Powen Shiah published May News: Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with Us! in News 2022-05-18 11:44:42 -0400
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion signaling the likely overturn of Roe v. Wade was a shocking development. While the removal of abortion rights is not unexpected based on the Court’s current composition, it was still a major surprise. Many of you may be frustrated, mad, and even feeling hopeless, but we cannot stop now. As Vice President Kamala Harris stated following the failed vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, “We [...] clearly know we need to elect pro-choice leaders from the local, to the federal level who will defend and uphold a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body.”
If this decision goes forward in the form that was leaked, many other rights may also be affected, including interracial marriage and the decriminalization of homosexuality. We need everyone to vote in November and to make sure their friends and family are also voting. If you haven’t requested your ballot, go to votefromabroad.org today!
Immediately after the leak, we were grateful to speak with Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. She talked about the “Auntie” network that they are building for outreach to ensure that our community is informed of their rights, and also emphasized how impactful a ban on abortion could be to the AAPI community. If you missed this eye-opening event, you can watch the recording.
We kicked off AAPI Heritage Month with Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY). She spoke about the importance of AAPI voters, her experience growing up as Asian American, and the challenges still facing the AAPI community, especially in light of the rise in anti-AAPI hate.
There are still more events ahead this month:
- Preserving Our Voices for the Future - Remembering the legacy of Japanese American incarceration on May 19th with Brian Niiya, Editor of the Densho Online Encyclopedia, and Grace Shimizu, Director of the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project and Coordinator of the Campaign for Justice: Redress NOW for Japanese Latin Americans!
- Climate Cafe on May 25th hosted by the DA Environment & Climate Crisis Council. Join them to discuss the effects of climate change on the Asian Pacific region.
- Unity, Inclusion, and a Shared Commitment to Human Dignity - an interactive session with Diego Sanchez, Director, Advocacy, Policy & Partnerships, PFLAG on May 28th
We hope you can join us at one of our upcoming events. If you are looking for ways to get involved, especially as the midterms approach, 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.
Chair, AAPI Caucus
Powen Shiah published Voting Issues: Election Disinformation and Its Impact on AAPI Voters in News 2022-05-18 11:35:04 -0400
The AAPI Caucus will be sharing information on key issues affecting the coming elections that will impact AAPI communities at both the state and federal levels. This month, we explore Election Disinformation and Its Impact on AAPI Voters.
In recent reports (Brennan Center for Justice, Pew Trust, Common Cause, among others), it was noted that 1 in 3 U.S. citizens, and nearly 80% of Republicans still believe that the presidential election was illegitimately stolen from Donald Trump. Mistrust in the voting process has led to the widespread use of targeted disinformation by Republicans and restrictive voting legislation has passed in several states, as well as harassment of election officials. Election disinformation has targeted communities of color, including social media and messaging platforms used by these communities. Researchers have noted that people believe disinformation claims, because they trust the source of the claims.
There are differences in how false narratives are used. Common Cause, in their work on combating voter disinformation, defines these false narratives as Information Disorder and their intersection from falseness to intent to harm:
Disinformation is content that is false (even if it contains some truth) and deliberately created to harm a person, social group, organization or country.
Misinformation is false information but it is differentiated from disinformation by lacking an intent to harm any person, group or organization.
Malinformation is content that is accurate but is intentionally manipulated to cause harm, including voter suppression or voter confusion.Read more
Powen Shiah published April News: AAPI Heritage Month is just around the corner in News 2022-04-25 04:48:10 -0400
Primary season is well underway! If you haven’t already, make sure to request your ballot for this year’s elections at votefromabroad.org.
- May 3 Indiana, Ohio
- May 10 Nebraska, West Virginia
- May 17 Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania
- May 19 Idaho
- May 24 Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas (runoff)
We have been busy getting our events for AAPI Heritage Month lined up, which starts in just a few days. We are excited to announce that we will be speaking with Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY) on Sunday, May 1, 2022, to kick off the month! Congresswoman Meng will talk with us about continuing to engage the AAPI voter community and why AAPI Heritage Month is important.
Get your calendar out and save these dates:
- May 6th to hear from Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), who will speak about their work to protect AAPI women’s right to reproductive health.
- May 19th, we will talk with Brian Niiya, Editor of the Densho Online Encyclopedia, and Grace Shimizu, Director of the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project and Coordinator of the Campaign for Justice: Redress NOW for Japanese Latin Americans! They will talk about the importance of preserving the legacy and history of Japanese American incarceration.
