March 28, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 10, 2016) — Yesterday, we woke up to a shocking new world order and a future that is hard to comprehend.

Many of us spent chunks of the day in a daze, pondering the many questions about our country that yesterday’s presidential election brought. In the coming weeks, we will analyze the results, search our souls, and turn to family members and friends for support. Eventually, we will find answers and come to terms with what happened.

What is clear to me already, however, is that notwithstanding yesterday’s deep and bitter disappointment, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community nonetheless made a tremendous nationwide impact.

We may have lost the presidential race and our great friend and AAPI champion, Congressman Mike Honda, lost his re-election bid, but thanks to all of you, AAPI candidates shattered electoral barriers across the country and AAPI activists provided crucial campaign assistance in key races. Kamala Harris (CA) and Tammy Duckworth (IL) won U.S. Senate seats. Stephanie Murphy (FL), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL), Pramila Jayapal (WA), and Colleen Hanabusa (HI) won U.S. House seats. Ami Bera (CA) prevailed in a very tough U.S. House re-election campaign. Catherine Cortez-Masto (NV) was elected to the U.S. Senate with tremendous AAPI campaign support.

Aftab Pureval won a hard fought local race in Ohio and became the first AAPI candidate ever elected city-wide in Cincinnati. We added two new APA U.S. Senators and five new APA U.S. Representatives. That is on top of the record twelve APA sitting Members of Congress.

Five of the seven new APA Members are women! Our APA progressive political community is unquestionably coming of age, and all of you are leading that effort. You answered the AAA-Fund’s call for campaign contributions to these candidates, and joined us on the ground knocking on doors, making calls, and even texting likely voters.

You made your presence known on our blog and Facebook page and @aaafund and used social media to inspire and mobilize your networks with a passion that we had never seen before. Thanks to you, the AAPI community made a very real impact on these winning campaigns.

As we regroup from the loss of the presidency, we must build on our community’s victories. We must fight for our future at the federal, state and local levels. The battle lines are clear and the stakes are high. As a community, we must protect and promote progressive laws and policies every day, every week, and every month.

We must help John Chiang become the governor of California and mobilize the AAPI community for the Virginia gubernatorial race, in 2017. And, we must take back Congress during the mid-term elections in 2018. What does that mean for us as individuals?

It means that we increase our involvement and we strengthen our resolve. We advocate for policies and programs that help our community. We raise more money for our candidates and causes. We knock on more doors, call more people, and organize more effectively online. And, we join forces with our progressive brothers and sisters from other communities and causes.

Our future is now. Let’s pick ourselves up and go fight for our community and country.

Paul Tiao
Co-Founder and Acting Executive Director
Asian American Action Fund

Asian American Action Fund, 707 H Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC  20001
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