Historic Quad-Partisan Presidential Election Forum Highlights Rising Influence of AAPI Vote

Bill Clinton, Sean Reyes, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein Aim to Win Votes From Fastest Growing Racial Group

LAS VEGAS – On Friday, Hillary Clinton surrogate and former President Bill Clinton, Donald Trump surrogate and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, and Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein addressed more than 2,500 journalists and community leaders in the largest gathering of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the history of presidential campaign cycles.  

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) and Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), with 40 partner organizations, hosted this historic Presidential Election Forum in the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, an election battleground state where nearly one in ten residents is AAPI.

“From Southeast Asia to the Indian subcontinent to Native Hawaiians, the AAPI community represents a heritage and history that spans the globe,” said APIAVote founding board member Daphne Kwok. “A recognition that this community is the lifeblood of our nation was cemented this week, as top campaign officials not only defined what AAPI meant to them personally, but also advanced discussions around how policies proposals from immigration and education to national security and trade are being focused on to empower the collective prospects of AAPIs across the country.”

During the forum, Rock the Vote announced its “Power Up” campaign, in partnership with APIAVote and youth organizations, focused on getting young AAPIs to vote. Congressman Mike Honda stated that 7,000 17-year-olds turn 18 every day. He also emphasized the power of AAPI voters to determine winners, particularly in six swing states and 85 congressional districts that are 10 percent AAPI.

AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group in the country, expected to grow from 20 million to more than 50 million by 2060. The rising influence of the AAPI community is evident in the past two election cycles, where the AAPI vote has been an important factor in election outcomes in key battleground states. In many of these states, the AAPI voter population either equaled or exceeded the margin of victory in previous presidential elections.

Congresswoman Judy Chu, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), pointed out that in 2010, Nevada Senator Harry Reid won re-election in a tight race with the support of nearly four in five AAPI voters who made up four percent of the electorate.

Data from APIAVote’s 2016 State Factsheets show that nearly half of all registered Asian American voters identify education (48%), healthcare (47%), national security (47%), and jobs (45%) as extremely important to how they cast their ballot — issues that the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green Party representatives addressed in the forum. This same block of eligible AAPI voters also represents vital margins in swing states across the country, holding the key to determining the winner of the Presidential election.

  • Arizona: 146,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 3% of the electorate
  • Florida: 372,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 2.5% of the electorate
  • Michigan: 145,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 1.8% of the electorate
  • Minnesota: 136,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 3.1% of the electorate
  • Nevada: 177,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 9% of the electorate
  • North Carolina: 136,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 1.8% of the electorate
  • Ohio: 127,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 1.3% of the electorate
  • Pennsylvania: 223,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 2.1% of the electorate
  • Virginia: 310,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 5% of the electorate

The historic forum plays a vital role in educating this segment of the electorate, ultimately empowering them to vote on Election Day and elevating their representative profile among national campaigns, voter mobilization programs, and global media outlets.

To access high-resolution photos from the event, visit here.

To access APIAVote’s 2016 State Factsheets, visit here.

A Word document press release can downloaded here.

Ken Moritsugu Elected Asian American Journalists Association Vice President for Print

Ken_MoritsuguThe Asian American Journalists Association announced today that its membership elected Ken Moritsugu, the Bangkok, Thailand-based Asia Enterprise Editor for The Associated Press, as AAJA Vice President for Print.

Moritsugu has served on the boards of three AAJA chapters and is a former president of AAJA-New York. He is currently president of AAJA’s Asia Chapter, and during his tenure the chapter has grown from 30 to 130 members and launched an annual conference with the University of Hong Kong.

AAJA held a special election to fill the post of Vice President for Print after Tom Lee resigned from the position for personal reasons in January. Moritsugu will serve out the remainder of the term until Dec. 31, 2013.

“The ever-changing media landscape presents both challenges and opportunities for AAJA as we pursue the goals of newsroom diversity and fair and accurate coverage of our country’s diverse communities,” Moritsugu said. “AAJA means a lot to me, both as an organization and a family. I look forward to joining the leadership and working to help members navigate our evolving media world. As a longtime member who has led chapters in both the U.S. and Asia, I also hope to build bridges between our membership at home and overseas.”