- Our own Steering Committee member, Annie, will host a cooking event on May 15th to show you how to make fried rice.
- To round out the month, we're welcoming Diego Sanchez, Director, Advocacy, Policy & Partnerships, PFLAG, on May 28th to celebrate intersectionality within our communities and transition into Pride month.
Make sure you follow us on social media and check our events page for the latest updates.
We are excited to see you at one of our many upcoming events. If you are looking for ways to get involved, especially as the midterms approach, you can find various 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 helps pay for voter outreach, improvements to our website, and more.
Chair, AAPI Caucus
P.S. If you missed our event in March with the Environmental Climate Crisis Council, renowned author and activist Dr. Craig Santos Perez was truly moving. Watch the recording!
Upcoming EventsRead more
Powen Shiah published Voting Issues Briefing: Redistricting and Asian-Americans in News 2022-04-22 11:23:24 -0400
As has been well documented (see Pew Research Center among others), Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., nearly doubling to 22.4 million between 2000 and 2019, and projected to surpass 46 million by 2060. The Asian American population comprises many diverse groups, with Chinese Americans being the largest group followed by Indian Americans, Filipino Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Korean Americans and Japanese Americans, this group of six ethnicities comprises 85% of all Asian Americans. Aside from Hawai’i (with 57% of its total population identifying as Asian American), California, Washington, New York, New Jersey and Nevada have the largest overall populations of Asian Americans.Read more
The AAPI Caucus will be sharing information on key issues affecting the coming elections that will impact AAPI communities at both the state and federal levels. In this post we provide an update on redistricting, gerrymandering and the impact on representative Asian Americans and their communities.
Redistricting Update - April 2022
Congressional maps delineating district borders must be redrawn every ten years after the decennial census to account for shifts in population, to ensure that districts are correctly mapped to represent changing populations and communities. As the current redistricting process which began in 2021 nears its conclusion, there appears to be a shift of 12 congressional seats to the Democrats. But the Republicans are also seeing an increase of seats, and with complex litigation in some states regarding redistricting and a conservative Supreme Court, there will be an uphill battle to maintain the house majority.Read more
Powen Shiah published March News: Protect Our Climate and Put an End to Anti-AAPI Hate in News 2022-03-15 20:05:08 -0400
Spring is around the corner and the primary season is officially underway. Have you requested your ballot yet? There are important primaries coming up in May, so now is the time to visit votefromabroad.org to get in your request and to make sure you can vote this year. It is critical to request your ballot early, since many states are working to make voting more difficult. You can read more below about the restrictive voting legislation being introduced that will also impact AAPI communities at the state and federal levels.
You can still sign up to help us get out the vote by creating videos in different languages! If you would like to help us by making a video, please email us at [email protected] You can check out the videos from 2020 to get an idea of what the final product will look like.
This week, we are hosting an event with the Democrats Abroad newly established Environment & Climate Crisis Council(ECCC). Join us on Wednesday, March 16, as we hear from renowned author and activist Dr. Craig Santos Perez. He will share his poetry from his new book and discuss with us the intersection of poetry, climate change and eco-politics.
On Wednesday, March 23, we will also host two events in honor of the one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting in Atlanta, where 8 people were murdered, 6 of them Asian women. We will be offering a space for people to gather, reflect, and share about how they are feeling one year later. You can RSVP to attend either the event at an Asia Pacific-friendly time or a Europe, Middle East, Africa and Americas-friendly time.
If you want to volunteer with the AAPI Caucus, you can find various 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.
Emily LinesRead more
Chair, AAPI Caucus
As part of our monthly newsletters, the AAPI Caucus will be sharing information on key issues affecting the coming elections that will impact AAPI communities at both the state and federal levels.
Restrictive Voting Legislation
With the failure of the Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act in January, introduction of state-level legislation to restrict voting access has continued to increase, impacting both individuals’ ability to vote and undermining the electoral process. If enacted, it would disproportionately affect voters of color.Read more
Powen Shiah published January News: Happy New Year - Have You Requested Your Ballot? in News 2022-01-18 14:42:02 -0500
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,Read more
Chair, AAPI Caucus
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!
Powen Shiah published June News: From APA Heritage Month to Pride Month in News 2021-06-08 07:55:59 -0400
We hope you enjoyed our Asian Pacific American Heritage Month events! In May, we hosted 11 events and had broad participation from around the world. Our cooking classes (Korean Street Food and Filipino Chicken Adobo) were hugely popular - they had the highest turnout. Don’t forget to check out some of the other events we held - some of them are online on our YouTube channel and can be watched at any time. We look forward to seeing you at our other AAPI events!
