AAPIs need to start planning for the 2016 presidential and key state elections. Let’s avoid another election cycle in which we’re scrambling for resources to properly engage communities.
We have the necessary talent, ideas, and resources in our communities to ensure that elected officials, campaigns, and political parties engage AAPIs at a deeper level – whether it’s getting more AAPIs registered to vote, voter education, or getting AAPIs to the polls.
In order to advance AAPI political empowerment, we need to:
- Develop more resources to invest in AAPI field operations, an area where parties and campaigns always seem to be under-resourced;
- More strategically finance progressive candidates, with special attention to national candidates who have a proven track record advancing AAPI interests, and candidates from South Asian, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, and other under-represented communities;
- Share candidate information with ethnic media to help educate the fast-growing new immigrant voter populations; and
- Develop more effective uses of social media to reach AAPIs and explore emerging technologies for donor outreach.
Today we’re announcing the launch of a new progressive AAPI political action committee to address these challenges. To build this new political organization, we asked a stellar group of community leaders to join us as Co-Chairs of our PAC’s Leadership Council:
- Ginger Lew, CEO of Three Oaks Investments LLC, former Senior Counselor to the White House National Economic Council
- Maeley Tom, CEO of Tom & Associates, and former Chief Administrative Officer, California State Assembly
- Helen Zia, journalist, author, and activist; former Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine
- Tessie Guillermo, CEO of ZeroDivide*, former member of President Clinton’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs
- Dilawar Syed, President, Freshdesk*; former member of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs
- Steve Ngo, Senior Counsel at Lozano Smith, Trustee on San Francisco Community College District Board*
- Kiran Jain, Senior Deputy Attorney, City of Oakland*; former staff member, National Commission on Voting Rights
* Titles and affiliations for identification purposes only.
The Leadership Council will serve as our PAC’s brain trust that will provide input into our strategies and candidate endorsements.
We recognize that there are other existing AAPI political efforts and aspire to complement, not compete, with existing progressive organizations. Our PAC has a national reach, but is initially focused on California and the West Coast.
We invite you to become a founding member of our new PAC, which we named CAPA21, an homage to a pioneering AAPI PAC – the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA) – several of us formed in the late ’80s to battle conservative candidates in California. For two decades, CAPA advocated AAPI issues in the political arena. Read more about CAPA and it’s impact.
Join CAPA21 as a founding member, listed as a Founder with a donation of $5,000 or more, or a Co-Founder with a donation of $2,500 or more. Through the end of September, your donation will be matched by our Chair, Glen S. Fukushima, dollar for dollar. A $1,000 donation,for example, will turn into $2,000 to invest in AAPI political advancement. Donors giving $5,000 and more gain additional benefits. Donors giving $10,000 or higher will be eligible to join our Leadership Council.
Glen will match all donations on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to a cumulative amount of $50,000.
Join us today and let’s get a head start on ensuring that our voices and our votes play a significant role in the 2014 and 2016 elections.
Glen S. Fukushima, Chairman
Dale Minami, President