DNC AAPI: Video Interviews

From Facebook Page, here’s all the video interviews thusfar. We’re producing and uploading many more. Special thanks to Caroline Fan for organizing; Tony Chen, Johnathan Yao, and Kumar Percy Jayasuriya for filming and interviewing; Loren Nares for logistical support; and Helen Guo for social media amplifying.

HS Junior Varun Seetamraju, the youngest volunteer at the 2016 DNC Small Business Council

Neil Makhija, candidate for Pennsylvania State Representative, Carbon County

Rishi Kumar, Saratoga City Council Member

David Ryu, Los Angeles City Council Member, District 4

Ronald Joseph (Temple ’18), Garima Gupta (Temple ’15 & ’16) and Rob Buscher (Philadelphia Asian American Film & Filmmakers) at the phlAAPI #DemSum

Gov. David Ige, Governor of Hawaii

Our 2016 Endorsed Candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi, candidate for Illinois’s 8th congressional district

DNC AAPI Caucus: Inspiration

Progress Democrats AAPI

Last time, we wrote about the inspiring quotes from the DNC AAPI Caucus. Now here’re the inspiring messages:

There is a common theme in this message – the children of immigrants and seeing our parents struggle to give us what we have now. What is the value of our voice? Why do nominees need to come after the AAPI community?

This is our moment. AAPIs are on the rise. We have the fastest growing population. We have more faces and presences in the media and positions. We have the organizing, the brains and brawns. We are more united now. We used to think there was no AAPI community due to presumed infighting, no outreach, no organizing, no organizations, no care or priority, but now we realize we have many networks and that we come together, as this convention has said, stronger together.

Our community is like a sleeping giant. We are not a model minority. We are not your wedge [issue]. We do not let others speak for us. We are ready to take action and we are activated. In Nevada, we have literally been the margin of victory in many races, a particular state of particular political drama.

76% of AAPIs watch YouYube at least one a week. AAPIs hold incredible power and we have to use it NOW.

Calling Out CNN

Editor’s Note: The below is a repost of Erica Jung’s post in the hopes of keeping minds and hearts open. Ms. Jung is the founder of and an instructor at Trepta Toga in Far Hills, NJ. Her piece supports our organizational mission to increase AAPI political involvement.

In light of the crazy that has hit Germany in the last few days, I’ve got a serious bone to pick with American media and a wake up call to my fellow humans. Media has always steered towards sensationalism and what sells or in this day and age, gets the most clicks. Unfortunately fear and the Kardashians seem to be what the general public respond in fervor over, so in light of economics, there is appeal in fueling that profitability. Great, if you are some fluff magazine or site, but not great if you are thought to be a reputable news outlet.

Here’s my bone to pick with you @cnn. Being that I’m actually IN Germany experiencing these events in live time. You used to be a source that I considered as one of the “good guys”, but ever since you headlined Kim Kardashian over a major world event a couple years back and then explained your shift in target because of the readers and the clicks they make, I knew that trust in accuracy and integrity was going to be gone quickly. In a time like this where fear, reaction, and broad generalizations are being fueled over logic, prudence, and understanding, it’s important, more than ever to be unbiased and factual in what you feed our nation.

Too often are we looking to shift the blame and point the finger. Too often are we looking for our fears to be validated when we step into a space of unknown so we can retreat back to our walled up holes and scream, ” I told you so!!!” Now more than ever we need people’s who’s job it is to tell the NEWS, to do that in a manner that keeps the average American informed as objectively as possible so that YOU aren’t making up the minds of the people, without them even knowing.

When the McDonald shooting happened, German outlets were posting video of the troubled teen yelling out against Turks and saying he was German, despite you HIGHLY pushing his Iranian DESCENT. I’m sorry, but when cop shootings happen, why are you not posting if they are of Irish or Jamaican descent in that case?? Tell EVERYONES heritage then. Because the truth is he was a troubled German teen that’s got nothing to do with Muslim extremists. You posted an “eyewitness” claiming there were three masked men screaming “Ahllu Ahbkar” while German outlets said they still didn’t know anything and there seemed to be one shooter. At quick glance of the posted bullet points, the teen seems related to the Muslim based terror fear. Not only till you read much further down do you hear that he was a bullied kid that was obsessed with teen mass shooting, violent video games, and had been in and out of mental health systems. I’m sorry, I thought I was reading about Columbine for a second.

When white Christian kids commit mass killings, do you go on or bullet point their heritage or religion? No, you speak about how they were troubled kids with a history of mental health issues. Same goes for your bullet-pointing of the recent bombing and machete killing. ALL not related, but by your reporting, seriously suggesting they are because they are Muslim or Syrian, that must mean it has terror ties. ONE out of four COULD be Isis related, but again, look like it’s yet another troubled and disgruntled teen.


