Tag Archives: voting

Politics: Targeting the AAPI Vote for the 2012 Presidential Election

by Guest Contributor Erin Pangilinan, originally published at Hyphen

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are the fastest growing racial group in the United States, making AAPI voters a force to be reckoned with as a key constituency group for the 2012 presidential election. The Obama For America (OFA) campaign is attempting to capture the attention of ethnic voting blocs in various states.

Unfortunately only 48 percent of AAPIs turned out to vote in 2008, making them the lowest registered group, compared to 62 percent of all Americans. Only half of eligible AAPIs are registered to vote, making AAPIs the lowest racial or ethnic group recorded. OFA can still remain optimistic though, since 81 percent of first-time AAPI voters voted for President Obama.

While mainstream news outlets focused on AAPI Silicon Valley entrepreneurs as flashy campaign donors in the already blue state of California, what’s really at stake for many is outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. AAPI populations can make a big difference in battleground states throughout the country, especially Nevada.

Holding six electoral votes, Nevada is a key swing state to win the presidential election. Nevada is home to the nation’s fastest growing AAPI population. AAPI and Latino voters were the margin of swing victory in U.S. Senator Harry Reid’s run for re-election in Nevada during the 2010 mid-term elections.

Filipino Americans are the second largest ethnic group in Nevada alone, and make up 4 percent of the state’s population at 98,000 — 86,000 of whom reside in Clark County. Tagalog will be the third language, aside from English and Spanish, to be used in election materials in Clark County. OFA has a clear investment in AAPI communities, with a total of seven field offices in Las Vegas alone, which is located in Clark County.

Some speculate that because of poor voter turnout during the previous mid-term elections, as well as a likely loss of white swing independent voters supporting Obama, OFA will attempt to recapture base voters, particularly communities of color.

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“We’re Not Going to Stand for It”: SisterSongNYC’s Jasmine Burnett

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

I met the inimitable SisterSongNYC leader Jasmine Burnett after I came all late to Stand Up for Women’s Health Rally in NYC on February 26.  (In full disclosure: I’m also part of SisterSongNYC.)  In the video, she discusses some of the intersections of reproductive justice–economics, voting, and mothering–and what activism needs to be done.

Transcript after the jump.

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“Not All Cultures Are Equal:” Presente.org Asks Us All to Go Vote

This new video from Presente.org explains who exactly is voting on November 2nd:

The video quotes Glenn Beck saying that Obama “has a deep seated hatred for white people;” Rush Limbaugh saying his Barack the Magic Negro joke was “funny” and “brilliant;” Fox Business anchor John Stossel arguing that private businesses “should be allowed to discriminate;” Alabama gubernatorial hopeful Tim James leading off his ad with the line “This is Alabama, we speak English;” Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann railing against the idea of “multicultural diversity” by saying “it sounds good in theory,” but “not all cultures are equal.”

Presente notes “They have a vision for America that doesn’t include of all of us.”

It’s an important thing to remember.

Quoted, Election Day Edition: Adrienne Maree on Being an American Revolutionary

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i feel challenged by Grace [Lee Bogg's] latest thinking, that a new “more perfect union” is ours to envision and embody, and i think we have to believe that no one can run this country, community by community, better than those of us with clear visions and practices of justice and sustainability. if we believe that, then we must take on the responsibility of bringing our visions into existence – through our actions, not just our words.

the second thing that has made me reconsider this is a conversation that happened at web of change. it was hosted by anasa troutman and angel kyodo williams, and i wasn’t even there, just got to debrief how powerful it was with several participants afterwards. one of the key components was the idea of being able to say that those things that offend us at the deepest level, which seem inhumane, which give us feelings of shame by association – we have to step up to say “that is not our America.” Continue reading

On Forcing Myself to Vote

by Latoya Peterson

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When I was fifteen years old, taking the updated version of Civics class, my teacher impressed upon me the utter importance of participating in a democracy. This is both a right and a privilege, he noted, explaining that with every right came with a responsibility that must be fulfilled.

To ensure our right to a trial by jury of your peers, one must agree to serve on a jury. So when I was called for jury duty, I groaned internally, but went happily, knowing that I was playing my small role.

Similarly, the right to vote comes with the responsibility to exercise those rights, less they be taken away. So, ever since I was 18, I have gone to the polls.

But this year was a fight. I had a great conversation with Erwin de Leon on the Michael Eric Dyson show where he talked about wanting to vote, dreaming of voting, but being denied that kind of civic participation because he was not a citizen. When Erwin mentioned how he pleaded with his friends to care enough to vote, and remembered how the Philippines has a very different relationship to voting than America.

As he spoke, I flinched inwardly. I believed every word he said. Knew it. But I was still struggling with the idea casting my ballot this year. Continue reading

The Growing Asian American Vote

By Guest Contributor Jenn, originally published at Reappropriate


The LA Times has a story out today on a report released by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center detailing the Asian American vote in the 2008 presidential election. Gratifyingly, the report notes that the Asian American voter turnout in Los Angeles County has grown by an astounding 39% in California since 2000, showing the growing importance of the Asian American vote in the state.

For the countless organizations that are involved in improving voter turnout for APIAs, this is great news –  a validation of the countless hours spent canvassing and phonebanking Asian American voters to increase voter turnout. But it also underscores to me the importance of GOTV efforts — even with the massive increase in APIA voter turnout in L.A. County, the national voter turnout for APIAs remains 7% lower than the national average.

The 2008 election was also an energizing election; GOTV efforts must also focus now on ensuring that Asian American voters continue to vote — not just in national elections, but in local elections for propositions, city council, and state government.

The report has some interesting findings on top of its “take-home message” that APIA voter turnout has increased in L.A. county. Check out this graph showing voter trends within the APIA community and compared to all registered voters in the region. Unlike the voting population at-large, Asian American voters are predominantly foreign-born and skew older, suggesting that language, immigration, and other concerns that appeal to immigrant voters will have greater impact on our community. Indeed, APALC reports that over 90% of Asian American voters, regardless of country of origin, support improving English language training for immigrants.

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