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Democrats and the AAPI Community Organizing to Win

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This month we celebrate the heritage of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community and their contributions to our country. We also celebrate increasing political empowerment of AAPI’s as our community is finding its political voice. 

With over 20 million citizens nationwide, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are among  the fastest growing demographics in the country and are an integral part of our nation’s future. And this growing community supports the Democrats’ mission to improve our schools, spur job creation and economic growth, and ensure that everyone can participate equally in our society.

The support of the AAPI community has made a significant difference for Democratic candidates in races in the past several election cycles. Notably, in the 2006 Virginia Senate Race, Senator Jim Webb enjoyed the support of three out of every four Asian American voters, which helped him eke out a narrow election victory by a margin of less than 0.5 percent.

In 2012 President Obama won an estimated 2.3 million of Asian American votes to Romney’s estimated 900,000 votes, or 71 percent to 28 percent. And in 2013, Terry McAuliffe led among Asian Americans 63 percent to Ken Cuccinelli’s 34 percent in a poll taken right before Election Day, a 29 percent margin.

With this repeated pattern of success at the top of the ticket, it is imperative we continue to build on this momentum to help down ballot candidates.  This fundamental premise means that we must reach AAPI voters all across the country through voter registration and informing them about important Democratic issues like common sense immigration reform, affordable health care, and raising the minimum wage that affect them personally.

And as many in the AAPI community continue to support Democrats, the Democratic National Committee is also working with state parties to develop AAPI caucuses of their own and working to connect them with the National Democratic AAPI Caucus.  Ultimately, these state and local AAPI Caucuses will become part of the national network, connected to the National AAPI Caucus.  Such a network of Caucuses will leverage each other for support, for lessons learned, for useful tools, and for so much more.

Just last month I was in Arizona working with the Arizona Democratic Party to help kick off their AAPI caucus. I participated in their first meeting as a Caucus and helped them with some basic tools.  And in the coming weeks, I’ll be doing the same in New York.   My promise to the State Democratic parties is that any state party that has an interest in establishing an AAPI Caucus, I am available to come to their state and help get a Caucus started.  

Outreach to the AAPI community by state parties is important, and is also part of the reason why Democrats will be successful again in the 2014 election. This AAPI heritage appreciation month, join me and the Democrats in working together to continue our journey of empowering our community, to continue to increase our political voice, and re- dedicate ourselves to fighting for our shared Democratic values.