by Eddie Wong. Posted October 20, 2018.
As of today, October 20, we have 18 days to send a message to Trump and the cowardly Republican Party which has embraced his mantra of hate, jingoism, and stupidity. We have 18 days to counter the rightwing lies of “an immigrant invasion” and “fake news.” We have 18 days to get every progressive-minded voter to the polls and blunt Trump by restoring a Democratic majority to the House and Senate.
Those 18 days will dwindle down to just a handful so now is the time for ALL HANDS ON DECK for the throw down of our lives.
Here are voices from a few battleground states. I hope Gloria Caoile, Grace Choi, Vivian Chang, Mark Masaoka, Alvina Yeh and others will inspire you to join the Get Out The Vote efforts. There so many ways you can help, e.g. making phone calls, texting voters, going door-to-door to talk with voters. And there are so many groups who are mobilizing folks, e.g. the local Democratic Party, Swing Left, Indivisible, ACLU People Power and more. It doesn’t matter if you have only a few hours or a few days, every effort makes a difference.
Asian Americans made headline news this past week as their absentee ballots in Gwinnett County had the highest rejection rate of 20% or 102 out of 390 mail-in ballots. Gwinnett County is primarily African American, Latino and Asian. Ballots were bounced because voters allegedly listed the day’s date in the spot of listing the voter’s birthdate. Gwinnett County represented 40% of all the rejected ballots in the state despite being just 12% of all mail-in ballots.
Earlier in the month, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is running for Governor against Stacey Abrams, placed 53,000 new voter registrants on “pending” status due to “exact match” issues where people may have placed an incorrect date on the form. Kemp later said that all of the 53,000 new voters could vote on election day if they present proof of identification, but the act of holding back their status may have already dissuaded people from going to the polls.
Grace Choi, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Constituency Director of the Coordinated Campaign for the Democratic Party of Georgia, told East Wind ezine that any voter with questions about their status should call the Voter Protection Hotline at 888 730-5816. She added, “Asian American and Pacific Islander community members are motivated to cast their ballots, and are already turning out in unprecedented numbers. I am excited to help make our voices count in this historic election. Georgia Democrats are committed to protecting every Georgians’ right to vote, and I strongly encourage all voters to take advantage of our Voter Protection Hotline if they have any questions at all, where we provide bilingual support in Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese.”
Here are some of the special mobilizations aimed at the AAPI communities this weekend:
Gwinnett County Canvassing with Gwinnett County Commissioner Candidate Ben Ku this Saturday, 10/20, at 10am: https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/georgiademocrats/event/63702/
DeKalb County (Brookhaven) Canvassing this Saturday, 10/20, at 12:30pm: https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/georgiademocrats/event/65691/
DeKalb County Curry & Canvassing this Saturday, 10/20, at 12pm: https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/georgiademocrats/event/67849/
Fulton County Canvassing with SPECIAL GUEST Girls Who Code Founder Reshma Saujani this Sunday, 10/21, at 1pm: https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/georgiademocrats/event/72371/
Gwinnett County Canvassing this Sunday, 10/21, at 1pm: https://events.mobilizeamerica.io/georgiademocrats/event/72735/
Additional events are slated for the following weekends.
Alvina Yeh, the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), told East Wind ezine that their members and supporters are focused on Clark and Washoe counties, the most populated areas of the state. Working in partnership with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), they have made 80,000 phone calls to voters and visited 28,000 homes in precinct canvassing.
Gloria Caoile, APALA founding member, board member and NV chapter leader said, “The APALA Nevada chapter is seeing unprecedented engagement from the AAPI and especially Filipino-American community. More than two dozen first-time canvassers, new to politics and several of them first-time voters themselves, are supporting our voter outreach efforts. “
She added, “Voters are impassioned about protecting family immigration, advancing good union jobs, and supporting community safety. Our energy is focused on turning out AAPI voters, especially the first-timers that we registered earlier this year. The community has a voice, and it will not let it go unheard.”
APALA and SEIU are gearing up for a huge campaign rally this weekend with former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic slate including Jacky Rosen, who is deadlocked in the race against GOP incumbent Senator Dean Heller. Voter canvassing will follow the rally.
Vivian Chang, APALA’s Civic Engagement Fellow based in Las Vegas, encouraged supporters from southern California to join them in the push to get higher turnout especially for early voting. APALA is organizing an Early Voting Festival in Las Vegas Chinatown on October 27 from 10 am to 4 pm and plans to lead people to cast their ballots that day.
“The weather is actually a bit cooler now, only 75 degrees,” said Vivian laughingly. “Come out and join us in our final push.” So Cal peeps, call Vivian at 702 268.4400 if you want to go to Las Vegas and volunteer.
Multiple efforts are underway to increase voter awareness and voter participation among Asian Pacific Americans in the Golden State. In partnership with the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Civic Engagement, the online advocacy group 18M Rising announced the 2018 California Voter Guide. – http://vote.18mr.org/aapis4ce/
Across California, our families are being displaced by rising rent costs and unfair evictions. Corporate tax loopholes are stealing money from our schools and public services. And it’s Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and other communities of color, paying for it with our health and safety.
On Election Day, we have the power to create a better future and defend our communities. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are 16% of California’s population — we can be the deciding votes on November 6th.
We know voting can be tough and confusing. Use the 2018 California Voter Guide for easy to understand explanations of the 11 propositions on the ballot!
There are 11 propositions on the November ballot. From housing affordability and rent control to protecting clean water and public transportation – you can decide how California will build its future.
Our partner AAPIs For Civic Empowerment Education Fund makes it simple on how to vote with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community on the 11 ballot measures.
Check out the 2018 California Voter Guide to help you vote with confidence on Election Day!
Laura, Cayden, Turner, Bianca and Taz — The 18MR Team
In Orange County, the scene of several tight House races where seats can be flipped from Republican to Democrat, a new civic engagement effort is underway among Asian and Latinx communities. The group is Turning the Tide OC, which works closely with the Korean Resource Center in Action, a c4 political action organization. Turning the Tide is recruiting volunteers among Latinx, Korean and Vietnamese communities.
“Our goal is to reach 30,000 young voters of color, said Jonathan Paik, organizer. “We have three phone banks up in northern, central and southern Orange County and we’re also knocking on doors to talk with voters pretty much every day from now to Election Day, November 6.” In addition to supporting the Democratic candidates, Cisneros, Porter, and Rouda, in efforts to flip GOP Congressional seats, the Turning the Tide effort also focuses on a critical local race: the race to elect Duke Nguyen, a former Santa Ana police officer and an investigator with the LA County District Attorney’s Office, as Orange County sheriff. Paik, a campaign veteran, observed,”There’s a real sense of change in the air this year.”
Click here to sign up for phone banking, texting, canvassing, or volunteering at events: http://bit.ly/tidevolunteer2018