AAAFund Joins DNC IWillVote Campaign

We are proud to be an official member of the DNC’s IWillVote campaign. We exist to empower AAPI and voting is a prime expression of expressing and obtaining that power. Our 18 years of heart and work on this cause, to give AAPI the political voice and power we lawfully rightfully have, make us so happy to be a part of this larger campaign. We rise together so register to vote on November 6, register friends and family to vote, and repost/reTweet our work in doing the same ourselves.

The below is the press release:

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DNC Announces New IWillVote Campaign to Reach 50 Million Voters in 2018, Including AAPI Voters

Today, the Democratic National Committee is announcing the launch of IWillVote – an unprecedented new campaign with four initiatives: Commit to Vote; Voter Registration; Voter Education and Protection; and Get-Out-The-Vote. Under the IWillVote program, the DNC, in partnership with state parties and organizations, aims to reach 50 million voters from now until November to engage, educate, and mobilize them to vote for Democrats up and down the ticket. The Asian American and Pacific Islander community will be a crucial target in reaching these voters. The AAPI community is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the country and has been crucial to Democratic victories in numerous key elections over the years, so mobilizing AAPI voters is a top priority for the DNC.

The following are some of our initial partners who will support our IWillVote efforts: Asian American Action Fund, ASPIRE PAC, Blue Future, BOLD PAC, CBC PAC, Collective PAC, College Democrats of America, Flippable, Future Forum, High School Democrats of America, Latino Victory Fund, Mobilize America, National Conference of Democratic Mayors and Democratic mayors from more than 30 cities, National Democratic Redistricting Committee, PODER PAC, Swing Left, Young Democrats of America.

Over the past year, we’ve seen what a difference Democratic voter turnout can make. In Virginia, we elected a Democratic governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, and flipped 15 seats in the House of Delegates from red to blue. In Alabama, we elected the state’s first Democratic senator in decades. And since Donald Trump was elected, Democrats have flipped 39 state legislative seats, including some in districts that Trump won by double digits. When we organize early and everywhere, we win up and down the ballot.

However, we know that turnout during the midterms is historically low – just look at 2014, when voter turnout was the lowest since World War II. In addition, we have seen that the Republican strategy is to disenfranchise voters, particularly minority and youth voters, and to suppress the vote. While Trump and his Republicans roll back the landmark Voting Rights Act or enact voter ID laws, Democrats are fighting for voters and their right to cast a ballot, because Democrats believe every voice deserves to be heard and counted.

“The American people have witnessed the relentless commitment of the Republican Party to discourage voting – from the creation of a sham fraud commission to systemic disenfranchisement of communities of color. The DNC has opposed those efforts at every step, and we are prepared to hit them where it hurts – the voting booth,” said Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez. “Our first Commit to Vote program translates activism and marches into committing to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot this November and is designed to reach voters and communities across the country with new innovative tools and technologies, key partnerships, and online and on-the-ground organizing strategies. In partnership with our state parties and partners, the DNC will reach 50 million voters this year.”

“ASPIRE PAC is pleased to partner with the DNC’s IWillVote program in engaging AAPI voters and encouraging active participation in the Democratic Party,” said ASPIRE PAC Chair and DNC Vice Chair Grace Meng, “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest-growing populations in the country, and this program will help ensure that AAPI voices are heard at the polls in the midterm elections.”

“In recent years, Asian Americans and Pacific Islander voters have been crucial to Democratic victories in swing states and districts across the country,” said AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong-Hong. “The IWillVote program is an innovative way to galvanize the extraordinary passion among AAPIs across the country. I know that this program will funnel this passion into results at the ballot box and I’m excited to be working with great leaders like DNC Chair Tom Perez and DNC Vice Chair Grace Meng to make it successful.”

DNC On AAPI Women’s Equal Pay Day

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Editor’s Note: The below is a repost of “Marking AAPI Women’s Equal Pay Day“. We’re participating in today’s #AAPIEqualPay Tweetstorm with our many allies including @PPact (Planned Parenthood Action Fund) and @emilyslist (Emily’s List), esteemed leaders in women’s rights and political action and active mutual supporters in our shared causes for our shared communities.

To mark AAPI Women’s Equal Pay Day, DNC Women’s Caucus Chair Lottie Shackelford and DNC AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong-Hong released the following statement:

“Across the country, women are rising up and making their voices heard more loudly than ever in the political sphere. They’re getting involved on the ground level as organizers, volunteers, activists and campaign managers, and they’re running for office in record numbers. But even in the midst of this powerful movement, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women still only make 87 cents to every dollar white men are paid. In the year 2018, this is unconscionable, and for certain groups in the AAPI community the gap is even wider. Over a lifetime, this disparity can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In many cases AAPI women simply do not have access to well-paying jobs for a sustainable livelihood. This isn’t just unjust; it also severely hinders AAPI women’s long-term financial growth and stability, hurts hardworking families, and is bad for the economy.