June is Pride Month. To celebrate, our caucus will be exploring the intersections between AAPI and LGBTQ+ identities in partnership with the Global LGBTQ+ Caucus. We’ll be hosting a segment of the Pride Marathon on June 20 (more details below). And join us on June 25 for a Q&A session with Professor Amy Sueyoshi, Associate Dean of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, on her work with the Seen and Unseen Exhibit, which explores the history of LGBTQ people in the Japanese American community before 1945. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates on those events!
As we wind down from the Democrats Abroad Global Meeting last month, we will also begin developing tools to help country committees increase their outreach to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in their countries. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing racial group in the United States, and our votes can make the difference in states like Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. Check out this page to get involved today!
Cory J. Lemke and Emily LinesRead more
Asia is diverse, and so are our Asian American experiences! Here's a list of recommended reading for people looking to include Central and Southwest Asian American voices on their bookshelves and their screens.Read more
Powen Shiah published COVID-19 hits Asian American employment especially hard in News 2021-05-18 16:49:18 -0400
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing recession have hit Asian Americans especially hard, according recent media reports in Bloomberg and NBC News, and a Working Paper of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Luojia Hu and B E. Honoré, the authors of the FRB Working Paper, cited a 14% drop in Asian American employment between the first and second quarters of 2020. This was the highest drop in employment amongst the White, Black, Hispanic and Asian American groups.
And while the employment rate of white men had recovered by the third quarter to approximately 4 percentage points below first quarter levels, all of the minority groups had not recovered to the same degree, lagging between 6 and 7 percentage points below first quarter levels.
This trend is broadly corroborated by the news media. According to Reade Pickert of Bloomberg, “in the final three months of 2020, almost half of jobless Asians had been out of work for at least 27 weeks - a bigger share than White, Black or Hispanic Americans.“Read more
Powen Shiah published Asian Pacific Heritage Month Events in May 2021 with Democrats Abroad in News 2021-05-04 12:24:29 -0400
This year, we're marking Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with an amazing lineup of events, exploring and celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, history, culture, and experiences. Here are all the events hosted by Democrats Abroad caucuses, country committees, and chapters for this month.Read more
May marks the beginning of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, also known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Month. Never heard of it before? It’s meant to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander history and culture. And given the increase in anti-AAPI incidents, it’s a chance for all of us in Democrats Abroad to connect, learn something new, and celebrate.
The idea of designating a period to celebrate Asian-American and Pacific Islander history first emerged in Congress with resolutions proposed in the House by Republican Frank J. Horton and Democrat Norman Mineta, and in the Senate by Democrats Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga in 1977. These initial efforts failed, but Representative Horton tried again a year later to designate the first full week of May 1979 as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week”. This Resolution passed both Houses, and was signed by President Jimmy Carter.
Successive Presidents passed annual proclamations declaring “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.” President George H.W. Bush extended it to a full month in 1990, and Congress formally established “Asian/Pacific Heritage Month” in 1992.
But why May? The original resolutions present two reasons:
- The first Japanese immigrant to the United States arrived on May 7th, 1843.
- The transcontinental railway, built in large part due to immigrant labor from China, was completed on May 10th, 1869.
Of course, one thing sticks out: these two justifications concern only two East Asian populations, and miss the large diversity within the AAPI community: other East Asians, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders. It can be easy in talking about AAPI heritage to focus on a few select experiences; instead, we need a holistic view of what it means to be a part of the AAPI community.
We invite you to join us in an exploration of how different groups within the AAPI community have been part of American history. For those of you who belong to one particular AAPI group, take some time to explore the history of another group, and see how different experiences end up binding us together.
Join us to receive email updates about volunteering, upcoming events, and new AAPI caucus groups forming in your countries and chapters.
If you'd like to start an AAPI caucus in your Democrats Abroad country committee or chapter, we've put together a guide to forming your own local AAPI caucus.
Get involved in the AAPI Caucus! You can volunteer at the local, national, or global level with our different working groups and projects.
Follow us on social media
Learn more about the AAPI caucus and read the caucus founding document, the Terms of Reference. To contact the co-chairs of the Democrats Abroad Global AAPI Caucus, send an email to [email protected].
Powen Shiah published Democrats Abroad Germany Bookkeeping Volunteer in Volunteer 2021-04-30 10:17:19 -0400
As we continue to grow, help us track Democrats Abroad Germany’s finances better as bookkeeping volunteer! Previous experience with QuickBooks and accounting highly desirable.
