July 24, 2014

DC, July 21: AAAF’s Political Speednetworking Event

Editor’s Note: Join the Facebook Event at our Facebook Page.

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Asian American Action Fund * Asian American Action Group * America’s Opportunity Fund * PowerPAC+
Political Speednetworking Event: Midterm Elections: Where and How Do I Help the Democratic Cause?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work on a political campaign, or how to become a fundraiser, campaign manager or press secretary? Do you want to know how working on a campaign can further enhance your job prospects once Election Day is over?

AND most importantly, ARE YOU READY to help Democrats win back the House and keep the Senate?

Bring your resumes, be part of the 2014 election cycle resume bank AND JOIN the Asian American Action Fund and other leading progressive groups for a very special professional speednetworking event! We know for Democrats to succeed, we need to have both candidates and campaign staff that reflect the diversity of America. Learn how you can get involved in this critical 2014 political cycle and come hear first-hand candid advice from distinguished political veterans who have been on the campaign trail and in Washington!


Raghu Devaguptapu, Principal with Adelstein Liston, first Asian American to be named Political Director of a national party committee, first at the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and then at the Democratic Governor’s Association

Panelists confirmed include:

Jessica Byrd, Manager of State Strategies, EMILY’s List, former Obama for America 2008 staff

Lisa Changadveja, LGBT Americans Director/Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Director at Ready for Hillary

Joon Kim, Vice President of New Partners Consulting, New Mexico Statewide Field Director, Kerry for President 2004

Alissa Ko, Deputy Director at Ready for Hillary, Former Organizing for America Operation Vote Director – VA

Parag Mehta, Former Director of External Communications and Director of Training for the Democratic National Committee

Madalene Mielke, Principal, Arum Group, Former Director of Training and Curriculum for the Ron Brown-Paul Tully Institute for Political Action

Oscar Ramirez, Principal, Podesta Group, DNC Member and First Vice Chair, Maryland Democratic Party

Mario Salazar, Coordinated Campaign Director at Democratic Party of Virginia, Former Operation Vote Director for Obama for America – Nevada

Nina SmithPress Secretary for Governor Martin O’Malley, former publicist for TheRoot.com

Brandon Thompson, National Training Director, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

DATE/TIME: Monday, July 21
Pre-event networking: 5:30 PM, Program promptly starts at 6:15 PM

LOCATION: Hunton & Williams, LLP, 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW (Foggy Bottom Metro, directions)

RSVP REQUIRED: Seating is limited, RSVP for free online

Republican Opponent Jim Cunneen Endorses Rep. Mike Honda

Editor’s Note: The below is a reposting of “Former Republican Opponent Jim Cunneen Endorses Congressman Mike Honda” from our friends at Mike Honda for Congress. We endorsed his 2014 campaign. Mike is an AAA-Fund Honorary Board member.

Mike Honda for Congress

Silicon Valley, CA – Today, prominent Republican Jim Cunneen endorsed Congressman Mike Honda in California’s 17th district following Vanila Singh’s 3rd place finish in the June primary. Former Assemblymember Cunneen was Congressman Honda’s Republican opponent during the 2000 Congressional election. Cunneen is also a former President and CEO of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, and has held executive positions at Applied Materials and Cisco Systems (both headquartered in CA-17).

“I am proud to support Congressman Honda this November,” said Cunneen. “I’ve admired Mike for as long as I’ve known him. In the Assembly, we worked together on technology and education issues. Most of all, Mike’s integrity and good character have served our region well. His hard work and seniority has consistently delivered for Silicon Valley, including his bipartisan work to secure funding for the BART extension that is delivering thousands of jobs. As a previous supporter of Republican Vanila Singh, who is no longer in the race, I ask that other Republicans join me and switch their support to Mike Honda, who will continue working hard to represent all of us in Silicon Valley.”

Mr. Cunneen joins local Republican elected officials that have endorsed Congressman Mike Honda, such as: Sheriff Laurie Smith, County of Santa Clara; Vice Mayor Jim Davis, City of Sunnyvale; Vice Mayor Jerry Marsalli, City of Santa Clara; Councilmember Patrick Kolstad, City of Santa Clara; Councilmember Tara Martin-Milius, City of Sunnyvale; Trustee Khoa Nguyen, Berryessa Unified School District; Commissioner Cyndy Mozzetti, Fremont Planning Commission; Director Bernard Stewart, Washington Township Healthcare Hospital System; and Former Mayor Denny Weisgerber, City of Milpitas.

The latest public poll available in this race, commissioned by CBS and cited in Ro Khanna campaign memos, has Honda currently leading among registered Republican voters (19% to 18%). The poll also shows a huge lead for Congressman Honda in key demographic groups for the district, such as Moderates (44% to 26%) and Democrats (57% to 21%). Full poll results are available here.

Voters in California’s 17th Congressional District made it clear on June 3rd that they overwhelmingly support Congressman Mike Honda to any of his opponents by 20%, despite being outspent by Ro Khanna’s campaign by a more than 2 to 1 margin. The Honda campaign now has more resources than Khanna, and is in a good position to continue building upon this lead.

Come This Wednesday

Editor’s Note: We have a Facebook Event at our Facebook Page for the below. You can buy tickets online.

