The Asian Counseling and Referral Services (ACRS)’s new Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Democracy Initiative needs your help to raise $200,000.
AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group, locally and nationally — the swing vote in many elections. Still, there is a disparity between the communities’ rapid growth and their civic participation.
“Our voice and our vote as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are more important now than ever before,” said Martha Choe, honorary co-chair of the initiative. “This initiative will make a huge difference in helping our communities’ voices be heard in the political process.”
Language, culture, and traumatic experiences for many in the refugee and immigrant communities have been difficult barriers to overcome. ACRS and its partners in the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Washington look to overcome those barriers through the initiative by putting more bilingual organizers on the ground to support the work already in progress.
Initiative co-chair and former governor Gary Locke said, “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have given their blood, sweat, and tears for our country. If they care about the future of our country and communities that they helped shape, then they must be politically involved. The first step is registering to vote and then voting.”
Planning is also under way for voter education and mobilization efforts, such as a statewide AAPI Democracy Summit with the aim of a gubernatorial candidate forum. Other efforts include multilingual Get Out The Vote (GOTV) phone banking, door knocking, ballot parties, community events, and media activities. Also 350 leaders who speak the languages of the AAPI communities will be developed to boost civic engagement and participation.