Sruthi Venkatraman, AAPI Caucus Events Working Group Member

Sruthi Venkatraman

Sruthi Venkatraman lives in Bangalore, India and votes in Washington. Inspired by The West Wing like many others, she took the plunge into the world of U.S. Politics from abroad last year and joined Democrats Abroad. As a member of the Events Working Group of the Global AAPI Caucus, she looks forward to exploring and representing the AAPI community's heritage and diversity.

Currently, she studies at the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts and hopes to one day work in policy reform. She is passionate about minority rights, healthcare and climate change. When she’s not studying for her degree, Sruthi enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee, debating and reading books.

 


Susan Takao, AAPI Caucus "Events" & "Country Committee Guidelines" Working Groups Member

Susan Takao

Greetings from Perth, Western Australia on the coast of the Indian Ocean.

I have been a member of Democrats Abroad since moving to Perth nearly 28 years ago from Santa Barbara, California. While I am not Asian-America, my husband is from Kyoto and my two children are proudly Japanese-American.

The election of President Biden and Vice-President Harris is just the beginning of a very long way to go with much work to be done on a number of fronts. The surge in Asian hate crimes in the US, as well as increased racism abroad, was the motivating force for me to join the AAPI Caucus.

I have always been committed to social equity and justice. I have recently retired after a long career in higher education, both in the US and Australia, including involvement with diversity and inclusion. I look forward to assisting the AAPI Caucus both globally and in Australia.

 


Saehee Chang, Germany AAPI Caucus

Saehee Chang

Hi everyone! Greetings from Nürnberg, Germany.

I decided to volunteer for Democrats Abroad Germany AAPI Caucus because it is personal and important to me. As a naturalized Korean American from Wisconsin, I want to raise awareness of the challenges and issues that the AAPI community faces every day. Since I moved to Germany in 2019, I felt disconnected and isolated from American politics. So I joined Democrats Abroad north and central Bavaria Chapter. In March 2021, after the horrific shootings in Atlanta, I felt numb, sad and worried for my family. The terrible and racist incidents were too much! So I decided that I had to do something to fight for justice especially for our AAPI community.

In the US I also experienced discrimination and microaggressions. It was frustrating and exhausting to deal with stereotypes and prejudices.
My teenagers also experienced uncomfortable situations and questions about their Asian background, not only in the US but also in Germany since they are half Korean American and half German. Wherever we are, we still face similar questions and experiences. I am doing this work for them as well.

I am also proud to be Korean American and teach about Korean culture through cooking and traditional drumming. I will continue to do this work in my new community in Germany.

Along with other communities that are facing challenges, I hope that our caucus will bring much needed awareness of AAPI issues and offer support for each other. Along with educational and social programs, we hope to reach out to AAPI in Germany and build connections. Feel free to reach out to me!

 


Wy Ming Lin, Germany AAPI Caucus

Wy Ming Lin

Hi! I'm Wy Ming (pronounced just like Wyoming, without the O 😉) and I am a New York voter originally from Brooklyn. I've lived all over Germany and have spent considerable time in Berlin, Cologne, and Leipzig, before settling down first for my Masters and now for my PhD in Tübingen. During the 2020 presidential election, I started volunteering for Democrats Abroad, and I was moved at how enthusiastic fellow expats were at still trying to enact change in America. Since then, I have been more engaged with DA Germany and was recently voted to be the Vice Chair of Stuttgart Chapter. I am also helping to build DA Germany's spinoff of the AAPI Caucus because I believe that it's important to support each other and share our experiences as AAPI in our host country, engage with locals who are part of the Asian diaspora, and discuss ways in which we could be active about AAPI issues in our local communities. 

 


Angela Chen, AAPI Caucus Events Working Group Member

Angela Chen

Angela Chen is a California voter, and a member of the Events Working Group of the Global AAPI Caucus. She lives in Singapore with her husband and daughter, having arrived in November 2020 after five years in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, Angela served the nonpartisan League of Women Voters (HK Chapter), enthusiastically incepting expats of both parties into registering to vote in the 2020 Presidential Election. Concerned about the risky post-election slide into ideological echo chambers within the Democratic Party itself, Angela was compelled to join Democrats Abroad Lion City soon after her relocation, though it was the subsequent and unfortunate uptick of anti-Asian violence in the US (and abroad) that spurred her to join the Global Asian American and Pacific Islanders Caucus in early 2021. She is excited to serve the Caucus and learn more about the AAPI community’s commonalities, heritage, and diversity.

