By Chris Tan
Washington, D.C.- The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) congratulates all the newly elected Members of Congress and celebrates the accomplishments of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in federal, state and local elections. APAICS welcomes 3 newly elected AAPI Members of Congress and 9 AAPI incumbents to the 114th Congress, with one race too close to call (California's 7th Congressional District).
Newly elected Members of Congress include Aumua Amata (American Samoa), Ted Lieu (CA-33) and Mark Takai (HI-01). Ted Lieu is the first Asian American to represent California's 33rd Congressional district in Los Angeles. Aumua Amata is the first woman to represent American Samoa as a Congressional delegate.
By Chris Tan
Although Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S., their voter participation is relatively low compared to other ethnic groups. An article from Public Radio International (PBR) brings light to the efforts to get more of the racial group out to vote.
The difficulty of reaching out to Asian Americans is the language barrier. The community is comprised of many languages, which makes it hard for candidates to communicate with them.
“They come from countries where democracy, this kind of a voting process, isn’t part of their natural culture,” says Tanzila Ahmed of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a civic engagement group. “They have to learn about what it means to be a voter. It’s a very new process for them.”
Using student volunteers, Ahmed is operating a phone bank to provide voter information in 17 languages including Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Bengali. Her goal is to register about 30,000 voters.
APAPA hopes that the combined efforts of like-minded organizations will increase voter participation in future elections.
This post originally appeared on Public Radio International (PBR)
By Chris Tan
Three weeks after the "Hand of Power" video was launched to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to turn out to vote, the video has already garnered over 250,000 views on YouTube. Featuring Filipino actor-dancer Gabriel Valenciano and other stars, the video has been shared by organizations such as APAPA and elected officials including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Lee, Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, and State Controller John Chiang.
“Millennials need to join the millions of people who will be going to the polls this fall, said Leo Liu, founder of Project Firecracker.” “We think humor is a great way to reach people who haven’t been active in politics. Asian American young people need to make their voice heard and share what’s important to them – and this video is made for Asian American young people.”
The video can be seen here: http://youtu.be/1g30sHkc128
This post originally appeared on Asian Week
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