WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 10, 2016) — OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates recognizes 2016 as a an encouraging year for Asian American and Pacific Islander civic engagement.
On Tuesday, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) from around the country showed their growing civic power by voting in national, state, and local elections. Early CNN exit polling indicates that Asian Americans increased their share of votes casted nationally from 3 percent to 4 percent of the national population. This growing number of Asian American voters has often been cited as major factor in battleground states, where margins of victory are often razor thin.
“In many ways, 2016 has been a key year for the AAPIs and larger immigrant community to voice their concerns. Amidst a spate of hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric, Asian Americans voted early in record numbers, roughly doubling their early ballots in key states like Arizona, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina according to the data firm Catalist,” said OCA National President Leslie Moe-Kaiser. “This outpouring of early voting from AAPI voters has also been largely mirrored in the Latino community, showing the investment of the immigrant community in this election. These promising statistics combined with a nationwide estimate of 6.8 million registered Asian and Pacific Islander voters, demonstrate the growing civic power of both Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the larger immigrant community.”
“We are also seeing signs of growing civic participation in the increasing involvement AAPIs in political campaigns and at all levels of government,” continued Moe-Kaiser. “As a result of this election, Tammy Duckworth and Kamala Harris are set to become the second and third Asian American women to serve as a U.S. Senator. Pramila Jayapal and Stephanie Murphy are also set to become, respectively, the first Indian American and Vietnamese American women to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. These groundbreaking victories are a bright spot of this election season, and we congratulate all new and re-elected AAPIs currently serving in public office.”
“We hope that the hateful rhetoric of the campaign season will clear and that there is an opportunity to work with President-elect Trump and congressional leadership on issues that are important to AAPIs including immigration and education. No matter what, OCA will continue to strive towards a greater understanding between people and a nation where the civil rights of all people regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigration status are protected,” concluded Moe-Kaiser.