Welcome to the Asian American and Pacific Islander American (AAPI) Caucus!
Founded in 2020, the AAPI Caucus hopes to speak to and for AAPI living abroad. We welcome Democrats Abroad members of all ethnicities who are interested in learning about and advocating for issues affecting the AAPI community both in the United States and abroad.
The caucus regularly organizes events about AAPI history, culture, and issues, so check back often and join the caucus to receive updates via our email newsletter!
Meet the Team
Get to know the members of the Steering Committee - our stories and our goals as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from all around the world. We'll be adding more every month!
For more information, feel free to refer to our Terms of Reference below.
Terms of Reference
Article 1. Definitions
While membership in the AAPI Caucus is open to all, we use the following framings to understand “Asian American” and “Pacific Islander.”
In general, we understand Asian American to be anyone whose origin or ancestry originates from East Asia, Southeast Asia, and/or South Asia, though it is not our intention to state where Asia ends and Europe / Africa begin.
We understand Pacific Islanders to include the Samoan, Guamanian, Fijian, Tongan, or Marshallese peoples and encompasses the people within the United States jurisdictions of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
Article 2. Preamble
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing demographic group in the United States, with Pew Research estimating that the population has grown by 72% over the past decade.
Yet the category is, by definition, broad, including individuals from a wide range of very different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The broad spectrum of cultures, ethnicities, and experiences represented in the Asian American and Pacific Islander demographic present a significant challenge in finding a single or representative voice in American politics.
The idea of the Asian American was a response to and by-product of American politics, and a radical label of self-determination indicating a “political agenda of equality, anti-racism and anti-imperialism.”
Article 3. Objectives
As the Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus, our goal is to speak to, and speak for, the diverse AAPI community among Democrats Abroad membership in all three regions: Asia-Pacific, EMEA and the Americas.
Like other historically-disadvantaged groups of Americans, AAPI Americans are challenged by both individual prejudice and structural discrimination. As a diverse, heterogeneous group, the issues affecting AAPI Americans vary across ethnicities and other intersections, such as the model-minority myth, disproportionate law enforcement attention, institutionalized poverty, and lack of healthcare.
Yet the diversity among AAPI can be an asset: acknowledging that different communities have different needs and priorities while building solidarity across the group as a whole.
In order to address these issues and more, the AAPI Caucus hopes to act as a unified voice to call for structural reforms and for recognizing the AAPI perspective in Democrats Abroad.
The AAPI Caucus will be:
- A forum for all Democrats Abroad members to understand the issues and concerns facing the AAPI community.
- A platform to mobilize AAPI voters living abroad and ensure their needs are met.
- A vehicle to help eliminate unconscious bias towards AAPI among Americans and Democrats Abroad members.
- An advocate for policies and reforms important to the AAPI community, especially AAPI Democrats Abroad.
- A champion for AAPI history and culture to promote intercultural understanding.
- A platform that fosters and develops the leadership skills and organizational know-how of DA members, including but not limited to the AAPI community and those concerned with AAPI issues.
- An advocate for AAPI abroad, both in Democrats Abroad as an organization and society as a whole.
We encourage AAPI living abroad to become engaged in American politics, become better informed about critical policies, and to exercise their right to vote.
Article 4. Activities
- Engagement with AAPI Democrats Abroad members and outreach to AAPI Americans living overseas, including but not limited to:
- Voting assistance events for the AAPI Americans Abroad community.
- Translating Democrats Abroad materials into other languages to aid voter outreach to AAPI living overseas whose primary language is not English.
- Collaborations with AAPI voter engagement groups in the United States, including sharing best practices, experiences and materials.
- Collaboration with other DA caucuses to promote solidarity between various groups within Democrats Abroad.
