Poll Finds Asian Americans Largely Went for Obama, But Not ‘Fully Engaged by Either Party’

Asian Americans voted for President Barack Obama in enormous numbers this election, according to the Asian American Election Eve Poll, a joint project of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). While only 41% identify as Democrats, Asian American voters broke for Barack Obama by a huge margin, with 72% voting for the President and 26% for Mitt Romney. In Congressional races, 73% of Asian American voters backed Democratic candidates, while 27% backed Republicans.

National CAPACD found that an incredible 51% of Asian American voters were not asked by any campaign, political party or community organization to vote or to register to vote.

“Mitt Romney had room to win the overlooked Asian American community,” said Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director of the National CAPACD. “While Barack Obama’s narrative attracted Asian American voters, Mitt Romney missed an enormous opportunity to offer a direct appeal to this group.”

“Community organizations’ efforts are especially critical in getting Asian Americans to the polls when traditional party vehicles ignore this demographic,” said Hasegawa. “National CAPACD supported 25 groups in 14 states over the election season to help educate Asian American and Pacific Islander voters and get them to the polls on Election Day.”

The Asian American Election Eve Poll surveyed 800 Asian Americans over the pre-election weekend.

“Asian Americans lost 54% of their wealth between 2005 and 2009, mostly due to the foreclosure crisis,” said Hasegawa. “Therefore, it is no surprise that Asian American voters name the economy as their number one issue of concern or that they believe that government has a responsibility to help low-income households.”

Asian American voters also overwhelmingly named the economy as their top priority, and supported an expansion of the federal government’s program to help low-income people pay rent.

Asian American voters are not fully decided on how to reduce the deficit. 26% of Asian American voters favor increasingly taxes on the wealthy in order to reduce the deficit, while 45% would like to combine these tax hikes with spending cuts — but a strong 71% do not think spending cuts alone will solve the budget deficit. In California, 73% of Asian Americans voted in favor of Proposition 30, a temporary tax on the wealthy to help fund education and public safety.

Asian Americans likely sided with Barack Obama in part due to his healthcare platform — 60% responded that the government should ensure access to health insurance. Yet while jobs, housing and healthcare were critical issues for Asian American voters, they were also drawn to Barack Obama over Mitt Romney for a less tangible reason — while 47% felt the President “truly cares about them,” only 14% said Mitt Romney did.

“The results of the poll show that Asian Americans remain a persuadable voting bloc that has yet to be fully engaged by either party” said Congresswoman Judy Chu, Chair for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. “As we shift from the election to finishing our business in this lame duck session, this poll gives policymakers a better understanding of how Asian Americans view policy priorities for our communities – from addressing the housing crisis to passing comprehensive immigration reform.”

“Asian Americans were hit hard during the recession — and this poll shows that they are focused on finding solutions to the economic downturn,” said Congressman Mike Honda, Chair Emeritus for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. “This poll provides critical information about what’s important for Asian Americans and should be used as a resource for elected officials as they develop policies that will have an impact in our communities.”

The detailed findings of this in-depth research will be released today, November 7, at 12 PM PST/3 PM EST during a webinar. To register, go to: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/127010519. The results will also be available here at nationalcapacd.org.

About The Asian American Election Eve Poll. National CAPACD and AALDEF contracted with Latino Decisions, an opinion research firm, to conduct a nonpartisan survey of Asian American voters. The poll is meant to provide a more accurate profile of the Asian American electorate and its voting preferences.

About National CAPACD. The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) was founded in 1999 with the mission to be a powerful voice for the unique community development needs of AAPI communities and to strengthen the capacity of community‐based organizations to create neighborhoods of hope and opportunity.

Source: National CAPACD press release

‘From A Silk Cocoon’ Awarded Northern California Area Emmy Award

On Saturday, May 20th, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, San Francisco/Northern California Chapter, awarded a Northern California Area Emmy® Award for outstanding Historical/Cultural – Program to the From a Silk Cocoon Production team:

  • Satsuki Ina, Executive Producer/Co-Director/Writer
  • Kim Ina, Producer/Actress
  • Emery Clay III, Co-Director/Director of Photography
  • Stephen Holsapple, Co-Director/Editor

The Emmy® is awarded for outstanding achievement in Television by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  San Francisco/Northern California is one of the twenty chapters awarding regional Emmys.  Northern California is composed of television and cable stations from Visalia to the Oregon border and includes Hawaii and Reno, Nevada.  Entries were aired during the 2005 calendar year.  829 entries were received, in 63 categories, 226 were nominated and 66 receive the Emmy® statuette.

From a Silk Cocoon was one of the 4 programs nominated for the award out of the 24 total submissions to the Historical/Cultural – Program/Segment category.  The other three nominees are Eye on the Bay: The Houseboats of Sausalito (KPIX), Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (KQED/ITVS), and Day of Independence (KHET/Cedar Grove Productions).

The 35th Annual Northern California Area EMMY® Awards were presented at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.  The announcement and complete list of EMMY® Recipients can be found at http://www.emmysf.tv.