“The Democratic Party is proud to champion equal pay for equal work, a fundamental principle of our platform. Women are the core of our party, and we will not rest until all women and all working families receive fair and equal pay, so we can create a stronger America for all.”

Mr. Khizr Khan Interview Highlights

Khizr Khan speaks quietly, yet purposefully. But for his towering height, he may not have stood out in the crowd at our June 14, 2017 fundraiser in Washington, D.C. The father of a Muslim-American soldier, who was killed in the Iraq War, gained celebrity status following his televised speech at the Democratic National Convention last August. During the speech, where he was flanked by his wife, Khan famously held up a pocket copy of the Constitution as he called out then-candidate Donald Trump for his rhetoric against Muslim Americans.

Khan sat down with the social media action team of AAA Fund for an interview.

Here are the highlights.

  • Since his appearance at the Democratic National Committee convention, Khan has spent less time in his hometown of Charlottesville, Va. He has made 124 public appearances across the country. He feels compelled to speak out “because I feel personally that the country needs the voice of all of us.”

    “That has been my journey and I will continue to speak.”

  • Khan draws strength from meeting people from his visits to California, Iowa, Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C. “I have never felt so positive, hopeful and enthusiastic as I feel now when I meet communities … This difficult moment is momentary. It will pass,” he said.

    Where does he derive his optimism? Khan says that he sees Americans “stand for the rule of law, stand for pluralism, stand for goodness of this country.” He says it has been a blessing to have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and to be among people who also uphold its principles.

  • Khan wants to do more than to come together in affirmation of democratic values. “My emphasis today is on action,” Khan said. He has a clarion call for Americans:

    First, Khan urges Americans to run for office. “Become candidates – not only voters – for school board, county boards, state assembly, Congress.”

    Second, he says that voting is a “must.” “Voting is a privilege, an honor and an obligation.”

    Third, Khan calls on elected officials and the public to speak out against hate crimes. “Hatred is un-American. … regardless of where it comes from or who displays it.” Specifically, he said he was troubled by the murders of the two men who defended Muslim American women in Portland, Oregon, and the recruit who was killed by an alt-right follower on the University of Maryland campus.

  • The Khan family experienced the ultimate sacrifice called for by any American: the loss of their son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, 27, who died from a suicide bombing in Baghdad 12 years ago.

    When asked to share his thoughts about this sacrifice, Khan immediately spoke favorably about the people in military service and the service itself.

    “These are patriotic Americans,” he said. “We are indebted to their sacrifice. We will not be complete unless we honor the sacrifice of those who stood for this country and sacrificed their lives for this country.”

    Further, Khan urges anyone who wishes to [join] the armed services or law enforcement to do so. “It’s voluntary, not obligatory.”

    At the same time, Khan views military service as a patriotic duty that cannot be eschewed when the time calls.

    “When you made this country, this land, this nation, your home, you must defend it” he said, emphasizing again, “You must defend it.”

    “There is no ‘if.’ There is no ‘but.’ There is no ‘I will enjoy the Constitutions, the Bill of Rights, and I will not defend it.’ That is not patriotic.”

  • When asked about Khan’s advice to Asian Pacific Americans, particularly immigrants who are not yet registered to vote, voting or otherwise engaged in civic activities, he said:

    My humble message would be this: We, parents and families, emigrated to the United States. The United States is a republic and a democracy where your voice can only be heard by participation. … otherwise we [will] sit on the sidelines, and … be ignored.

    “If you come to this country, you must fulfill the obligation,” he ended.

P.S.: Thanks also to Kumar Jayasuriya and Christine Moua for transcription, recording, and editing.

John Chiang on Muslim Ban

Our friend John Chiang, California’s 33rd State Treasurer, has a message for all Californians and Americans:

John Chiang, Candidates for CA Governor Leads 27 Asian American Office Holders to Demand Trump to Reverse Muslim Ban

SACRAMENTO – State Treasurer and California Gubernatorial Candidate, John Chiang rallied influential Asian Pacific Islander Americans elected to local, state and federal offices today, demanding President Donald Trump to rescind his “unconstitutional executive order shutting our nation’s borders to travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries based solely on their race and religious beliefs.”

