Powerhouse Advisors Give a Greater Voice to AAPI Communities Heading Toward the 2020 Presidential Elections
Press Release
AAPI Victory Fund
December 6, 2018

Powerhouse Advisors Give a Greater Voice to AAPI Communities Heading Toward the 2020 Presidential Elections

WASHINGTON— The AAPI Victory Fund announces its National Leadership Council, which will advise the organization as the nation heads toward the 2020 presidential elections.

“The 2018 midterm elections reinforced the fact that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates. Seventy-nine percent of the AAPI population will be represented by a Democrat in the new Congress,” said Shekar Narasimhan, Chair of AAPI Victory Fund. “We have assembled an unrivaled advisory council of AAPI political, entertainment and industry leaders that will grow the number of AAPIs in Congress and ensure unprecedented levels of engagement as we head toward the 2020 presidential elections.”

National Leadership Council

The Hon. Norman Y. Mineta, Honorary Chair

  • Vinoda Basnayake
  • Dennis Cheng
  • Johnnie Giles
  • Dr. Zia Khan
  • Amb. Gary F. Locke
  • The Hon. Christopher P. Lu
  • Maulik Pancholy
  • Kal Penn
  • Sanjita Pradhan
  • Nick Rathod
  • Sonal R. Shah
  • Hari S. Sharma
  • The Hon. Tina M. Tchen
  • Amb. Vinai K. Thummalapally
  • Dr. Mai Khanh Tran
  • Monika Kalra Varma
  • Amb. Richard R. Verma
  • Nithi Vivatrat
  • Francey Lim Youngberg

“Our leadership needs a change in 2020, and I am pleased to chair the AAPI Victory Fund National Leadership Council to help make that happen,” said Norman Y. Mineta, former Secretary of Commerce and Transportation. “The depth of the Council is a testament to how our community has grown and succeeded. Now is the time for our community to continue that success and elect leaders that believe in us.”

Over 22 million strong, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are the fastest growing racial group in the US. In the upcoming 116th Congress, there will be 19 progressive AAPIs, including 3 Senators and 16 Representatives.

“The Asian American and Pacific Islander community came out and voted for Democrats to take control of the House. It is time that Democratic Leadership and members of Congress do more to support AAPIs and their issues,” said Narasimhan. “Our National Leadership Council will work to identify and get more AAPIs to run for office and ensure Democratic leaders and elected officials invest in the AAPI community.”

“Our focus at AAPI Victory Fund is to foster this high-enthusiasm nationally, but especially in places like Orange County, California and Harris County, Texas. This emerging Blue territory is where AAPIs exist in high numbers and, when engaged, will be the margin of victory for Democrats at all levels of the electoral ticket,” said Bel Leong-Hong, Co-Founder of AAPI Victory Fund. “AAPI Victory Fund and our National Leadership Council will develop strategies to turn out AAPI voters. Data indicate that AAPI voter engagement is at presidential-like levels post 2016.”

AAPI Victory Fund will continue to develop its infrastructure work from in Virginia in 2019 where 140 state Delegate and Senate seats are up for grabs, and control of these Chambers are each one seat away from Democratic control.

“We will experiment with what works and what doesn’t with AAPIs in Virginia,” said Varun Nikore, President of AAPI Victory Fund. “We must continue the Blue Wave which started in 2017. Once again Virginia in 2019 will be the building block for Democratic control of the White House in 2020.”

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