This year, the DC Chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) participated in APALA National’s Every Vote Counts civic engagement campaign aimed to increase the participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in electoral politics within their communities.
While the 2010 US census has shown the exponential growth of AAPIs throughout the country (even outpacing the growth rate of Latinos in several key battleground states such as Virginia and Nevada), our community has continued to show a low rate of voter registration throughout the country. On a positive note, however, studies have continually showed that when AAPIs do register to vote, their turnout rate is at a whopping 80%. This figure shows that while people in our community care about the same issues as the rest of the country, we are also faced with a unique set of challenges to access and education. This is where APALA has stepped in this year and where the DC chapter has played an integral role in getting out the vote (GOTV) in the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area.
Beginning in March, APALA-DC has conducted civic engagement workshops targeting youth and community leaders. We have hosted voter registration drives, trainings and GOTV efforts in partnership with labor and allies. Our members not only knocked on close to 600 doors in Virginia to lend a hand in the general elections, but an additional 150 doors in Maryland to GOTV for an important ballot initiative- the MD DREAM Act. We registered close to 50 voters in the DMV area, with more than half of them living in the key battleground state of Virginia. In addition, we created a mailer to target 5,000 AAPI households in Arlington to remind them to vote on November 6 and provided important information on where to access in language material.
This year APALA-DC is proud to have been on the forefront of engaging our community in a truly unprecedented way. We thank all of our partners for their support and we are grateful to our members for their dedication. As the final hours tick away to the day that we’ve been working towards for the past few months, there is only one thing left to do: VOTE!
Vote because you have a right that not everyone in our community is able to enjoy.
Vote because it matters.
See you at the polls!