Rep. Judy Chu, Political Groups Announce Joint Effort to Advance AAPI Empowerment

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Today, Rep. Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and leaders from CAPA21 Action and other Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) political organizations announced their efforts to maximize the AAPI community’s impact on the November 2018 elections.

Joined by congressional candidates Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-08), David Min (CA-45), Aruna Miller (MD-06), Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Aftab Pureval (OH-01), the organizations pledge to support the record number of AAPI candidates who are running for Congress through the launch of the AAPI Clearinghouse.

The AAPI Clearinghouse will provide political activists a unified place to learn about the more than 50 AAPI candidates who are running for Congress and the opportunities to support them in the 2018 mid-term elections and beyond.

Through the Clearinghouse, the organizations aim to collaborate with each other to strengthen their political voice, empower the AAPI community nationwide, and demonstrate the power and influence of the AAPI community on the country’s future.

“This collaboration between AAPI political organizations is a positive step toward achieving the fullest political representation that our communities deserve,” said Glen S. Fukushima, CAPA21 Action Chair. “We must uplift our collective voices and stand against those who seek to diminish and divide us.”

Thirteen AAPI political organizations have united to maximize political representation and victory in the November 2018 elections: AAPI Progressive Action, AAPI Victory Fund, America’s Opportunity Fund (AOF), APALA, Asian American Action Fund, ASPIRE PAC, CAPA21 Action Fund, Desis for Progress, Indian American Impact Fund, KAYA, Korean Americans for Organizing (KAFO), PIVOT and (RUN).

The AAPI Clearinghouse can be found at: https://aaafund.org.

“There is so much at stake with this year’s mid-term elections. That’s why an unprecedented number of AAPI candidates are running for Congress so we can have a larger voice in our political system. These political organizations are pledging to do all they can to elect more AAPI candidates to Congress and turn out the AAPI vote. We cannot take any opportunity for granted. It starts with launching the Clearinghouse so candidates and voters from across the country know where to turn for resources. By working towards a unified goal, AAPIs will secure our place at the table,” said Rep. Judy Chu, Immediate Past Chair of ASPIRE PAC and Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

“We must invest early in candidates who can increase the diversity of our elected officials,” said Tung Nguyen, Chair of AAPI Progressive Action. “I look forward to this partnership, which will undoubtedly increase our ability and resources to support progressive AAPI candidates.”

“The electorate in America has changed, and the old campaign playbook of ignoring smaller communities resulted in disastrous results in the 2016 elections,” said Shekar Narasimhan, Chair of the AAPI Victory Fund. “Elections continue to be won by the slimmest of margins and ensuring success requires candidates to get the ‘margin of victory’ votes. With the right investment and cultivation, we can ensure a sustainable majority.”

“America’s Opportunity Fund is committed to serving the progressive AAPI community and our participation with our allies and colleagues through the AAPI Clearinghouse will allow us to be a resource to AAPI candidates, operatives, and activists who are interested in growing our political pipeline. We look forward to creating more opportunities for collaboration and strengthening our strategic alliances within the community as we utilize the resources provided by our individual organizations,” said Allen Chen, Program Director of America’s Opportunity Fund (AOF).

“The stakes for our community and our country have never been higher than in this mid-term election. The Asian American Action Fund is thrilled to support ten extraordinary AAPI candidates for Congress in this historically important election, and honored to work with a dozen important AAPI groups to build and maintain the new online AAPI clearinghouse on behalf of our community. AAPIs persons have made great progress in the political arena during the last twenty years, and by working together more closely we are looking forward to shaping the outcome of the November elections,” said Paul Tiao, Co-Founder of the Asian American Action Fund.

“ASPIRE PAC is proud to join the new AAPI Clearinghouse. We have an unprecedented number of AAPI candidates running for federal office across the country, and this online clearinghouse will give AAPI voters the information they need to engage with these campaigns and make their voices heard,” said ASPIRE PAC Chair Congresswoman Grace Meng.

“The strength of our community comes from our diversity. Until now, each organization focused entirely on empowering the voices and mobility of those whose backgrounds and interests aligned with their core mission. Today’s unification of multiple organizations combines our ability to bring real political and policy power to the issues that affect the entire Asian American diaspora. We are proud to join these efforts and to bring the perspective of our progressive South Asian supporters,” said Koustubh “K.J.” Bagchi, Chair of Desis for Progress.

“At a time when our community and our values are under attack by xenophobic rhetoric and regressive policies, it is more critical than ever that Indian Americans build and wield political power to fight back,” said Gautam Raghavan, Indian American Impact Fund. “We are inspired and energized by the over 80 Indian American candidates on the ballot in 2018, and in particular, the four Congressional challengers and six state and local candidates we have endorsed thus far. Voters are hungry for the kind of fresh thinking and bold leadership that they represent, and we look forward to helping them run, win, and lead.”

“KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress™ remains fully committed to mobilizing the Filipino American community as we approach the 2018 midterm elections and beyond. From supporting candidates with progressive values on the local and national level to putting together leadership programs that empower young Filipino Americans, KAYA’s goal is to prepare our generation and the next generation to be the voice for our communities. We stand united with other members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community to build a brighter and more inclusive future for all Americans,” said Mary Tablante, KAYA chair.

“A central hub for all grassroots, Democratic AAPI organizations will enable us to unify all of our brands under one roof so we can amplify our work, take advantage of expanded networks, and consolidate AAPI political action to be as impactful as possible in our work to elect progressive leaders. KAFO is excited to be a part of the AAPI Clearinghouse and work with allied organizations to achieve our common goals,” said Julia Kim Chun, President of Korean Americans for Organizing (KAFO).

“In the last two presidential elections, Vietnamese Americans have increasingly voted more progressive, and they live in swing Congressional Districts. Our goal is to encourage them to vote for progressive candidates,” said Tung Nguyen, President of PIVOT.

“Every election cycle, political institutions and traditional media largely ignore the 21 million AAPI citizens across the country. This year that changes. (RUN) is honored to be included in the AAPI clearinghouse to galvanize the youth vote through storytelling, live events, and digital content,” said Brad Jenkins, Co-Founder of (RUN).

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