By Toby Chaudhuri
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept 03, 2012 – Today’s pre-convention activities emphasized the emerging power of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, given its rapid population growth across the country and in key battleground states. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders show unwavering support for President Barack Obama.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Democratic leaders kicked off the convention by holding an official party caucus to outline the campaign’s strategy to reach voters. Officials acknowledged that AAPI voters are expected to vote in record numbers this fall, according to a recent poll released by APIAVote showing that close elections in important states likeFlorida,Nevada, andVirginiacould go to the candidates who best engage AAPIs, a demographic with increasing political clout.
“The Democratic Party embraces the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We share the community’s values and understand their needs. President Obama has supported our community, and his record of accomplishments is evidence. “ said Asian-American and Pacific Islander Caucus Chair for the Democratic National Convention Bel Leong-Hong.
The recognition of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as an emerging power was reinforced by an afternoon event, which provided activists with campaign speed training. “We know that if AAPIs vote at the same level as they did last time, it could mean increasing margins for the party by about 47,000 more votes in Virginia than last election, around 33,000 more in Florida and some 9,000 more in Nevada” said Curtis Chin from Asian Pacific American for Progress.
While the Democratic Party is harnessing the growth of the Asian American and Pacific Islander population, over 800 AAPI community members celebrated their political influence and leadership at a gala reception held by APIAVote at theWhiskeyRiver. Notable speakers who attended include: Congressional membersChu, Honda, Bordallo, Lee, Durbin and Green. California State Controller John Chiang and Mayor Ed Lee also made appearances.
APIAVote’s executive director Christine Chen said, “an overwhelming majority of Asian Americans – nearly five out of six – said they will be voting this November. Half of them are more enthusiastic than ever to vote, a trend that has continued from the last few presidential elections.”
AAPI Event Highlights on Tuesday September 04, 2012
8 a.m. – APIAVote holds an electoral briefing.
Charlotte City Club, Mecklenburg Room, 121 West Trade Street, Suite 3100, Charlotte
2 p.m. – AAPI delegates meet and greet.
Emzy Sushi Bar and Asian Kitchen, 550 S. Tryon Street, Suite 160, Charlotte
4 p.m. – Filipinos for Obama national meeting.
112 South Tryon Street, Room 112, Charlotte
5 p.m. – South Asians for Obama reception.
Hilton Charlotte City Center, 222 East 3rd Street, Second floor lobby bar, Charlotte
5 p.m. – Korean Americans for Obama reception.
Blake Hotel Bar, 555 South McDowell Street, Charlotte
5 p.m. – Vietnamese Americans for Obama reception. Picasso’s Sports Cafe Uptown, 222 South Church Street, Charlotte
7:30 p.m. – United States India Political Action Committee reception