September 13, 2021

September News: Welcome from the New Chair & Member Survey



As the incoming chair of the AAPI Caucus, I am honored and excited to be taking on this role. Since the caucus was established last year, we have grown to over 500 members, and we are looking forward to continuing to grow the caucus and increase turnout among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living abroad.

Since last June, I have co-chaired this caucus with Cory Lemke (Democrats Abroad South Korea). On behalf of our Steering Committee, I would like to thank Cory for his work in establishing this caucus and helping to lead it. Cory was recently named the new Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific region. Even though Cory will be taking on this new role, we are glad that he will stay on as a member of our Steering Committee, and we look forward to supporting him as the AP GOTV Coordinator.

We took a short break in August, but we are back and invigorated for the fall season. This Caucus is your caucus, so we want to know what you think! Please complete this member interest survey.

Calling all California voters! 25% of our caucus members vote in California. Have you sent in your ballot yet? We need every Californian to VOTE NO on the governor recall. You can leave question 2 blank or choose a Democrat! If you voted in 2020, you should have received your absentee ballot already. Fax in your ballot today. Questions or problems? Check our website for more information.

In October, we’ll start a discussion series to talk about the five-part PBS Documentary “Asian Americans”. The first discussion will be on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at 7:30pm Berlin time. Each event will discuss one episode. In case you can’t make this first discussion, we will rotate the times so that they are at more convenient times for our members around the world.

We are also always looking for more volunteers. If you are interested in getting involved with the AAPI Caucus, either at the international or local level, please get in touch by emailing me at [email protected].

Best wishes,

Emily Lines
Chair, AAPI Caucus

Action Items for AAPI Caucus Members

AAPI Caucus Feedback Survey

Help us improve the AAPI Caucus! We are interested in hearing from our members to learn more about who you are and what you are all interested in. Please take 5 minutes to answer our survey to let us know what kinds of events you would be interested in attending and what topics you would like to discuss. Many thanks in advance for participating!

Call for Volunteers

Are you interested in getting more involved with the AAPI Caucus? Would you like to help us plan events or write about issues affecting the AAPI community? Sign up to become a volunteer and learn about the various opportunities.

Upcoming Special Elections - In Your State?

See for more details!

  • CA: Fax in your ballot BEFORE September 14, 8:00pm California time
  • NJ: General Election November 2, 2021
    • Request a Ballot by Email or Fax: October 29, 2021*
    • Return Deadline: Nov 2, 2021, 8pm**
  • OH-11 & OH-15 Special Elections:
    • Register to Vote: Oct 4, 2021 
    • Request a Ballot: Oct 30, 2021, 12 Noon*
    • Return Deadline:
      Postmarked by Nov 1, Received by Nov 12, 2021 (Mail) 
      OR Received by Nov 2, 2021, 7:30pm (Courier service)
  • FL: Special election to replace Democrat Alcee Hastings (District 20)
    • Register to Vote: Postmarked OR Online by Oct 4, 2021
    • Request a Ballot: October 23, 2021*
    • Return Deadline:
      Postmarked by Nov 2 & Received by Nov 12 (Mail)
      Received by Nov 2, 2021, 7pm (Fax)
*Even if you are registered to vote, you MUST send in a form to request your ballot in 2021 to vote in these elections.
**If returned by email or fax, voter must also put original ballot in the mail at that time.


Share Your Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations

Moon Festival, Harvest Festival, August Moon Festival (yes, we know, it’s September!).... So many names for this celebration!! On September 21, Asians and AAPI will be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival. In Hong Kong and Macau, the most important festival feature (aside from the family gathering) is the mooncake. They are given as gifts and filled with lotus paste and preserved egg, or even the new ice-cream mooncakes or the snow skin mooncakes. In South Korea, Chuseok is celebrated with a trip to the family village and luxury items like olive oil or electronics.

We would love for you to share how you celebrate! This writer will be celebrating with lanterns, 10 euro mooncake, and JapChe on the balcony on the 21st. Send us pictures, videos, short texts about how you celebrate or how you would celebrate in the U.S. We hope to share on the AAPI Caucus website and in our October newsletter as a way to connect and learn about everyone’s traditions. Send your materials to [email protected].

California Recall Election

Calling all California voters: Democrats need to vote NO to prevent a recall of Governor Gavin Newsom! If Republicans succeed in their effort to remove him, then they will put a Republican in office, and we cannot afford to have another Republican in control. Absentee ballots were sent on July 31, 2021. If you have not received your ballot yet, check your spam folder! Ballots can be submitted by fax until 8 PM (California time) on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

More information on what to do if you haven’t received your ballot or how to return your ballot by fax on our website.

Book & Podcast Recommendations

We've added a new segment to introduce recommendations of books, podcasts, movies, tv shows, and other AAPI-related media we like. Here's our first set!

Book: Goodbye, Again: Essays, Reflections, and Illustrations by Jonny Sun

Jonny Sun illuminates his recent book Goodbye, Again: Essays, Reflections, and Illustrations with peaceful observations of his anxiety (“it’s just a tax I pay so that whoever I really am can go about his life”), egg recipes that will fill you with misty-eyed longing, and delicate line drawings of plants he has known throughout his life. Sun explores the concepts of home, productivity, and mental health with surgical deftness. His collection of essays simply exposes the beauty in all things dark and light, large and small, and will make you feel seen. 

Let your breath be taken away by Sun’s essay “Your last 15 minutes before the end of the world, ranked from worst to best” excerpted here.

Podcast: Asian Enough by the Los Angeles Times

How timely that Asian Enough launched in March 2020, the advent of a steep global rise in anti-Asian sentiment.

Each podcast episode features an interview with a different AAPI figure - past guests have included Vice President Kamala Harris, sociologist Anthony Ocampo, and author Min Jin Lee - and endeavors to broaden and challenge the very term “Asian American” through frank discussion. Listeners will nod and chuckle at the “Bad Asian” confessional that concludes each episode (renamed “Asian Enough” confessions in season 2).

New listeners may start with any episode, but we recommend the podcast’s premiere, an interview with Korean-American actor John Cho. The dialogue is studded with insights on shame, parenthood, and the lifelong contradiction between how one is perceived and how one self-identifies.

Book: Be Everything at Once: Tales of a Cartoonist Lady Person by Dami Lee

Cartoonist/journalist Dami Lee first gained popularity through her charming webcomic As Per Usual and she shares her immigration story as well as the absurdities of millennial life in the comic-memoir Be Everything at Once: Tales of a Cartoonist Lady Person. The book navigates the ever-changing concept of home via coming-of-age stories as a third-culture kid moving back and forth between South Korea and the United States. Her insights are heartening, hilarious, and universal.

Children's Book: Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho (author) & Dung Ho (illustrator)

The gorgeous picture book Eyes That Kiss in the Corners takes the reader on an affirming journey - with surprising joy and ease - through celebrating and uplifting this historically-derided facial feature. To be clear, the tale goes far beyond mere acceptance of one’s heritage; the message is about loving oneself, an empowering tale for all families.

This title is also one of the recommendations from the Global AAPI Caucus’s May 2021 conversation with bookstagram @AsianLitForKids on BIPOC children’s books. You can find the full interview and list of recommended AAPI children’s books on our website.