Washington, D.C. (September 28, 2010) – DNC Chairman Tim Kaine joined DNC Vice Chairman Mike Honda and DNC Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Caucus Chair Bel Leong-Hong on a conference call to discuss the Democrats’ strategic efforts to ensure that Democratic voters in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities across the country go to the polls this November.
While Asian American and Pacific Islanders make up just four percent of the population, the AAPI community is one of our nation’s fastest growing. In fact, more than 1 in 10 new voters in 2008 was an Asian American. Along with discussing the AAPI Vote 2010 plan – Kaine, Honda and Leong-Hong all argued that by bringing those voters back to the polls this year and continuing the trend of increasing turn-out among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters, they can help Democrats in races all across the country.
“The AAPI vote was critical for our path to victory in 2008, and they will be again this year. In 2008, Asian Americans and Pacific Islander voters helped to elect President Obama and usher in a new era of responsible Democratic leadership,” said DNC Chair Tim Kaine. “In that election, by our count, 3.6 million Asian Americans cast a ballot – 600,000 more than the Presidential election four years earlier.
“We are holding meetings with AAPI leaders across the country. These outreach efforts are critical because by talking to community leaders and sharing what’s at stake in the midterms – talking about how we hope to reach AAPI voters – we’re first getting good advice, and we’re also talking to people who are trusted community leaders that can spread the word.
“The message we’re pitching is a pretty simple one. Voters can choose President Obama and Democrats – who are taking bold action to repair a decade of failed economic policies, build a stronger economy, and lay a new foundation for growth. Or, they can choose Republicans – who would like to take us back to the same failed economic policies that helped the cause the economic crisis, exploded the deficit, and led to the loss of millions of jobs.”
DNC Vice Chair, Congressman Mike Honda said the true strength of the DNC’s AAPI vote 2010 plan will be the work on the ground from the volunteers who reach into the neighborhoods to tell their friends, family and neighbors why they should vote this year, and why they should support Democrats. He said the DNC made great changes to ensure that we are maintaining the focus on engaging these voters.
“With innovative programs like our small business outreach, we can reach into the heart of the AAPI community, while working with small business owners to use their business as a community help where people can find information about Democratic candidates and meet with the activists who will turn the support into action,” said Honda.
DNC AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong-Hong said this is not just a plan, but a call to action to everyone who was involved during the 2008 election.
“AAPIs will be talking to AAPIs, talking about how Democrats have delivered for AAPIs, and how we need to work together so that Democrats continue to deliver,” said Leong-Hong. “Research has shown that AAPIs are supportive of Democrats, and that once AAPIs are registered we turn out to vote. And our ground game will make sure that supporters are voting on Nov. 2.
“We want to coordinate efforts, share effective strategies and resources, such as in language materials and keep our communities attuned to our leadership through national conference calls and e-newsletters,” she added. “Communities really best represent themselves, and we can all learn from the unique way which we organize, and interact with, and relate to each other.”
Listen to audio of the press conference at http://bit.ly/cx152r.