Redistricting at Stake – AAPI Progressive Action Endorses State Legislative Candidates

WASHINGTON—AAPI Progressive Action announces support for 53 state legislative candidates heading into the 2018 midterm elections. These candidates further build and strengthen the pipeline of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) progressive candidates. Electing these candidates will ensure 2020 redistricting efforts do not suppress the votes and voices of communities of color.

“The Republicans were very successful in both the federal and state 2010 midterm elections. That victory gave them control of redrawing districts that largely diminished the voices of minority communities, while further assuring their own victories for years to come,” said Dr. Tung Nguyen, chair of AAPI Progressive Action.  “We felt it was imperative to highlight and support state legislative candidates that would restore legitimacy and regular order to our country. These candidates deserve our full support and AAPI Progressive Action will work toward their victory.”

While the nation’s attention has been focused on the 2018 Congressional races, it is imperative that progressive state leaders are elected, as they determine redistricting efforts heading into 2020. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that three-fifths of governors deciding new district lines in the 2020 cycle will be elected this year. Further, one-third of state senators nationally elected during the 2018 midterms will be in office during the next redistricting cycle.

“The 2020 Census will show how demographic changes have affected every state in the country. The resulting new districts need to ensure representation that reflects the experiences of all Americans, rather than a wealthy and well-connected few. We cannot have legislators focused on ensuring their own legacies without regard to creating districts that reflect the communities they represent,” said Sayu Bhojwani, board member of AAPI Progressive Action. “These 53 candidates are our best shot for the AAPI community to make their voice heard for this generation and the ones to come.”

There are more AAPI progressive candidates running for state and federal office this election cycle than ever before. AAPI Progressive Action limited its endorsement to candidates in states where their election could change the state legislature from red to blue. Candidates were also endorsed in states where Democrats have slim margin and a win would solidify that our interests will be represented going into the general election.

“Democrats are rebuilding from the ground up, their message is working, and congressional races are closer than ever,” said Nguyen. “However, congressional victories in the midterm elections will be short lived if Republicans maintain and increase their control of state governorships and legislatures that will create and approve congressional voting districts. There are more AAPI candidates running for office nationwide, and once elected, they will work to make sure we are represented.”

Joyce Liu