At the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Caucus now; the introductory comments were from Howard Dean. I arrived late and managed to catch his remarks having to do with preventing voter fraud in the General Election. Our multi-lingual community includes speakers of well over 20 languages, some of whom are low-English proficiency. It also includes people who are recent immigrants to this country and perhaps unfamiliar with our electoral process, but still eligible to vote.(pdf) Those attributes sometimes engender vulnerability to GOP/partisan deception and fraud. The need for bilingual ballots serving eligible voters who are low-English proficiency adds to this vulnerability.
When Congressman Mike Honda spoke, he chided anyone who was "still holding out and undecided about voting for Barack Obama," and "anyone who's thinking about voting for McCain because you're upset your candidate didn't get the nomination, shame on you." Or if "you're thinking about not voting at all because your candidate didn't get the nomination, shame on you again!" I had to chuckle, as he stressed the fact that as Democrats and Asian Pacific Americans, we're family, we share similar values that our nominee Obama also shares, and of course, maybe we have a wee tiny propensity for being moved by appeals to GUILT. Love it. He must know my mother.
Interesting nuggets of info from the caucus:
- AAPIs have 25% more delegates at the DNC in 2008 than in 2004.
- 9 delegates from otherwise lily-white Minnesota! Woo hoo!
- McCain's Ohio ground game has gone missing, and with the help of APIAs, "we have a great chance of winning the state," according to Jay Goyal, OH State Representative, 73rd district.
- Ted Lieu, CA State Assembly, 53rd Assembly district: AAPI voter participation is on the rise.
- Yul Kwon, Survivor McHottie, was once aide for Joe Lieberman...before Lieberman went over to the dark side.
There was a lively panel afterwards where young activists discussed APIA voter participation via social media (extremely effective, especially in the under 30 crowd). It's a GOTV and education tool. And the youth vote, which overwhemingly went for Obama in the primaries, can be effective in advocating up the generational ladder among family and friends.
Cynematic also writes at P i l l o w b o o k.