Angela is half Mongolian, half Chinese, and all for helping to unite the AAPI community and advocate for AAPI needs.


Quyen Nguyen, AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Quyen Nugyen

Hi! I’m Quyen. I am an Iowa voter and have lived in Bogotá, Colombia for over four years. Previously, I also lived abroad in Vietnam and Thailand. I have been a member of Democrats Abroad since 2018 when our country chapter came together in Colombia. I’ve served as chair of DA Colombia since 2019. I was also co-chair of the Global Youth Caucus when it re-formed in 2020—I recently stepped down from the steering committee only because I passed the maximum age limit! I am also proud to be a founding member of the Global AAPI Caucus and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.I am thrilled that we now have this space to build our AAPI community within DA, and to share our culture and common concerns with others across the organization.


Karen Frankenstein, AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Karen Frankenstein

I joined Democrats Abroad as an active volunteer in 2016. Having lived abroad in Europe and Asia for much of my life, feeling like an American abroad wasn’t really a motivating factor for joining DA - but the shocking election of our 45th President was. And I never really thought much about being Asian American - there weren’t many half-Asian kids running around when I was a child, so my brothers and I called ourselves “hapa”, the Hawaiian word for someone of mixed ancestry - and left it at that. I’m half Chinese and half German-Irish-English-Jewish-Unitarian Chicago Democrat, as we jokingly say.

My family has always been involved in trying to make a difference - in the State Department, Unicef, and as cultural ambassadors, among others. This colored my world view significantly. When the AAPI Caucus started formation work, I wasn’t sure that I would get deeply involved, but I was curious about the idea of an Asian American group, and I thought I might be able to help get it going. Much to my surprise, the issues and commonalities of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders resonated deeply with me. I’m thrilled to be a member of the Steering Committee and I’m looking forward to making a difference!


Ifung Lu, AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Ifung Lu

Hi! I'm Ifung! I am of Taiwanese-Chinese descent and I vote in Illinois. I joined Democrats Abroad in 2016 when I was living in London. After over a decade spent in the UK, my German-American family and I moved to Cologne, Germany where we live today and where I continue to volunteer for Democrats Abroad.

I am honoured to serve on the AAPI Caucus Steering Committee. I think it is so important, especially for quieter members in our community like me, to speak up and make our voices heard in order for our democracy to thrive. And I am so pleased to be able to work with the talented crew in the Steering Committee to organise and make heard all the voices of our diverse AAPI community.


Sam Wong, Former Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Sam Wong

Last year, a small group of amazing, uplifting, and dedicated individuals came together to form the Democrats Abroad Asian American and Pacific Islander Global Caucus. In the beginning our virtual meetings were filled with conversations about each other, what has it meant to us personally to be a member of the AAPI community, our personal journeys, growth, and reflections.

Our journey also coincided with the outbreak of COVID-19, the beginning of a time of uncertainty and hardship for so many. I too found myself in an unusual situation being trapped outside my country of residence. In the span of 10 months, I had to relocate to 8 different cities, but our meetings were a constant and gave me something to look forward to. It was a place I felt heard, respected, and supported. We all cared about one another’s wellbeing, which carried even more weight in a time when many of us felt isolated and alone. One morning after relocating to San Francisco, I woke up to a text from one of my fellow AAPI steering committee members saying they were sending me a loaf of delicious artisanal sour dough bread. What a way to start my morning!

The AAPI caucus has been like a family to me. I have been offered help and support without asking for it, and it seems fitting that with my next relocation voyage just around the corner, it has been my AAPI family that has recommended information on apartments to rent and advice on what neighborhoods to live in. For any member of Democrats Abroad looking for a caucus that will open them with open arms, support, and empower them, the AAPI caucus is the family you have been looking for.

I will miss you all!

Lots of <3

Sam Wong
Asia-Pacific Deputy Regional Vice Chair
(Former AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member)
Soon to be Democrats Abroad alum


Ada Shen, DA Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Ada Shen

Hi, I’m Ada Shen. I’ve been an active member of Democrats Abroad since 2007 when I organized China for the first Global Presidential Primary, and later became the Obama campaign China field organizer in 2008. I led the DA organizing effort in China, mostly focusing on voter registration and mobilization, until its successful founding as a country committee in 2017.

I now live in Paris, France with my husband and son, and am the 2019-2021 National Chair of DA France. I am very pleased to serve on the AAPI Caucus Steering Committee -- our voices, votes, and visibility are an important contribution to the ongoing conversation on what it means to be American. I believe the AAPI voice and vote can work to forge a better future for all — the urgency of our times demand it.