Tag Archives: Vote

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Advancing Justice – AAJC Applauds House Vote on John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act 

WASHINGTON, DC — August 24, 2021 ― Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC applauds the U.S. House of Representatives passage of H.R. 4 – the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Civil rights groups like Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC are calling for widespread support of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to now pass the Senate. 

John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC issues the following statement:   

“Our vote is our voice, and our voice is our power. The passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to counter discriminatory voting laws – a move that was made previously more difficult last month by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brnovich v. DNC.  

We need to restore and modernize essential provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were gutted in the Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court decision and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act does exactly that by addressing the changing needs of America’s diverse population, of significant importance to the fast-growing Asian American community who need essential provisions such as increased language access and removal of other discriminatory barriers to voting.  

The Voting Rights Act has a long history of support across the political spectrum, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act should have the same when it moves to the Senate.” 

Read more about the Voting Rights Advancement act here – Support H.R. 4, John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – Government Accountability Project

Read APIAVote’s statement on the House Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act here: https://www.apiavote.org/press/HousePassesHR4 

“It is disappointing that 56 years after the Voting Rights of 1965 became the law of the land that this legislation is necessary. After being gutted by two recent Supreme Court decisions, including Shelby v. Holder and Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, state legislatures across the country have passed laws making it harder to vote – especially for historically marginalized communities, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”

“Nationally, AAPI voters had the largest increase in turnout among all racial groups between the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Despite the risks of the pandemic and growing hate incidents, AAPI voters showed up – thanks in large part to measures that expanded access to the polls. We know 73 percent of AAPI voters cast their ballots early or by mail in the 2020 election. We also know the demand for in-language materials was extraordinarily high in our communities. And without federal action now, AAPI voters may not have these options in the future.”

Building Upon AAPI Organizing During the 2020 Election

Reflecting on the community mobilization and organizing they engaged in during the 2020 election, our network partners are committed to continuing to defend and protect the right to vote, increase AAPI voter turnout and representation, and organize to make sure policies and elected officials reflect our community concerns and conditions. Read some of the statements and campaigns our network partners have released after the 2020 election, showcasing how they plan to continue the fight for democracy, the strategies they utilized and learned, and how you can get involved in future elections and their civic engagement efforts.

After the election, DRUM – Desis Rising Up and Moving announced the tasks they had of defending the right to vote, defending the integrity of election results, and getting organized to continue building independent working-class power. As community members are facing, “imminent evictions, facing unemployment, still grieving their loved ones lost to the pandemic, being brutalized by the police, or waiting in long food pantry lines,” DRUM recognizes that our interests and needs are not being reflected, thus reinforcing the need for us to continue to build community power. Read more about their campaign and how you can learn here: http://bit.ly/PowerSafetySolidarity 

Hmong Innovating Politics noted that, “despite millions of dollars stacked against them, our young people, volunteers, and outreach specialists did an outstanding job in mobilizing residents in Fresno and Sacramento. They spent countless hours on the phone, engaged thousands of first time voters, helped contact 35,000 AAPI voters throughout the Central Valley, and were part of a multi-racial, multi-generational coalition that drove the largest AAPI voter turnout in the history of California.” HIP is committed to continuing to train leaders, build with their allies to ensure immigrant communities are represented in politics and decisions, and connect with community members who are still disconnected and are not civically and politically engaged. Read HIP’s entire post-election reflection here.

Reflecting on the 2020 election and beyond, Freedom Inc stated: “We won because we engaged over 13,000 Black and Southeast Asian folx in Dane County and raised consciousness around the multiple oppressions we are living through. We won because we have learned how this current system works and we know we are better equipped to govern ourselves. We won because we mobilized roughly over 3,000 people to the streets, to show that WE, THE PEOPLE, hold COLLECTIVE POWER, and when WE MOVE, our oppressors shake. We organized our communities to envision liberation; that vision mobilized our communities to demand change and deliver this win.” Freedom Inc. will continue to fight to hold systems accountable to community demands through mutual aid efforts and grassroots community-led campaigns. Read their entire statement here and sign up to volunteer with Freedom Inc. to help build power at bit.ly/CPBvolunteer.

Help Get Out the AAPI Vote in the Georgia Runoff Elections

Community leaders and AAPI organizations in Georgia are mobilizing for high AAPI voter turnout in the upcoming Georgia runoff elections on January 5, 2021. Building upon their previous voter registration outreach and language assistance efforts that helped increase AAPI voter turnout during the 2020 election in November, organizations like Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Atlanta and the Center for Pan Asian Services are continuing their advocacy efforts to provide information and resources to our community members and empower them to engage in election processes. 