Stop trying to be the first to report and spit out none sourced facts. Don’t be quick to feed an already hot topic because it sells. Be prudent to not cause divide or prejudice where there is NO link. Do your job for the American people and drop the fluff and insinuations. It’s dangerous to our nations and the worlds well being. Have INTEGRITY. And for us readers, demand it. If money is what they respond to and you don’t want to live in a world of perceived fear and limitation, then start taking responsibility in the people who say they deliver the truth.

Start demanding, with your LACK of clicks that news become something we can rely and trust again. Stop making the world, a race, a religion worse then it is, and stop fueling the pitch forked mobs just LOOKING for someone to blame for their racist tendencies that need an outlet to come out and play and be accepted. Three of the four incidents were by well documented mentality unwell, and suicidal individuals. Another, most likely a crime of passion between a bi-racial couple. CNN wants you to believe that terrorism is taking hold in Germany with their suggestive reporting.

I want you to wake up, get out, meet new people and different cultures, and realize that we will collapse as the race of humanity if we don’t take responsibility in breaking the walls that divide so that ignorance and fear can not and will not survive in the name of getting “clicks”.

And for the love of God, get your butt to a yoga studio so you can have the space to drop the BS, connect, and be love.

The Asian Vote, Alexander Hamilton, and the Protection of Fair Housing

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When you got skin in the game, you stay in the game
But you don’t get a win unless you play in the game

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton

The blockbuster play Hamilton has sparked a national discussion about the role of the federal government. As a once-penniless immigrant, Alexander Hamilton argued, in real life and on Broadway, that a strong federal government should provide every American with the opportunities to survive. Through heated negotiations he created a federal financial system that still funds private ventures. Hamilton was fighting for people just like him: the young, the scrappy, the minorities, and the immigrants. That description calls to mind all of the Asian-American immigrants I’ve know.

The soundtrack of Hamilton provides a strong counter-argument to the traditional Republican call for smaller government. As a minority group, we have an interest in maintaining federal agencies. Demographically, as Asian-Americans, we have the opportunity to continue Hamilton’s cause. Let me explain.

Housing Discrimination Against Racial And Ethnic Minorities 2012

The Power of the Asian Vote: Demography Becomes Destiny

William Frey, of the Brookings Institute explains that minority voting could decide future elections. By taking population growth projections from the Census Bureau and then allocating the minority voting margins of the 2012 election, Frey calculated that minority populations would determine the 2016 and 2020 elections.

As a demographic, Asian are the minority group least likely to vote. According to a Pew Research Study in 2010 only 31% of all qualified Asian Americans voted. This is a lower percentage than whites (45.5%), African-Americans (48.6%), and Hispanics (31.2%).

However, Asian voters make up a significant voting bloc. In a study published by the Center for American Progress, researchers noted that the Asian population has increased in several political battlegroups. Asians make up more than 5 percent of the voting population in seven states: Hawaii, California, Nevada, Washington, New Jersey, New York, and Alaska. In 103 Congressional districts, Asians make up at least 5% of the voting population.

Hamilton and the Washington Cabinet

Housing Discrimination, Federal Agencies, and American Asians

If You Stand for Nothing Burr,
What’ll You Fall For?

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides an example of why federal agencies are valuable to each Asian-American, regardless of income.

In February, Donald Trump promised: “We are going to cut many of the [federal] agencies.” He is not unique. For example, 2012 presidential-candidate, Mitt Romney called for the elimination of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

However, that same year, HUD uncovered widespread discrimination in the housing industry. In 2012 HUD arranged for people of different ethnic groups to pose as potential homebuyers or renters. Each visited with real estate agents or rental agencies. Everyone was shown at least one potential dwelling.

However, Asian homeseekers were told about 15.5% fewer available houses than equally qualified whites. Asians were shown 18.8% fewer homes. The discrimination was worse for Asians with more ethnic names. Prospective Asian American renters are told about 9.8% fewer homes and are shown 6.6% fewer units. The study found that “minority homeseekers whose ethnicity is more readily identifiable experience more discrimination than those who may be mistaken for whites.” Housing Discrimination Against Racial And Ethnic Minorities 2012.

The federal agency does address the problem by providing everyone with the tools we need to find the right house or apartment. HUD partners with other organizations in order to provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues. To help homeseekers, the agency maintains a website of HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies.

Get Out The Vote – Don’t Throw Away Your Shot (with apologies to L. Miranda)

HUD is just one example of a federal agency that supports Asians, and all Americans. We urge you to vote in November. If you have not yet, this federally-funded website will explain how to register to vote. If you have not voted recently, this federally-maintained website will help identify the voting locations and state rules.

Only by voting can we build a government that lives up to Alexander Hamilton’s vision of a republic of the people created equally.

Hamilton in front of the Treasury

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