AAPI Community Action Summit Unites Progressive Leaders Ahead of Democratic Presidential Forum


July 29, 2019

WASHINGTON – AAPI Progressive Action, in partnership with Asian Americans Rising Action Fund, will host the “AAPI Community Action Summit” at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. on September 7, 2019. Along with co-sponsors Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Chinese American Elected Officials, Indivisible, PIVOT | The Progressive Vietnamese American Organization and other organizations, the event will mobilize AAPI grasstops and grassroots leaders from around the country, as well as progressive leaders representing the diversity of our community, including the high tech, labor, health, education and other sectors. The Action Summit will empower and equip participants to become effective advocates, identify and build state-based infrastructure and resources and set the stage for a progressive movement in 2020 and beyond.

“By failing to incorporate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders into their overarching campaign strategy in 2016, many progressive candidates missed a major opportunity to increase their voter base and voter turnout,” said Tung Nguyen, chair and founder of AAPI Progressive Action. “That year, although AAPIs represented just about 6 percent of the US population, we were the deciding vote in battle states that went blue like Nevada and Virginia.”

Hundreds of AAPI leaders and activists will participate in the training and organizing activities developed by AAPI Progressive Action and its partners. The Action Summit will address the severe lack of resources and training toward the AAPI community and prepare districts across the nation for the highest AAPI turnout ever in 2020.
“By harnessing the political voice of our people, AAPI leaders will demonstrate to political leaders and media that they must include the breadth and depth of the AAPI community in 2020, and in all future elections,” said Katie Nguyen Kalvoda, founder and president of Asian Americans Rising Action Fund. “This is a historical election cycle—with three AAPI presidential candidates making the debate stage and many AAPIs running for elected office across the nation. It is time to recognize us as a critical force in politics.” 

The AAPI Community Action Summit will be held the day before the first-ever AAPI Democratic Presidential Forum at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and will provide an opportunity for Action Summit participants to observe democratic presidential candidates discuss issues of importance to the AAPI community.

AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group in the US, and the ability to mobilize the AAPI vote is essential in winning elections. In 2018, AAPIs registered the highest contribution to the overall Democratic victory than any racial group and are experiencing extremely high levels of political engagement. For 2020, the AAPI populations hold the key to the Democratic Party’s ability to reclaim the White House, flip the Senate, hold the majority in the House of Representatives and maintain or regain control of some state legislatures.

Supporting organizations include: Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Atlanta, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organization (AAPCHO), Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), Hmong National Development, Korean Community Services, National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse (NAPAFASA), South Asian Network, Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC).

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Rebecca Lee