Friday, February 17, 2017
Washington, DC – Today, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) announces its endorsement of Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) for the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) is thrilled to stand behind a champion of working families and a strong advocate to engage the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community more deeply and meaningfully within the Democratic Party.
Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President and Assistant Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers, AFSCME Local 3930, stated: “Congressman Ellison’s leadership at the DNC will be a very strategic move for the labor movement as a whole. His focus on working families along with his commitment to the inclusion of diverse people within the DNC leadership signal the way forward for the Democratic Party. His progressive vision and leadership for our country is exactly the kind of Chair the DNC needs.”
Congressman Keith Ellison said: “I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. As the first and only national organization that represents AAPI workers, APALA's importance cannot be stressed enough. I've always been a strong supporter of labor, and if I'm elected the next Chair of the Democratic National Committee, I want all APALA members to know that I'll have their backs day in and day out."
Jigme Ugen, Executive Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and APALA member, added: “It’s exciting to see leaders in the party and within labor rally behind a DNC Chair candidate like Keith. Fifteen years ago, I coordinated GOTV for Keith’s campaign, and I’ve seen firsthand that he understands that in order to win, we need to have better engagement and partnerships on the ground. That’s where elections in states and local communities have tremendous ripples and influence on the national agenda. Strong state and local parties need to be the foundation of a strong DNC.”
APALA Executive Director Gregory A. Cendana commented: “Keith is an organizer at heart, and he understands that all communities – from young people to rural folks to people of color – need to be politically and civically engaged at the grassroots level. At a very divisive moment in our history, Keith will be able to unite our diverse communities to tackle the hateful candidates, policies and rhetoric that will come from the right-wing. We are proud to support Keith’s campaign for DNC chair and look forward to continuing our work to build a more visionary and inclusive party and country.”
Congressman Keith Ellison currently represents the 5th district of Minnesota and was the only candidate for DNC chair to release an engagement plan for the AAPI community.