The US Census reports that California’s diverse Asian population is its fastest growing ethnic group. Its numbers increased by more than a third in just a decade.
But the Asian Pacific American Legal Center maintains that California’s Asians have not yet translated their numbers into influence at the ballot box.
“One of the great things about reaching out to nine different ethnic communities is that no one else has ever done this before," says Tanzila Ahmed, APALC's voter engagement manager. "So why does it matter? There are many issues that are affecting our communities, and we know that the power to vote really holds our community to the forefront. And I think this election cycle is the first one that I’ve seen where Asian American voters are actually being paid attention to by the media—and we think that’s reflective of a change going on in our community.”
The voter outreach effort hopes to reach out to as many as 500,000 likely Asian-American voters, including new US citizens and young people casting ballots for the first time.
The coalition has even commissioned the San Gabriel Valley YouTube duo the Fung Brothers to produce a funny public service announcement. It urges different generations of Asian Americans to go out and vote.
On Election Day, the coalition will work with thousands of volunteers at polling stations throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, making sure voters have access to translated information and to bilingual poll workers.