AAPI News

February News: Getting out the vote in a multilingual style!

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Thank you to everyone that came to our Lunar New Year celebration. To everyone celebrating, we hope you had a relaxing and fun start to the new year. 

Our primary message this year is to remind you to request your ballot for this year’s elections at votefromabroad.org. The primaries have already started in Texas, where the tough new voter laws have resulted in 40% of in-state mail-in ballots being returned on Day 1 of early voting. Please make sure to get in your request today. 

Help us spread the word and get out the vote by creating videos in different languages! We want to tell Americans the world over to request their ballots in all the languages that we speak. If you would like to help us by making a video, please email us at [email protected]. To get an idea of what the final product will look like, check out our 2020 videos.

We are organizing events for the coming months and can’t wait to share them with you. For now, make sure to RSVP for our event with the DA Germany Saxony Chapter on Saturday, February 26th to hear from author Willy Wilkinson to discuss his book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency. Then, in March, join us for our event with the Environmental Climate Crisis Council as we hear from renowned author and activist Dr. Craig Santos Perez on March 16th about the intersection of climate change, eco-politics, and poetry.

If you are interested in volunteering with the AAPI Caucus to help us get out the vote in 2022, you can find various opportunities on our website. You can also make a donation to Democrats Abroad on behalf of the AAPI Caucus here. Your financial support to our all-volunteer organization will help pay for voter outreach, improvements to our website, and more.

Best wishes,

Emily Lines
Chair, AAPI Caucus

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Passage of the Amache National Historic Site Act

On February 15, 2022 the Senate unanimously passed legislation authorizing the Amache National Historic Site in Colorado to become part of the National Park System "to preserve, protect, and interpret for the benefit of present and future generations resources associated with the incarceration of civilians of Japanese ancestry during World War II at Amache, also known as the Granada Relocation Center, and the military service of incarcerees from the Amache Center." Read the complete bill here.

Senator Michael Bennet, one of the co-sponsors of the bill in the Senate stated, "The incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II at sites like Amache is a shameful part of our country’s history. Our bill will preserve Amache’s story to ensure future generations can learn from this dark chapter in our history."

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January News: Happy New Year - Have You Requested Your Ballot?

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Happy New Year! On behalf of the AAPI Caucus Steering Committee, we hope you had a healthy, happy, and positive start to your 2022. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we begin getting out the vote, and we’re looking forward to working with you to come out on top in November.

If you haven’t already, we really encourage you to already put in your request for your ballot at votefromabroad.org. The earlier you get your request in, the better! Not only are the midterms in November important, but you should also participate in your state’s primaries to make sure the candidate you want gets on the ballot. The first major primary is in Texas on March 1st, 2022. Texas voters have already begun to receive their ballots, so make sure you request today!

Democrats Abroad is also calling all of members from Texas. If you are interested in helping us phone bank, please visit our website to find upcoming training sessions and all the necessary materials for our ongoing campaigns.

We have a lot of interesting events coming up starting in February. Join us on Thursday, February 3, 2022, for our Lunar New Year Celebration or on Sunday, February 6, to discuss the third episode of the PBS Documentary “Asian Americans”. On Saturday, February 26, the DA Germany Saxony Chapter will host author Willy Wilkinson to discuss his book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency.

And in case you missed it, we were honored to co-host “Why We Can’t Wait” with the DA Reparations Task Force, the Global Black Caucus, and Global Progressive Caucus. We heard from representatives from Nikkei Progressives, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, and Human Rights Watch about the history of the Japanese-American post-WWII Reparations and Black Reparations movements, how such redress has impacted both groups, and why we should continue fighting for this legislation at local, state, and national levels. Watch the recording here.

If you are interested in volunteering with the AAPI Caucus to help us get out the vote in 2022, you can find volunteer opportunities on our website. You can also make a donation to Democrats Abroad on behalf of the AAPI Caucus. Your financial support to our all-volunteer organization will help pay for voter outreach, improvements to our website, and more.

We look forward to seeing you all at an upcoming event and wish everyone a great Lunar New Year!

Best wishes,
Emily Lines
Chair, AAPI Caucus

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AAPI Caucus Applauds the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (PACAANHPI)

Late last year President Biden issued Executive Order 14031, authorizing the creation of the President’s Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. The Commission will advise the President on ways the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, December 20, 2021). The 25 member Commission reflects the wide diversity and expertise within the AANHPI community. It is co-chaired by Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Former Congressional Asian Pacific Islander Caucus Executive Director Krystal Ka’ai will serve as Executive Director of the Commission.

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December News: Accomplishments in 2021 & Preparing for 2022

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2021 is coming to a close and we are all winding down and reflecting on what we have accomplished this past year. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we held over 40 events this past year! This included

You can find more recordings of our past events on the Democrats Abroad YouTube channel and find more information about topics like immigrant detention and voting in the AAPI community on our website.

