The Honorable Norm Mineta to Take Podium at Convention in Philadelphia, as AAPI activists, organizers, and elected officials chart new ground in shaping future of AAPI jobs, healthcare coverage and voter turnout.
The Democratic National Convention Committee kicked off the week by convening a record number of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) delegates at the Party’s official caucus meeting—while discussing the choice and opportunity Asian American communities have this election to stand together, collectively raise incomes, expand healthcare, and fight for comprehensive immigration reform.
On the heels of the Hillary for America campaign announcing a commitment to appointing unprecedented number of AAPI officials to the ranks of their Administration, the campaign’s AAPI team also issued a new fact sheet detailing comprehensive steps to build an economy that works for all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, regardless of class, ethnicity, sexuality, or creed.
The force of AAPI’s has shifted from a group with the potential to influence the ballot box, to a group that is actively rising and shaping the direction of the country from the halls of congress to the boardrooms of America. Voices including Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), and critically acclaimed actress Constance Wu, however, called for building bridges across classes and communities to leverage that momentum at the ballot box and steer outcomes for businesses and families in our communities.
The caucus further outlined the need to stand with Hillary because the choice this election is clear:
Asian-owned businesses grew by 24 percent from 2007 and 2012, and the Caucus and Campaign committed to fight to level the playing field for AAPI small business owners to continue to thrive by cutting red tape, expanding access to capital, providing tax relief, and fighting discrimination in the lending markets.
On average, AAPI women earn 86 cents for every dollar earned by a white male, and the gap is even larger for specific segments of the AAPI community. Caucus goers and the Campaign committed to fight to break down barriers that AAPI women face in achieving pay equity
About half of Asian Americans graduate from college with debt, with the average indebted 4-year college graduate owing more than $20,000 in student loan debt. Caucus goers and the Campaign committed to take steps to enable all borrowers to refinance and easily enroll in income-based repayment so they never have to pay more than they can afford.
Asian immigrants make up 11% of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, the vast majority of whom have lived in the U.S. for over a decade. Caucus goers and the campaign committed to taking steps towards a full and equal citizenship and address the nearly 40% of AAPI’s making up the family visa backlog.
“Thanks to the leadership and commitment from a wide tapestry of voices ranging from Sikh Americans to Pacific Islanders – the 2016 campaign is underscoring how Asian Americans are working together to not only seek common ground, but higher ground,” said DNC AAPI Official Bel Leong-Hong. “Over the past few decades, we’ve worked together to increase the number of voters, candidates, and organizers shaping the direction of our country – but not until now have we seen an inclusive and ambitious platform that will shape not just the identity of the AAPI footprint in national politics, but one that will ensure that we stand up for the rights and opportunities of all of those around. That only happens if we stand up together and stand stronger together.
Caucus participants also took time to honor the late Rep. Mark Takai of Hawaii with a moment of silence and video tribute.
DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION AAPI EVENT HIGHLIGHTS
**NOTE: Media representatives interested in covering these events must be pre-credentialed. Multimedia materials from AAPI events at the convention will be made available at www.demconvention.com.**
TUESDAY, JULY 26
12 p.m.- Democratic Convention AAPI surrogates to hold media availability.
DNCC AAPI Media Center, Philadelphia Convention Center, Room 133AB
** NOTE: DNCC AAPI Media Center availability closes at 2 p.m. **
1 p.m. – Philadelphia AAPI leaders to highlight the rising power of AAPI voters over dim sum lunch (#DemSum)
Ocean City Restaurant, 234 North 9th St., Chinatown
WEDNESDAY, JULY 27
10 a.m. – AAPI Democratic leaders kick off the largest mobilization of AAPI voters in history at an official party caucus.
Charlotte Convention Center, Room 203AB, 501 South College Street, Charlotte
THURSDAY, JULY 27
12 noon – Democratic Convention AAPI surrogates to hold media availability.
DNCC AAPI Media Center, Philadelphia Convention Center, Room 113AB
** NOTE: DNCC AAPI Media Center availability closes at 2 p.m. *
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**NOTE: Additional media availabilities will be announced daily.**
Toby Chaudhuri, Director of AAPI Media Center
Vikrum Aiyer, Deputy Director for AAPI Media Center and Strategy
Rebecca Lee, Chief Digital Strategist
Caroline Fan, Surrogate Outreach Coordinator
Dottie Li, Cross Cultural Strategist