3rd Annual AAPI Progressive Summit


On May 13, AAPI Progressive Action and AAPI Victory Fund hosted our 3rd Annual AAPI Progressive Summit marking another huge milestone for the AAPI community. Held at AFL-CIO, this gathering of prominent AAPI leaders and organizers proved that the AAPI community is woke and ready to make big moves for 2020 and beyond.

Photos by Chantale Wong

We were honored to host such a diverse group of speakers and attendees from all areas of the progressive movement. Seema Nanda, CEO of the DNC, spoke on how the party aims to engage with AAPI voters leading up to 2020.

Dr. Tung Nguyen, Seema Nanda, and Shekar Narasimhan

Dr. Tung Nguyen, Seema Nanda, and Shekar Narasimhan

Our panel on AAPI polling, featuring Nisha Jain, Mike Podhorzer, and Professor Janelle Wong, pinpointed healthcare, the environment, and taxes as the issues that actually matter to AAPIs. Hiral Tipirneni, Bel Leong-Hong, and Yasmin Radjy spoke on our biggest victories in 2018 and how we can keep the momentum going into 2020.

Maulik Pancholy and Chris Lu had a discussion on the importance of representation and engaging the AAPI voice. And we also heard from representatives from several Democratic presidential campaigns.

Our last group of panelists, former and current chiefs of staff themselves, urged us to engage with and inform our newest congress members on what our community needs. Among them were, Ven Neralla (Congressman Andy Levin), Gautam Raghavan (Congresswoman Pramila Jaypal), Linda Shim (Congresswoman Judy Chu), Jennifer Van der Heide (Congresswoman Deb Haaland) and Betsy Lin (Senator Mazie Hirono).

Luisa Blue, Executive Vice President at SEIU, closed out the summit with a call to action: “We are going to have to dig deep, listen closely, and mentor [future leaders]. We will have to mobilize communities like never before. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

Summit attendees then wrapped up the night at our reception held at Nelson Mullins. We celebrated this year’s summit and APAHM in the company of Senator Tim Kaine. A huge thanks to all of our speakers and attendees for their continued support of AAPI Progressive Action.

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Rebecca Lee