- Events around AAPI history, culture and issues meant for Democrats Abroad members, especially during AAPI History Month, including but not limited to:
- Webinars with external speakers from outside DA and from within DA
- Round-table discussions around key issues for AAPI
- Cultural events, such as movie nights, poem nights, book discussions, cultural exchange events and cuisine tours
- Celebrations around important dates in the AAPI calendar, such as Lunar New Year, Diwali, Eid al-Fitr, Thai/Lao/Cambodian New Year, and others.
- Fundraisers to raise funds for DA and AAPI activities.
- Workshops, events, and other outreach vehicles to encourage and develop AAPI leadership within Democrats Abroad
- Entertainment events to help build the AAPI Caucus community, such as quiz nights, bingo nights, game nights, and others.
- Advocacy on AAPI issues, both in general and specific to Democrats Abroad, to American politicians and policymakers.
- Social media campaigns on policy issues important to AAPI Democrats Abroad.
- Programs to canvass the views of AAPI Democrats Abroad members on important policy issues, to be communicated through resolutions, reports and publications
- Support for AAPI Democratic candidates in the United States
- Workshops and activities to help communicate the problems with racial discrimination that AAPI face, both to Democrats Abroad members and Americans Abroad generally, and to develop effective solutions.
- Any activities or initiatives deemed necessary or helpful to support AAPI in the Democrats Abroad organization.
Article 5. Structure
Confirmed membership in the AAPI Caucus shall be restricted to members of Democrats Abroad.
The AAPI Caucus shall operate under the supervision of a chairperson (or co-chairs) who, in turn, shall:
- Consult with the Democrats Abroad International Chair/ExComm as necessary
- Organize global level caucus meetings
- Ensure clear and timely communication with Country Level AAPI Caucus Leaders
- Conduct on-boarding for Country Level AAPI Caucuses
- Ensure AAPI Caucus membership records are regularly updated within a DA-held database, checked for accuracy, protected for privacy, and backed up for safe-keeping.
- Survey AAPI membership
- Send an AAPI caucus representative to Democrats Abroad Global Meetings
Article 6. Steering Committee Members
- Interested members should first become actively involved in one of the main Working Groups of the AAPI Caucus.
- Potential Steering Committee members should be nominated by: 1) the Chairperson(s) of the AAPI Caucus, 2) the Head of a Working Group, or 3) a simple majority of the Steering Committee based on quorum.
- Potential Steering Committee members should submit a brief statement of intent (200 words or less) to the Steering Committee, explaining their goals and motivation in joining.
- Nominees to the Steering Committee will be approved by a simple majority vote of the Steering Committee based on quorum during a regularly called meeting at which the question of such approval is on the agenda sent out in advance.
- The AAPI Caucus will strive for regional and ethnic diversity on the Steering Committee (i.e. Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific) to ensure a diversity of opinion.
Section 6.2 Removal from the Steering Committee
- Any DA AAPI Steering Committee member may resign by written notice to the Chairperson(s).
- Any member of the Steering Committee who has either
- missed two consecutive scheduled meetings without notification to one of the Chairperson(s) or
- missed three scheduled meetings in any six-month period
can be removed from office upon approval of two-thirds of the Steering Committee based on quorum. The vote will be held at a regularly called meeting at which the question of such removal is on the agenda sent out in advance, and at which the member is given reasonable opportunity to explain the reasons for their absence.
Section 6.3 Working Groups
- The Heads of the Working Groups shall be appointed by the AAPI Caucus Chairperson(s) with a simple majority approval from the Steering Committee.
- The Chairperson(s) may create additional Working Groups based on need with approval of a simple majority vote of the Steering Committee based on quorum.
- The Chairperson(s) may dissolve Working Groups with approval of a simple majority vote of the Steering Committee based on quorum.
- The standing Working Groups of the Caucus are: Communications, Events, Country Committee Caucus Development, Issues, and Speakers.
Section 6.4 Quorum
A quorum of the Steering Committee shall require the presence of
- the Chairperson(s) and
- a simple majority of the other members of the Steering Committee.