“I’m excited to work with Ken Moritsugu as AAJA’s new Vice President for Print,” said AAJA President Paul Cheung. “Ken has led the Asia Chapter’s successful growth in the past couple of years, now we can work together to help grow AAJA organization-wide.”

AAJA will hold its regular election in August 2013, with eligible members voting to fill the positions of Vice President for Print and National Secretary for two-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

Source: AAJA media release

AAJA: Pew Report Points to Need for Newsroom Diversity

The following text is from a press release issued today by AAJA:

The Pew Research Center just released a ground-breaking report on the growth of the Asian American community in the United States.

Several groups representing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have expressed concern that the Pew analysis reinforces “model minority” stereotypes, especially as it pertains to education. The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) shares these concerns, which is why we believe that newsrooms need more AAPI journalists to effectively interpret studies like Pew’s report and to present accurate and fair information to the public.

The study says Asian Americans are the fastest-growing minority group in the country: 5.8 percent of the nation’s population, up from less than 1 percent in 1965, when the modern immigration wave from Asia began.

Yet a recent survey by the American Society of News Editors showed that overall newsroom representation by journalists of color, including Asian Americans, fell for the fourth consecutive year.

Pew found that Asian Americans have the highest incomes and most education among all racial groups in the United States, the type of audience that newsrooms typically covet.

“Pew’s research reinforces the importance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as a segment our society that newsrooms need to pay attention to,” said AAJA National President Doris Truong. “It was disappointing to see a lack of diverse perspectives — especially from major news networks — in covering this story. AAJA is well positioned to help hiring managers find talented journalists who can connect with increasingly diverse communities.”

Without the benefit of diverse voices to help educate within the newsroom, some news organizations risk losing credibility with their audience. Not only is diversity in hiring the right thing to do because it mirrors the changing complexion of our nation’s cities, it makes economic sense. Hiring journalists who can speak to a 21st-century audience — one in which people of color will be the majority — allows news organizations to remain relevant.

The Asian American Journalists Association is a nonprofit professional and educational organization with more than 1,500 members across the United States and in Asia. Founded in 1981, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry. AAJA’s mission is to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs, and to increase the number of AAPI journalists and news managers in the industry. AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY Journalists, along with the Native American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. For more information about AAJA, visit www.aaja.org.

AAJA/Hyphen Media Training Workshop for Nonprofits and Community Organizations

As a service to the Asian American Pacific Islander community, the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association and Hyphen Magazine will host a media training workshop for Asian American and Pacific Islander community groups and nonprofit organizations.

Saturday, June 25, 2011
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
San Franicsco location provided to confirmed registrants
See below on how to submit your interest in this workshop

Participants will talk with journalists about how to get their news in the news. We’ll talk about what makes an effective news release, how to pitch a story and how to get your message across in an interview.

The first half of the event will be a panel discussion with journalists sharing how to interact with the press. The second half will be a more interactive workshop talking about how to do an interview, how to pitch a story, etc. We hope you can join us!

Here are some topics we’ll cover:

  • How do local, national and online reporters and editors choose stories to cover?
  • How do I make my pitch standout?
  • What’s the difference between pitching TV, radio, print and new media?
  • How do I develop a relationship with a reporter?
  • How do I tailor my pitch to a specific publication?
  • How do I give interviews on the phone or at my event?
  • How do deadlines work for reporters?


  • Louise Chu, Newsroom Supervisor/Reporter, Associated Press, San Francisco
  • Kevin Keeshan, News Director, KGO-TV, ABC7 San Francisco
  • Joanna Lin, Investigative Reporter, Health, California Watch
  • Julia McEvoy, Senior News Editor, KQED Radio
  • Gerry Shih, Reporter, Government and Politics, The Bay Citizen

Groups are asked to submit their information online through an interest form by June 15:

Submission of this form does not guarantee admission and is being used to assess the widest possible number of groups interested in the workshop. We have space for only 40 organizations, with each group being able to send one representative.

Groups accepted in the workshop will be notified by June 18. We will notify all other groups that they will be placed on waitlist.

Contact Tomo Geron of AAJA with any questions at tgeron@gmail.com.