AAPI engagement Strategy

The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is a pillar of the Democratic Party. They have been on the frontline in the fight for human dignity and economic inclusion. AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group in America according to the 2010 Census. AAPIs support the Party financially, on the ground and at the ballot box – and the DNC needs to fully engage, support and recognize their importance. AAPIs are also the largest group of new immigrants moving to the United States, as well as one of the fastest growing swing votes in key states and districts across our nation. The AAPI population is expected to double by 2040.

As DNC Chair, Keith Ellison would work vigorously with the AAPI community across the states and in the territories to grow the successes from 2016, including the 87% support for Hillary Clinton, the highest number of AAPI delegates in history, and the most inclusive platform to date, which Keith Ellison helped to shape.

With the leadership and partnership of the AAPI community, Democrats must work to protect the important gains made under President Obama and stand against the unceasing Republican attacks on immigrants and refugees, and fight racial and religious profiling that remains a reality for far too many in the AAPI community. Keith knows the stakes for the AAPI community: over 1.7 million AAPIs still remain separated from their families and unable to reunite with their loved ones due to our broken immigration system. South Asian, Middle Eastern, Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim Americans are still viewed suspiciously and targeted simply for the way they look or the religion they practice. President Trump’s Muslim Ban is abominable. Keith has worked alongside leading local, state and federal AAPIs to ensure they are not overlooked in major policy discussions and are fully engaged in electoral activities. Keith has always fought to address hate crimes and to ensure that one’s race, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, language ability, immigration status, or sexual orientation is not cause for profiling and discrimination.

As Chair of the DNC, Keith will be ready to work with the AAPI community to tackle some of the particular challenges that keep potential AAPI voters from the ballot box, including language barriers, low awareness of how to participate in the American democratic process, and fear that their vote won’t count. Additionally, a 2012 survey of Asian American voters nationwide found that 52% of the Asian American voters had not been contact at all by the Democratic Party. The diversity of culture, religion, language and socio-economic status of the AAPI community bring challenges for organizing. Although AAPIs represent the fastest growing share of the US population and electorate, many AAPIs do not participate in the country’s political process. Little over half of eligible AAPIs are registered to vote, and a fewer than half have participated in any Presidential election in the past two decades. Keith Ellison understands that one size does not fit all.

Keith knows how to win elections, and he knows that fully engaging all of our Democratic family is the only way to win. The fact is that the work that AAPI community does could not be more important. Keith knows that Democrats have a serious turnout issue and that we need to do something about it, that we need to act. If Detroit voted like it did in 2012, Democrats would have won Michigan this past election. Same for Milwaukee and Wisconsin. Same for Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.