promote job creation policies, and focus on public safety. She has a strong track record of leadership in the Asian Pacific American community in King County.”

AAA Fund Endorsements Chair Caroline Fan enthused, “Shari is exactly the kind of candidate who we seek – she is deeply engaged in her community and will work hard for her constituents. She’s built an amazing and broad coalition of support from working families to environmentalists. ”

Asian American GOTV w/ McAuliffe, Northam, Herring

Editor’s Note: The below is from our friends at their Virginia campaigns. We encourage our readers to participate in these GOTV efforts as they advance our core purpose, to advance Asian American participation in US politics at all levels.

Asian American GOTV Rally with Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam, and Mark Herring on Friday, 11/1, 6:30pm – 7:30pm. We’ll be at Delegate Mark Keam’s Office, 1952 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA, 22182.

We’re also having a special luncheon with Belkis Leong-Hong, Chairwoman of the DNC’s AAPI Caucus on Sunday, 11/3, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM over at Dragonfly Bistro at 13840 Braddock Road, Suite F, Centreville, VA 20121. Dunn Loring is closest Metro.

Can you make it to one of these events? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll contact you! We’re so happy to have the community on our side. Note if you drive or need ride.
Saturday, Nov. 2, 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 3, 1 p.m., 4 p.m.
Monday, Nov, 4, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov 5, 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.

We just released our third campaign video (shown above). Feel free to share with folks you know who can vote for us in District 67.

We’ve created an Event in our Facebook Group.


FRIDAY: We’re having an Asian American GOTV Rally with Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam, and Mark Herring on Friday, 11/1, 6:30pm – 7:30pm. Delegate Mark Keam’s Office, 1952 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA, 22182.

HUNG NGUYEN EVENT: We’re also having a special luncheon with Belkis Leong-Hong, Chairwoman of the DNC’s AAPI Caucus on Sunday, 11/3, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM over at Dragonfly Bistro at 13840 Braddock Road, Suite F, Centreville, VA 20121.

AAA Fund Pleased To Announce Endorsements of Mark Keam and Hung Nguyen for Delegates in Virginia

AAAF logo

Trailblazers have long history of community engagement

OCTOBER 9, 2013

Contact: Gautam Dutta (415) 236-2048

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Asian American Action (AAA) Fund is pleased to announce the endorsements of Virginia House Delegate candidates Mark Keam and Hung Nguyen.

Second term Delegate Mark Keam is the first Asian-born immigrant to serve as a Virginia state legislator. He is running for reelection to represent House District 35 (Tysons, Vienna, Oakton) in Fairfax County. Del. Keam has a long history of public service, most recently as Chief Counsel to Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin. Over the past four years, Del. Keam authored several bills that have become law, and continues to work on education, transportation and jobs, as well as making Virginia a welcoming place for immigrants.

Hung Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American small business owner running for Delegate in House District 67 (Chantilly). His commitment to public service stems from his extensive experience in the non-profit sector and his work on numerous appointed positions including the Fairfax County Consumer Protection Commission, the Virginia Asian Advisory Board, and the Governor’s Commission for National and Community Service. When elected, Nguyen would become the first Vietnamese-American elected official to serve in the state legislature in Virginia history.

AAA-Fund Executive Director Gautam Dutta said, “We’re excited to endorse Mark Keam, who contributes significantly to Asian American politics. We enjoyed working with him during his time on the AAA-Fund Board and know that he will provide commonsense solutions for job creation and education.”

AAA-Fund Board Member Tom Goldstein added: “With his decades of public service to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Hung Nguyen will make sure that our voices are heard in Richmond.”


DC Tues Oct 8: Free Happy Hour with VA’s Mark Keam & Hung Nguyen

The Asian American Action Fund invites you to a happy hour honoring 2 great Asian American candidates running for the Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013: Incumbent Mark Keam (35th District) and challenger Hung Nguyen (67th District). Contributions accepted by the AAA Fund at this event will be used by the AAA Fund to support outstanding leaders who care about the diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Tuesday, October 8
6 – 8 p.m.
Local 16, 1602 U Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Enjoy complimentary pizza and happy hour specials until 8 p.m.

The Asian American Action Fund ( aaa-fund.com) is dedicated to increasing the voice of the Asian
American communities in government by helping to elect candidates who have a demonstrated
commitment to these constituencies.
Suggested Contribution to AAA Fund: $25 at the event or online at http://bit.ly/KeamNguyen13 or sign up for volunteer shifts (with the campaigns) at the event.

Please contact KJ Bagchi KJBagchi@gmail.com or Tom Goldstein TGoldstein@PaxtonGroup.com with any questions.

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.