“This documentary was made from the heart and soul of our Japanese American community.  We want to thank all the volunteers, friends and families who provided time, labor, and support, all the former renunciants who opened closed doors during our research, and to all the individuals and families who suffered the trauma of the internment for their inspiration,” says Satsuki Ina, Executive Producer/Co-Director/Writer.

Cast and production crew include the following members:

Post- Production:                                             Bob Murray, Trapeze Ltd.

Music Score/Soundtrack:                                Fred Meggs

Shakuhachi Composition & Performance: Masayuki Koga

Title Design:                                          Gale Okumura, Okumura Designs

Cast:

Storyteller:                                                          Satsuki Ina

Narrator:                                                             Lawson Inada

Itaru Ina (voice):                                                Lane Nishikawa

Shizuko Ina (voice):                                         Megumi

Shizuko Ina (adult):                                         Kimberly Ina

Itaru Ina:                                                              Christopher Sato Wong

Kiyoshi Ina:                                                         Jason Otow

Chad M. Wong

Bradley Yasuhara

Satsuki Ina (baby):                                            Jack Hayashi

Satsuki Ina (child):                                            Jennifer Hayashi

Morgan Oto

Melissa Otow

Mitigation hearing officer:                             Martin Pierucci

Kenji Kimoto:                                                    Gregory Umeda

Maternal Grandmother:                                  Mary Kawano Fong

Shizuko Ina (child):                                          Kianna Ohara

Mitigation hearing stenographer:                 Gail Covey

FBI interrogator:                                                Carey C. Covey

Voices:                                                 Dutch Falconi

Mark Herzig

Stephen Holsapple

Ken Kiyoshi Ina

Martin Pierucci

Sumitaka Saito

David Whitaker

Extras:                                                                   Hoyt Fong

Alan Koike

Wayne Maeda

Richard Tatsuo Nagaoka

Stan Umeda

Production:

Additional Audio Production:                      Blaise Media

Earshot Studios

U.S. Unit:                                                             Solsbury Hill Productions

Additional Camerawork:                                 Thomas Spingola

Production Assistants:                                     Todd Shima

Ken Kiyoshi Ina

Lorna Fong

Stan Umeda

Props:                                                   Satsuki Ina

Wardrobe:                                                           Christine Umeda

Betsey Williams

Hair:                                                                      Neill Wade Soo Hoo, SooHoo Salon

Wendy Nakamoto

King’s Wig & Beauty Supplies

Diaries/Letters Translations:                           Iko Miyazaki

Misa Takagi

Takako Smith

Haiku Translations:                                           Leza Lowitz

Hisako Ifshin

Haiku Calligraphy:                                            Etsuko Wakayama

Bugler:                                                                  Ken Kiyoshi Ina

Japan Unit:                                                          Passion Digital & Interactive Communication

Camerawork:                                      Shinya Suzuki

Camera Assistant:                              Kohki Minoda

Historical Consultants:                                    Wayne Maeda, California State University, Sacramento

John Christgau, St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California

Isao Fujimoto, University of California, Davis

Bill Nishimura, Tule Lake CA, Santa Fe NM

Hank Naito, Tule Lake CA, Bismarck ND

Tad Yamakido, Tule Lake CA, Bismarck ND

Mits Fukuda, Tule Lake CA, Bismarck ND

Tom Umemoto, Tule Lake CA, Bismarck ND

Kanji Nishijima, Crystal City TX

Legal Advisors:                                                   Dale Minami, Esq.

Donald K. Tamaki, Esq.

Minami, Lew & Tamaki

Attorneys

Bookkeeping:                                                     Kathy Caitano

Website Consultant:                               Keith Kamisugi

Other recent awards recently received by the From a Silk Cocoon Documentary and crew include the “Best Director Award” from the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (November 2005), and a “Grand Festival Award” from the Berkeley Video & Film Festival (October 2005).  From a Silk Cocoon also received a 2006 Silver Telly Award for Outstanding Documentary Program and a 2006 Bronze Telly Award for Outstanding Cultural Program.

While a broadcast date for From a Silk Cocoon is being determined, most likely for 2007, the producers are looking forward to sharing From a Silk Cocoon with the Nikkei community . . . if you are interested in hosting a screening, feel free to contact us at kimina@fromasilkcocoon.com.

From a Silk Cocoon is also available for purchase on DVD.  Prices (includes domestic shipping) are as follows:

$40 for home use only (no public performance license included)

$225 for college/institutional use

Order forms can be downloaded and printed from http://www.fromasilkcocoon.com, or feel free to request a form via email or fax, kimina@fromasilkcocoon.com, (415) 566-3487.  Check or money order payments, made out to APCC/From a Silk Cocoon, can be mailed to:

Hesono O Productions
2716 X Street
Sacramento CA 95818

Woven through actual letters, diary entries and haiku poetry is the story of a young couple whose shattered dreams and forsaken loyalties lead them to renounce their American citizenship while held in separate prison camps during World War II.  They struggle to prove their innocence and fight deportation during a time of wartime hysteria and racial profiling.