Learn more about the importance of this election down below and visit the Dear Georgia Campaign. Find out how you can help and/or volunteer here: https://www.advancingjustice-atlanta.org/volunteer-runoff. If you have questions about voting or need in-language voter guides and other resources, visit http://bit.ly/aaajvote or call the Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta hotline at 404-955-7322.

If you are in Georgia, find your early voting locations and absentee ballot drop box at https://bit.ly/CPACSVOTE21. Your vote will decide who makes decisions on important issues including COVID relief, education, healthcare, and small business! You can make your pledge at bit.ly/P2VCPACS2020. The Center for Pan Asian Services is also looking for volunteers to help with exit polling and surveying Asian American voters about their voting experience. Sign up at http://bit.ly/ExitPolling_GARunoff20

Action Alert: Save Your NOLA Library Campaign

Help protect public libraries in New Orleans from a 40% budget cut by voting in Louisiana’s runoff election on December 5, 2020! 

VAYLA New Orleans has joined the Save Your NOLA Library coalition and a growing number of diverse organizations, library workers, and citizens in supporting libraries by voting NO on Proposition #2 on the December ballot. Proposition #2 would dramatically reduce library funding for services and resources, disproportionately impacting low income communities of color. Stand with VAYLA to vote NO on #2 and save NOLA libraries.

“We live in a world where children’s success means access to a library. The fifteen libraries in New Orleans serve over a million individuals and families every year–for communities of color, New Orleans public libraries are an extension of home, a means of access, and sacred space of possibilities.” – says Jacqueline Thanh, Executive Director

Read VAYLA’s press release here http://www.vayla-no.org/blog/save-our-nola-libraries and learn more about the Save Your NOLA Library campaign at https://www.saveyournolalibrary.com/


Protecting the LGBTQ Community in Michigan

A campaign to protect the LGBTQ community in Michigan from discrimination with an amendment to a state law is one step closer to the ballot. Fair and Equal Michigan submitted 483,461 signatures to the state on October 13, 2020 in its initiative to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. As the act currently prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, sex and other factors when it comes to employment, housing and public accommodations, the proposed amendment would add “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to the list of protected classes.

Read a news story about the campaign here or visit https://www.fairandequalmichigan.com/why-now for information on the campaign, how to get involved and stay informed.  


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Challenging the Primary Ballot Initiative in Florida

A proposed constitutional amendment on Florida’s Nov. 3 ballot would create an open-primaries system of voting. Amendment 3 would change Florida’s primary elections for state legislators, the governor and lieutenant governor, and elected cabinet members from a closed election to a top-two open primary. This system would create a disadvantage for certain communities of the electorate. 

Having drawn opposition from both Democrats and Republicans, the Florida Legislative Black Caucus and a non-profit group drew attention to how the amendment would diminish the impact of Black voters and minority representation in the Florida House and Senate as it, “would give a disproportionate amount of power to primary voters and special interests while diminishing the ability of political parties to put forward candidates.” On October 13, 2020, the amendment faced a legal challenge with a petition filed with the Florida Supreme Court urging the Florida Secretary of State to not to certify the votes on Amendment 3.

Read more about the proposed constitutional amendment and why it’s being challenged in court here




Expand Opportunity and Equity with Prop 16 in California

In California, voters have an opportunity this November to remove the state ban on affirmative action which has contributed to employment and education discrimination.

Proposition 16 would permit government policies to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, education, and contracting decisions in order to address diversity and systemic racism. If passed, this proposition would expand opportunity for all by repealing California’s Proposition 209 which banned affirmative action initiatives in 1996 and led to disproportionately harmful outcomes for black people and people of color.

Click here to view NCAPA’s infographics and fact checks on affirmative action. Affirmative action helps to ensure that our universities, especially highly selective elite universities, remain accessible to students of all backgrounds. Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Southeast Asian American students have the most to gain directly from these policies.

By voting YES on Proposition 16, you can help create and open more educational, career and employment opportunities for women and people of color. Read more about Proposition 16 and the AAPI community, the history of affirmative action, and the impacts of an affirmative action ban on education, employment, and contracting from resources shared by our network partners down below!

Read more about Prop 16 on the Vote Yes On Prop 16 website


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