Time commitment: 5 hours per month
Interested or have questions?
Contact Person: Powen Shiah, [email protected]
Powen Shiah published Discussing Parasite with the Progressive Caucus in News 2021-04-10 15:00:40 -0400
We held a collaborative event with the Progressive Caucus - which we hope was the first of many - to discuss the most notorious film of 2019, Parasite. The aim of this event, which took place on March 27, was to kick off a potential film club and to gather film buffs together to share ideas, perspectives, and raise concerns relating to society today.Read more
Powen Shiah published Bridging Climate Change’s Effects … and Causes in News 2021-04-01 07:55:40 -0400
The new Biden Administration is making climate change a priority for the United States, after four years of neglect, if not outright denial, under the Trump Administration.
But climate change is a global problem, which requires global solutions, and global support and understanding to help us get there. US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, after a visit to the European Commission, stated that the United States would “work together and with other countries to help the world's most vulnerable cope with the devastating impacts of climate change.“
As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, we are acutely aware of the effects of climate change on our relatives, friends, and communities that live around the world:Read more
We know many in the AAPI community are in shock after the violent attack in Atlanta earlier this month. It comes after a year of increased rhetoric and violence against AAPI communities since before the pandemic began, and is an intensification of a phenomenon that has happened for a long time.
We felt it was best, at this point, for us to take a step back, and share a reading list: of articles that examine how the events of the past year have affected the AAPI community; of non-fiction books that explore the history and stories of AAPI communities; and of works of fiction that detail AAPI immigrant experiences.
We hope you find this list useful.Read more
Powen Shiah published Berlin News: Farewell from your Berlin Board – Chapter Elections on Wednesday in News 2021-02-16 13:54:40 -0500
It's time for a new beginning: the Berlin chapter elections for 2021-2023 officers will take place this Wednesday, February 17, 2021, starting at 7pm. ►RSVP and scroll down for more details on candidates.
This is the last email newsletter from the Berlin chapter's current leadership team. We're looking forward to electing our successors on Wednesday. Here are a few words of farewell from each of us.
Diego Rivas, Chair
Resilient, opinionated, and progressive, the Berlin Chapter of Democrats Abroad has grown so much these past four years. Not only has our membership doubled, but we have taken important and sustainable steps forward by implementing an elected chapter board and developing our kiez captain network. This was only possible thanks to all of the volunteers and their passion for change. We did our part in getting ‘45’ out of the White House and winning the House and Senate. I will fondly remember the laughs, lessons, discussions (yes, sometimes heated), but most importantly the community spirit of people from all walks of life uniting for a greater cause. It has been a pleasure. I am sincerely looking forward to seeing the chapter continue to grow and to keep in touch with everyone - see you at the next possible pub night.
Emily Lines, Vice Chair
This has been a wild 4 years and I can’t believe that my time as Vice Chair is coming to an end. I enjoyed working with everyone here in Berlin and I am impressed and proud of all the work and time all of our volunteers contributed. I hope that everyone continues to remain engaged and I look forward to continuing to work with the Berlin chapter in the years to come!
Amy Herr, GOTV Coordinator
It has been a wonderful four years volunteering as Events and GOTV Coordinator for our Berlin chapter. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know all of you, maintaining an active network, and helping many of you send in your ballots! I am excited to see what our chapter will do in the coming years, and look forward to the time that we can all meet again.
Theresa Gasinski, Membership & Volunteer Coordinator
I am continually impressed by all of the dedicated and passionate volunteers we have here in Berlin. There is always someone willing to wake up early on a blustery Saturday morning to help set up for our Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, learn the complicated voter registration rules to prepare for the Global Presidential Primary, or open up their home to other Democrats Abroad members for Kiez meetings. I'd like to thank you all for committing your time to help our chapter grow and create a sustainable network of politically-minded Americans doing their part to build an equitable and just future.
Powen Shiah, Communications & Press Officer
When I showed up at my first Democrats Abroad event, I never imagined I would end up volunteering myself for the next several years. It's been my small way of making sure I could look back on these strange and difficult times, knowing that I did my part to keeping a progressive light burning and to stand up for an inclusive and more just vision of the world. I'm looking forward to seeing how our community and movement grow in future. It's been so rewarding to be part of Democrats Abroad Berlin!
Berlin Chapter ElectionsRead more
Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee; Treasurer & DPCA Representative, Germany
At home or abroad, I think it's crucial for Americans to participate in the political process.