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Nine Asian American organizations are partnering for a rally in downtown L.A. Saturday that is intended to demonstrate the community's growing political influence.
Clarissa Woo, Director of Policy Advocacy for the American Civil Liberties Union, says the purpose of the rally is “to highlight the importance of Asian American and Pacific Islanders to get out and vote.”
Woo notes the AAPI community will play an important role this year's election.
“The AAPI community is the fastest growing community group in California," she says. "Asian-American voters have jumped over 33 percent since 2000, and APIs make up over 15 percent of the state’s population. The AAPI population, therefore, is a key voting bloc that remains largely untapped in terms of political power."
However, Woo also says that turnout rates among the AAPI community are lower than the average voting population. “I think that there is a strong need for bilingual cultural access for the community. Things are a bit daunting so it’s just overcoming all of that information,” Woo says. She adds that the ballot propositions may be difficult for those with language barriers to understand.
The musical group Far East Movement appears in a promotional video urging fans to vote.
Thirteen Asian American YouTube stars have joined for the "#TakeActionCampaign" online video in an effort to promote voter registration among young voters for the upcoming November elections.
Musical group Far East Movement, local YouTube sensation Wong Fu Productions and YouTube comedian KevJumba are just a few of those featured in the video. Each has proven themself an internet star; Wong Fu Productions alone has collected over 194 million YouTube views. KevJumba has a total of more than 300 million.
Dan Matthews, a production director at ISAtv and one of the producers of the video, said its purpose is to reach out to the young Asian Americans who are devoted fans of the online celebrities and encourage them to vote.
"I feel that it is our responsibility to show the Asian American audience and put something out there that shows that voting and getting educated is important," Matthews said. "Whoever they vote for, they need to be familiar with what is going on. We support the idea of voting ... the idea that they can take action."