AAPI Victory Fund Launched to Mobilize Participation

by | Jan 25, 2016 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

WASHINGTON, DC — The AAPI Victory Fund announced its launch at the National Press Club Jan. 14, with the aim of mobilizing Indian Americans and other Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to participate in the U.S. electoral process.
Speakers included Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia; Chris Lu, Deputy Secretary of Labor; Shekar Narasimhan, chair of the fund; and Dilawar Syed, co-founder and vice chair of the Fund.
Former Secretary of Transportation and Commerce Norman Y. Mineta will serve as Honorary Chair of the AAPI Victory Fund.
In an interview before the launch, Narasimhan told India-West the new Super PAC leans heavily Democratic, but will not contribute funds to specific campaigns. The multi-million dollar Fund will focus instead on educating AAPI voters and getting them to the ballot box (I-W, Jan. 15). Narasimhan is co-chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Indo-American Council and a commissioner to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Dilawar Syed told India-West before the official launch the AAPI community played an increasingly important role during the last presidential election. The 3 percent vote created a margin of victory in key states, he said, noting that the new PAC will target those states – including Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and Colorado, among others – where the AAPI vote could create the margin of victory.
Speakers at the Jan. 14 kick-off cited the AAPI Victory Fund as an unprecedented vehicle for influence, targeted strategy, and realizing the potential for the AAPI vote by building sustained power behind a common agenda.
“The AAPI Victory Fund occupies a unique space, using precinct level data in targeted states to effectuate change,” said Mineta. “Speaking as a former elected official, this approach will allow candidates who value the AAPI vote to capture the votes needed to win in elections being decided by the narrowest of margins.”
“The AAPI population is growing fast in Virginia and its members are enriching communities all across the Commonwealth,” said Kaine. “I am happy to join this effort to expand AAPI political participation in voting and running for office nationwide,” said the former governor of Virginia.
“Asian American immigrants have among the highest rates of naturalization in the U.S. at 59 percent compared to 47 percent among all immigrants,” said Lu. “The Victory Fund’s work to increase civic engagement within the AAPI community underscores the strong impact that new Americans and those eligible for citizenship will have in the upcoming election.”
“It’s time for AAPIs to expect a seat at the table,” said Narasimhan. “As a community, AAPIs have the numbers and financial, technological, and intellectual resources to be an undeniable political force in 2016 and beyond.”
“AAPIs are a community of entrepreneurs, innovators and job creators. This community’s growing influence and power is an asset in electoral contests as well as in governing a new America. Presidential candidates cannot afford to ignore or alienate the AAPI electorate,” said Syed.
“The AAPI Victory Fund will do everything in its power to ensure candidates supportive of the AAPI community are rewarded. And those who indulge in politics of race, division and bigotry face an Asian Americans community mobilized across the country,” he said.
“The strength of the AAPI Victory Fund is its understanding and value in working in coalitions,” said Leong-Hong. “The Victory Fund’s resources will be leveraged with partners with common goals to elect a presidential candidate that understands our issues.”

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