WHY THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT NEEDS MORE AAPI WOMEN TO RUN FOR POLITICAL OFFICE
The National AAPI Power Fund, in collaboration with New American Leaders Action Fund and Groundswell Action Fund, released a brief on the need for AAPI women to run for political office. The brief explores why AAPI women lag far behind men when it comes to running for elected office and offers recommendations to increase the number of AAPI women candidates. The brief is informed by a series of interviews conducted with a cross section of AAPI women, from nonprofit leaders and organizers to campaign strategists and elected officials, combined with data showing that AAPI women have more progressive views than AAPI men.
- Approximately seven out of every ten AAPI progressive, civic engagement nonprofits are led by AAPI women, but that leadership does not extend to representation in political office.
- AAPI women are under-represented in state legislatures compared to AAPI men. There are 47 AAPI women state legislators, comprising just 32% of the 149 AAPI state legislators in the country.
- AAPI women are consistently more progressive than AAPI men. In 2018, 73% of AAPI women supported the Democratic candidate for Congress, compared to 69% of AAPI men.
- A new training program to recruit and develop AAPI women as candidates and campaign staff could open up new avenues for AAPI women to begin to run for office in greater numbers.
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YOUNG AAPI POLL
The Power Fund commissioned Asian American Decisions to conduct a poll of young AAPI citizens between the ages of 18 to 34 in the months leading up to the November election. This effort was designed to inform and promote the digital engagement activities of RUN AAPI. In total, 800 respondents were asked questions about their voter registration status, likelihood of voting, level of support for each presidential candidate, issue priorities, and their reaction to issues through various message texting examples. Some key findings include:
- An indication of the large extent of AAPI young potential voters being untapped, e.g., a third did not plan to register and only 40% had been contacted by someone about the 2020 general election;
- Young AAPIs are deeply impacted by COVID-related racism and a majority seem strongly aligned with a progressive agenda and movement politics, e.g., around following public health recommendations and climate science and stances regarding police brutality, gun violence, and universal health care; and
- Mobilizing around an AAPI identity may be less important than addressing issues and policies to engage this constituency.
Subsequent analyses could be done that disaggregate responses by nativity, ethnic/national origin, gender, age, educational attainment, or employment status.
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The Power Fund supported Represent Us Now (RUN) AAPI, an organization that works with celebrity influencers to produce and disseminate creative materials and messaging to encourage young AAPI voter engagement in their followers. A highlight of RUN AAPI’s work in 2020 was its launch video.
ASIAN AMERICAN RAPPERS MOBILIZE VOTERS TO THE POLL
The National AAPI Power Fund is proud to present an election themed song, VOTE. Asian American rappers jason chu (LA), Alan Z (Atlanta) and Chow Mane (Bay Area) come together on a high-energy track repping the many reasons – from policies, to communities, to the presidential reality show – that they’re turning out to vote in this election. In this pivotal election, Asian American and Pacific Islander votes could be the deciding factor in key races. Blending fiery urgency with humor, the boys remind Gen Z and younger millennials that there’s no reason not to vote – and every reason to.