Lawson Inada narrates, Lane Nishikawa and Megumi provide the voices of the young couple, and Masayuki Koga’s original shakuhachi (bamboo flute) composition is woven within Fred Meggs’ musical score.  From a Silk Cocoon is produced by the Emmy-nominated Hesono O Production team of Satsuki Ina (Executive Director/Co-Director), Stephen Holsapple (Co-Director/Editor), Emery Clay III (Director of Photography/Co-Director), and Kim Ina (Associate Producer/Outreach Coordinator).

For more details about the production, visit the From a Silk Cocoon Web site at http://www.fromasilkcocoon.com or email kimina@fromasilkcocoon.com.  Partial funding for From a Silk Cocoon was provided by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (CCLPEP) and the Center for Asian American Media (formerly NAATA).

Background:The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 acknowledged the wrongs perpetrated against the Japanese Americans and, in doing so, has made it possible for the complexity of the incarceration experience of Japanese Americans to more fully come to light.

The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 acknowledged the wrongs perpetrated against the Japanese Americans and, in doing so, has made it possible for the complexity of the incarceration experience of Japanese Americans to more fully come to light.

From a Silk Cocoon delves into the experience of a young Kibei couple, Shizuko and Itaru Ina, who responded to the loss of their civil liberties by renouncing their American citizenship during their 4½ -year internment, and committed their hope for their children for a better life in Japan.  It is based on personal documents recently discovered by Dr. Satsuki Ina, the film producer and daughter of Shizuko and Itaru, that detail a daily accounting of life and private emotional upheaval during incarceration, separation, and reunification.

After three years of research and translation of letters, poetry, and diaries, along with graphic government documentation of her father’s imprisonment in Department of Justice camps and interviews with other Japanese speaking former internees, the puzzle pieces formed a disturbing disclosure of the unjustified treatment and suffering of her family and others who ultimately sought refuge from their imprisonment by declaring their loyalty to Japan.

In contrast to retrospective oral histories and second person historical accountings, this documentary provides a rare, first person narrative of events as they unfold, and presents the backdrop, emotions, and reasoning for the decisions made by this young couple.  It is a story of shattered dreams, forsaken loyalties, and the precarious balance between democracy and national security.

According to Ina, “The story reveals the insidious trauma of war and the threat to individuals, citizens or immigrants, who have links to a country that is suddenly identified as the enemy.  Imbued with traditional Japanese values, yet betrayed by the country of their birth, thousands of Kibeis were forced to struggle with an excruciating loyalty bind that cast upon them a life-long stigma of disloyalty and cowardice.  Only now is the story of their dissidence and resistance made more clear.”

Ina adds, “From A Silk Cocoon tells the story of the frightening and tragic outcome resulting from the wartime hysteria and racial profiling that occurred in the name of ‘military necessity.’  Chilling similarities in government decision-making, euphemistic language, and suspension of constitutional and human rights in the name of national security are echoed in today’s post 9/11 America.  This film puts a human face and heart to a historical incident that should never be forgotten, lest it be repeated again.”

“It is our hope that by sharing this story we will not only educate, but inspire and strengthen community commitment to live by our cherished democratic principles, especially in time of great social anxiety.”

“POWERFUL.  I was . . . impressed with the film’s honesty with respect to renunciation issues.  This is art on film . . . the poetry and narrative come together so perfectly . . . Bravo, bravo!”

– John Christgau, author, Enemies:  World War II Alien Internment

“. . . the issues of renunciation and loyalty resonate deeply with the current concerns over war and patriotism . . . a very important film . . .”

– Taro Goto, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival

“. . . offers a cautionary tale of homeland security. . . . compelling . . . From a Silk Cocoon stretches beyond the basic facts of the Japanese-American internment experience into the dark and thorny corners of a perceived “military necessity” that is just as frightening and relevant now as it was when it happened. . . . An intimate portrait of a family under siege.”

– Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review

“. . . particularly compelling because it is personal and well-documented . . . not much is known about the 5,461 Japanese American internees who surrendered their citizenship in the camps.”

– Dixie Reid, Sacramento Bee

“. . . touching . . . it’s important to see this film, because it’s a very personal experience.  You see how a family was disrupted.”

– Former Assemblyman George Nakano

“This gripping story of steadfast love and red tape is suspenseful to the end . . .”

– Frako Loden, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival

“Itaru Ina’s powerful, poetic haikus to his wife underscore his loneliness and sense of betrayal by the U.S. government.”

– Brian Kluepfel, Asian Week

To receive news and updates about From a Silk Cocoon television broadcast(s) and distribution release, send a blank email to fromasilkcocoon-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.  For more information about From a Silk Cocoon, contact Kim Ina, Associate Producer/Outreach Coordinator, at kimina@fromasilkcocoon.com.  For more information on corporate sponsorship of the television broadcast of From a Silk Cocoon, contact Satsuki Ina at (916) 452-3008 or Satsukina@aol.com.