The letter, included below, is signed by:

John Chiang, California State Treasurer

Betty Yee, California State Controller

Fiona Ma, Chairwoman, California State Board of Equalization Member, Second District

Ted Lieu, Member of Congress, House of Representatives, 33rd Congressional District

Dr. Richard Pan, Member, California State Senate, 6th District

Rob Bonta, Chair, California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus

Member, California State Assembly, 18th Assembly District

David Chiu, Member, California State Assembly, 17th Assembly District

Phillip Y. Ting, Member, California State Assembly, 19th Assembly District

Kansen Chu, Member, California State Assembly, 25th Assembly District

Ash Kalra, Member, California State Assembly, 27th Assembly District

Evan Low, Member, California State Assembly, 28th Assembly District

Adrin Nazarian, Member, California State Assembly, 46th District

Ed Chau, Member, California State Assembly, 49th Assembly District

Al Muratsuchi, Member, California State Assembly, 66th District

Theresa Mah, State Representative, Illinois General Assembly, 2nd District

Ron Kim, Member, New York State Assembly, 40th District

Yuh-Line Niou, Member, New York State Assembly, 65th District

Mark L. Keam, Member, Virginia House of Delegates, 35th District

Stephen Sham, Vice Mayor, City of Alhambra, California

Jeffrey Koji Maloney, City Council Member, City of Alhambra, California

Ali Sajjad Taj, Mayor, City of Artesia, California

Mark Pulido, Councilmember, City of Cerritos, California

David E. Ryu, Councilmember, City of Los Angeles, California

David Lim, Mayor, San Mateo City Council

Rishi Kumar, City Councilmember, City of Saratoga and Director, California, California League of Cities API Caucus

Basim Elkarra, Trustee, Area 5, Twin Rivers Unified School District

Ameya Pawar, Alderman, City of Chicago, Illinois

Josina Morita, Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Illinois

Text of full the letter:

Dear President Trump:

The Asian Pacific Islander American community is outraged over your unconstitutional executive order shutting our nation’s borders to travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries based solely on their race and religious beliefs.

Your 2,800-word executive order drips with cruel irony as it turns away refugees trying to escape the same Islamic terrorism and violence that you naively claim will be repelled from our shores if we only embrace your bigoted and cowardly directive.

Your ban on Muslims is not only unconstitutional, it forsakes the core values that make America great: equality, fair play, and the shimmering promise that the United States is a welcoming place for those “yearning to be free.”

As Americans, we have been taught to take pride in our diversity and our constitutional right to religious freedom. As Asian Pacific Islander Americans, we will not stand idly by as you attempt to pervert this nation’s melting pot into a boiling cauldron of intolerance, hate, and division.

APIA federal, state and local elected officials demand an immediate cancellation of your order. In just days, you have managed to sow fear and confusion among thousands of travelers, impacting foreign visitors and legal United States residents alike. There are no reports – or even claims – that any of those who have been turned away from flights or detained posed a credible terrorist threat. They are students, scientists, and interpreters serving America’s interests.

As Asian Pacific Islander Americans, we also know what it is like to be labeled “other,” to become victims of state-sponsored racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. Our Chinese ancestors came here to build the transcontinental railroad in the mid-1800s, only to be officially excluded from our shores with Congress’ passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Many of our families were left out of the United States because of the Immigration Act of 1924 which banned Arabs and Asians from coming to our country.

And we can never forget World War II, when we locked up innocent U.S. citizens because, in a misguided hysteria to further national security, we deemed the Nisei enemy agents, simply because they were Japanese American. Many of those incarcerated went on to heroically fight in the U.S Army, helping to defeat Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and Imperial Japan.

We wrongly believed these shameful ill-begotten episodes had been consigned to the junk pile of American history – and that the sins of our past, seared into our social memory, would forever inform and guide our better future.

Yet here we are. It is happening again – in 2017 – leaving us shocked, angry and forced to wear the shroud of indignity you have tossed so casually over the nation. Our Muslim brethren are being mistreated because of their faith, dress, and customs. This is un-American.

President Trump, your executive order is breaking up families; separating children from parents; casting a pale over our centuries’ old rule of law and punishing people because of the pigmentation of their skin and the deity they worship.

The history of Asian and Pacific Islander American communities allows us to walk in the shoes of Muslims, today. That is why we stand in solidarity with our fellow Muslim-Americans and immigrants. We view your attack on them as an attack on us.

If there is ever a time to stand on the right side of history, it is now.

Please, Mr. President, reverse your divisive and illegal order. America deserves better.

For more news, please follow Candidate for Governor, John Chiang onTwitter at @JohnChiangCA and on Facebook at John Chiang for Governor 2018.

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