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This Wednesday is our Annual Gala. If you haven’t bought a ticket already, I encourage you to get it now even if you can’t attend. Here’s why.

Our 14th annual celebration honoring Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders “When We Vote, We Win” is about more than just AAA Fund. The event celebrates our political accomplishments and also helps fund our political training events and our campaign fellowships that are geared towards training young AAPI students and professionals who want to pursue political careers.

The event also celebrates 14 years of elevating and strengthening the voice of AAPI community and fostering the next generation of leaders to represent us in the political arena.

However, what inspires me most about our Gala is that it brings together members of the AAPI political and policy community across ages, professions, and interests to take an evening to recognize the hard work by those who came before us. And we encourage all of us to now support the existing and next generation of leaders.

Please join me this Wednesday, June 18th at the DNC as we celebrate AAA Funds achievements over the last 14 years, but also focus our efforts to strengthen the AAPI community and foster leadership for tomorrow.

Job: Health Care Fellow, McAllister & Quinn

McAllister and Quinn, a growing and fast-paced government affairs and business development firm , is looking for a paid healthcare fellow for a full time, one-year term position with the possibility of becoming full-time staff. Competitive candidates should have a college degree, be detail oriented, enjoy research and writing, and have great organizational and people skills. Background in life sciences, healthcare, and federal agencies is especially desirable. Must be a team player and motivated. Interested individuals please send a resume and a short writing sample to DRyan@jm-aq.com.

AAA-Fund Endorses Suja Lowenthal for CA Assembly

Long Beach Leader Seeks to Become First South Asian to Serve in CA Statehouse

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MARCH 21, 2014
Contact: Gautam Dutta (415) 236-2048

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Asian American Action (AAA) Fund is pleased to announce the endorsement of Dr. Suja Lowenthal for California State Assembly.
Dr. Lowenthal, the first South Asian to serve on the Long Beach City Council, would be the first South Asian American elected to the California state legislature. She is running to represent the 70th Assembly District (Long Beach) in Los Angeles County. Dr. Lowenthal’s public service includes over 12 years of experience in elected office.

As a Councilmember, Dr. Lowenthal has authored legislation designating Cambodia Town in the City of Long Beach and has brought over 15 years of experience in the water industry to reform rate policies in Long Beach.

AAA-Fund Executive Director Gautam Dutta said, “We’re excited to endorse Dr. Suja Lowenthal, a proven leader who will not need any ‘on the job’ training. Her experience and expertise will make her a leader from day one in the legislature.”

After receiving the AAA-Fund’s endorsement, Dr. Lowenthal stated, “I am deeply honored to have earned the endorsement of the Asian American Action Fund. They join the California League of Conservation Voters, Long Beach’s Democratic clubs, educators, business leaders, hotel housekeepers and Senator Ricardo Lara in an ever-growing base of support for my candidacy.”


May 9, DC: CAPAL Gala

Ed. Note: The below comes to us from our friends at CAPAL, the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership, a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization dedicated to building leadership and public policy knowledge within the Asian Pacific American community. We share their goal to empower Asian Americans in politics. Note also that Asian Pacific American Heritage Month starts next week and lasts the month of May.

CAPAL 2014 Gala

The Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership will be hosting an evening gala to commemorate APA Heritage Month and CAPAL’s 25th Anniversary on Friday, May 9, 2013 at the Sphinx Club (1315 K St NW) in Washington, DC. Last year, CAPAL had over 500 attendees and over 14 partnering organizations. This year’s evening event will celebrate the role of APAs in our society and connect over 500 young professionals with APA leaders committed to public service. Confirmed speakers include Secretary Norman Mineta and Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu.

Proceeds from the gala will go toward CAPAL’s “25 Scholars and Interns in 25 Years Campaign” which will award scholarships to students pursuing unpaid internships in DC.

After party at Lima Lounge!

We the AAA-Fund sponsor a 10% discount to the first 20 AAA-Fund readers who purchase tickets to the gala using code AAAFund. Visit www.capal.org/gala for more info.

June 18: AAA-Fund Annual Reception

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


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Yeni Wong * Bel Leong-Hong * Irene Bueno« Melissa Unemori Hampe * Mona Mohib
Gautam Dutta * Marybelle Ang * Gloria Caoile * Tom Goldstein * Caroline Fan
Otto Lee * Monisha Santamaria * Nasima Hossain * Willard Tom * Puja Bhatia
Richard Chen * Ken Inouye * Paul Tiao * Howard Moon * Glen Fukushima
CAPAC Leadership PAC
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

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

SPECIAL KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Fred Yang, Partner, Garin Hart Yang Research Group

Special Honors for

Fred Yang
Trailblazer Award

John Tinpe
Jane Tinpe
Community Service Awards

Carrie Pugh
Community Impact Award


AAA-Fund endorsees this year include Colleen Hanabusa for U.S. Senate, Mike Honda for Congress, Ami Bera for Congress and Ted Lieu for Congress, all in highly contested and close races! They need the support of our community to make the difference.

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 6/6)
Non-Profit/Public Sector: $100 ($75 online by 6/6)
Student/Young Professional: $55 ($40 online by 6/6)

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


Facebook Event

Like our Facebook Page & join our Facebook Event.

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.

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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.”