A NATIONAL Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) political action committee announced on Thursday, Jan. 28 that it is formally endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, noting her record of connecting to the AAPI community. The announcement made by San Francisco-based CAPA21 is the first endorsement by any major AAPI PAC for the 2016 presidential race. “Hillary Clinton has clearly demonstrated her commitment to AAPI communities and issues,” said Glen S. Fukushima, CAPA21 co-founder and chair, in a statement. “As Senator, she was a leader on issues to improve the lives of AAPI families and communities. As Secretary of State, she understood that the importance of the Asia-Pacific region in US foreign policy, which strongly impacts recent AAPI immigrant communities.” Dale Minami, CAPA21’s co-founder and president, remarked that Clinton’s campaign has AAPIs in top positions — such as Huma Abedin, campaign vice chair; Dennis Cheng, finance director; and Lisa Chandadveja, AAPI outreach director — and has “crafted an AAPI-focused vision.” Clinton visited Southern California on Jan. 7, where she launched AAPIs for Hillary, gathering key AAPI elected officials and hundreds of supporters from across the nation. It marked the first event a major presidential candidate held exclusively for AAPIs. “A candidate’s actions, not just words, on AAPI priorities preview how she will perform once in office,” Minami said. According to AAPIData and the Center for American Progress, Asian American voters have nearly doubled in the last decade from more than two million voters in 2000 to 3.9 million in 2012. Further data shows that the electorate is expected to grow by more than 600,000 voters in each presidential cycle. Asian American voter numbers are critical in swing states, such as Nevada, Virginia and Florida. The PAC’s leadership council co-chairs include Ginger Lew, Maeley Tom, Mona Pasquil, Mark Keam, Steve Ngo, Phong La, Tessie Guillermo, Kiran Jain, and Dilawar Syed. CAPA21 continues on the work of the now-defunct Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA), founded in 1988 as the country’s first national Asian American PAC.