SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 28, 2016) — The national political action committee CAPA21 endorsed Hillary Clinton for President on Thursday.
CAPA21 is the first major AAPI political action committee to endorse Clinton and the first to make an endorsement in the presidential race. The statement added that it believes Clinton has track record as an AAPI champion is unmatched by any other presidential candidate of any party.
“Hillary Clinton has clearly demonstrated her commitment to AAPI communities and issues,” said Glen S. Fukushima, CAPA21 co-founder and Chair. “As Senator, she was a leader on issues to improve the lives of AAPI families and communities. As Secretary of State, she understood that the importance of the Asia-Pacific region in U.S. foreign policy, which strongly impacts recent AAPI immigrant communities.”
“Hillary Clinton has appointed AAPIs to top positions in her campaign, crafted an AAPI-focused vision, and was the only candidate to hold a major event exclusively devoted to AAPIs,” said Dale Minami, CAPA21 co-founder and President. “A candidate’s actions, not just words, on AAPI priorities preview how she will perform once in office.”
CAPA21 is a national Asian American Pacific Islander PAC based in San Francisco, established in 2014 by Fukushima, Minami, and others to invest in progressive candidates, AAPI field operations, and AAPI voter engagement projects. CAPA21 is a successor to the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA), founded in 1988 as the country’s first national Asian American PAC and served the community until 2008.
“CAPA21’s vision is of a country where AAPIs have a powerful presence and role in all branches and levels of government and politics, achieved through AAPI voters who are engaged and empowered,” said Courtni Sunjoo Pugh, a CAPA21 Leadership Council Co-Chair. “Hillary is the best candidate to help us achieve that vision for AAPIs.”
CAPA21’s Leadership Council Co-Chairs include Ginger Lew, Maeley Tom, Mona Pasquil, Mark Keam, Steve Ngo, Phong La, Tessie Guillermo, Kiran Jain, and Dilawar Syed.
Asian American voters in the last decade have nearly doubled from more than two million voters in 2000 to 3.9 million voters in 2012 (Center for American Progress, AAPI Data). It is estimated that Asian Americans will reach five percent of voters nationally by 2025 and 10 percent of voters by 2044.
Asian American voter numbers are critical swing votes in Nevada, Virginia, and Florida and influenced the presidential elections in those states, as demonstrated in 2008 and again in 2012.
Despite the growing importance of AAPIs, our communities face poor or non-existent language assistance at the voting booth, poor outreach from political parties, and oppressive voter ID laws (Center for American Progress).
In this context, Hillary Clinton’s outreach to AAPI communities has been especially significant.
Secretary Clinton has:
§ Appointed a record number of AAPIs to major roles her campaign, including: Huma Abedin, campaign vice chair; Dennis Cheng, finance director; Maya Harris, senior policy adviser; Mini Timmaraju, women’s outreach director; and Lisa Chandadveja, AAPI outreach director.
§ Created a substantive connection to AAPI communities through the formation of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hillary Leadership Council, a group of more than 150 elected officials, community, and grassroots leaders.
§ Outlined her positions on AAPI issues through her “Vision for a Thriving AAPI Community,” recognizing continued challenges to our prosperity, such as enduring racism, language barriers, and a gender wage gap.
§ Hosted an official campaign event devoted exclusively to AAPIs on January 7 in San Gabriel, California, joined by Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Rep. Judy Chu and dozens of AAPI elected officials and community leaders from across the nation.