AAPI Victory Fund, Indian American Impact Fund and Desis for Progress are part of the effort.
Various political groups within the larger Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have launched an online clearinghouse with the goal of maximizing their impact in the November elections.
They announced the launch of the AAPI Clearinghouse at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on May 15. A number of prominent Indian American Democrats are part of the new initiative.
“Confronted with the most anti-immigrant and overtly racist administration in modern history, AAPI groups have banded together to build the clearinghouse, Shekar Narasimhan, founder and Chair of the AAPI Victory Fund, one of the 13 Asian American and Pacific Islander groups that are part of the new entity, told The American Bazaar.
He and other AAPI leaders who attended the launch said the new organization will make sure that maximum number of AAPI candidates will be elected come November.
Those present included two members of Congress, Rep. Judy Chu, chairperson of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Rep. Grace Meng, chairperson of the Asian American & Pacific Islander Rising and Empowering Political Action Committee (the ASPIRE PAC); Hiral Tipirneni, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in a special election from Arizona’s 8th congressional district, Maryland 6th congressional district candidate Aruna Miller and Aftab Pureval, who is running for Congress from Ohio’s 1st district; Koustubh “K.J.” Bagchi, head of Desis for Progress; and Gautam Raghavan, who heads the Indian American Impact Fund.
ALSO READ: AAPI Victory Fund urges Indian Americans to back Hiral Tipirneni in Arizona 8th district special election (December 29, 2017)
Narasimhan founded the Victory Fund, a “Super PAC,” to mobilize voters from AAPI communities. The Northern Virginia Democrat said his organization is tracking more than 220 AAPI candidates in 32 states running for local, state and federal offices this year.
“So leveraging our resources to improve their chances for success is critical,” he said. “The formation of the clearinghouse is a start in that direction.”
According to an official press release, the AAPI Clearinghouse will help political activists to know more about some 50 AAPI candidates that are running this year from one unified place and will offer opportunities for them to support the candidates in the mid-term elections and beyond.
“Through the Clearinghouse, the organizations aim to collaborate with each other to strengthen their political voice, empower the AAPI community nationwide, and demonstrate the power and influence of the AAPI community on the country’s future,” it said.
The 13 organizations that are part of the Clearinghouse are AAPI Progressive Action, AAPI Victory Fund, America’s Opportunity Fund (AOF), APALA, Asian American Action Fund, ASPIRE PAC, CAPA21 Action Fund, Desis for Progress, Indian American Impact Fund, KAYA, Korean Americans for Organizing (KAFO), PIVOT and (RUN).
ALSO READ: New Indian American group Impact to support candidates to ‘run, win and lead’ (January 19, 2018)
“There is so much at stake with this year’s mid-term elections,” said Chu. “That’s why an unprecedented number of AAPI candidates are running for Congress so we can have a larger voice in our political system. These political organizations are pledging to do all they can to elect more AAPI candidates to Congress and turn out the AAPI vote. We cannot take any opportunity for granted. It starts with launching the Clearinghouse so candidates and voters from across the country know where to turn for resources. By working towards a unified goal, AAPIs will secure our place at the table.”
“ASPIRE PAC is proud to join the new AAPI Clearinghouse,” Meng said. “We have an unprecedented number of AAPI candidates running for federal office across the country, and this online clearinghouse will give AAPI voters the information they need to engage with these campaigns and make their voices heard.”
Bagchi, of Desis for Progress, said the “unification of multiple organizations combines our ability to bring real political and policy power to the issues that affect the entire Asian American diaspora,” he said, adding, “We are proud to join these efforts and to bring the perspective of our progressive South Asian supporters.”
“At a time when our community and our values are under attack by xenophobic rhetoric and regressive policies, it is more critical than ever that Indian Americans build and wield political power to fight back,” said Raghavan of the Indian American Impact Fund.”We are inspired and energized by the over 80 Indian American candidates on the ballot in 2018, and in particular, the four Congressional challengers and six state and local candidates we have endorsed thus far. Voters are hungry for the kind of fresh thinking and bold leadership that they represent, and we look forward to helping them run, win, and lead.”
AAPI condemns Trump’s executive order (February 1, 2017)
List of Indian Americans running for Congress in 2018 (January 10, 2018)
Hiral Tipirneni loses a close race in Arizona special election (April 25, 2018)
Aruna Miller raised nearly $863,000 for congressional race in 2017 (February 1, 2018)
Indian American Aftab Pureval running from Ohio’s first congressional district (February 19, 2018)