Moving into 2022, make sure you set a reminder to request your ballot in January from votefromabroad.org. As overseas voters, you must request your ballot each calendar year. What better way to start your year than by crossing this important task off your to-do list?

We are excited for what lies ahead next year, and we will need everyone’s energy and time to make sure we are successful in the midterms. If you are interested in volunteering with our caucus or joining our Steering Committee, send an email to [email protected] More information about volunteer opportunities is below.

You can also make a donation to Democrats Abroad on behalf of the AAPI Caucus. Your financial support will help pay for online ads, improvements to our website, and more.

We want to wish everyone a safe and healthy end to 2021 and a great start to 2022. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Best wishes,
Emily Lines
Chair, AAPI Caucus

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Update on Immigrant Detention

Immigration detention is the detention of people who are awaiting deportation and those suspected of visa violations, illegal entry, or other civil violations. The American immigration detention system is the largest in the world and has grown twenty-fold since 1979 and by 75% in the first decade of the 21st century. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) each use immigration detention facilities, while unaccompanied children are taken care of by the Office of Refugee Resettlement [1].

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Understanding the AAPI Vote: Exploring Voter Data with Christine Chen from APIAVote

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the Asian population is the fastest-growing racial and ethnic group in the U.S.

The impact of this large group was evident following the 2020 November election with much analysis pointing to the strategic and important role played by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters. During the Georgia run-off election, both the Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff campaigns had organizers focused specifically on the AAPI vote in Georgia. Looking ahead to the 2022 midterms, it will continue to be critical to get AAPI voters to turn-out. But what do we know about this voting group? What challenges do we face and how do we help get out the vote among the AAPI community in 2022?

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November News: Join the Steering Committee & Celebrating Victories

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Looking at the results of the recent elections in Virginia and New Jersey, it’s clear that we have an uphill battle next year for the 2022 midterms. But we still want to take a moment to celebrate the victories of AAPIs last week and appreciate the growing representation of the community in U.S. politics. Read more below to learn about who won on Election Day.

The AAPI Caucus is also putting out a call for new members to join our Steering Committee. We are looking for volunteers to become part of the team and strengthen our caucus’ leadership. All are welcome to apply, and you do not have to identify as AAPI to join. If you are interested in joining the Steering Committee, please email [email protected] with information about yourself and why you want to be on the committee. More information about the role of Steering Committee members is below.

There’s still time to join our event with Christine Chen, co-founder and Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) on Friday, November 12/Saturday, November 13, 2021. She will speak about the APIAVote survey of Asian American voters and present the latest voting trends in our communities, both at home and overseas. You’re invited to join the open discussion at this event about how we can get out the vote among AAPI voters living overseas.

Finally, make sure you are following the AAPI Caucus on social media. During the week of November 15-21, we will be working with the Global Black Caucus to take over each other’s social media to raise awareness of shared issues. We’ll wrap up the week with a panel discussion on Sunday, November 21, 2021, at 11am Berlin / 7pm Seoul.

We hope to see you soon at one of our events, and we hope you had a great Diwali!

Best wishes,

Emily Lines
Chair, AAPI Caucus

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Join the AAPI Caucus Steering Committee

The AAPI Caucus is looking to strengthen its global leadership team. As a member of the Steering Committee, you will help guide the caucus and set its agenda. Steering Committee members are asked to also volunteer with one of our working groups (events & speakers, communications & outreach, issues, or voter outreach). The Committee meets every two weeks online and members can expect a time commitment of approximately 5 hours a week. 

If you are interested in joining our Steering Committee, send an email to Emily Lines at [email protected]. In your email, please introduce yourself, why you would like to join the Steering Committee, and any specific areas of interest.

We look forward to expanding our leadership team and continuing to strengthen our caucus!


AAPI Voting - What brings us together?

The diverse community that makes up the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is coming together in a new way. More individuals are identifying as Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI). A recent poll from Politico and Morning Consult found that around two in ten AAPI adults “said they were more likely to identify with the AAPI community than they were before Covid-19”. Furthermore, the AAPI community is mostly in agreement on issues that affect the entire community, not just their ethnic group. They tend to take the views of the Democratic Party regarding these issues.

The past four years have visited increased hostility in word and act on many Asian American Pacific Islanders, much of it fueled by the fear of the Covid virus and the hateful rhetoric used by the previous Administration. In the Politico/Morning Consult poll, 71% of respondents saw the former president’s remarks against the AAPI community as a reason for the discrimination against the community. The anti-China and anti-immigrant rhetoric seemed to be why conservative Chinese-American voters turned against the former President. As members of the Republican Party continue to embrace this rhetoric, there could be a greater turn against the party among the AAPI community. APIA survey respondents indicated that they trust the Democratic Party more than the Republican Party on major issues like gun safety, immigration, healthcare, policing, and the economy. 

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