The stakes are high this year for the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. According to a recent Pew Center study, AAPIs are the fastest growing racial minority in the country. From 2000 to 2010, the AAPI community grew 46% with an estimated number of 17.3 million US residents of Asian decent totaling 5.6% of the total population. There are a record number of AAPI candidates running for Congress and many are poised for victory this coming November. Despite all of this, our community has the lowest voter registration rates compared to other racial groups.
National Voter Registration Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate this first-ever holiday and maximize on our growing political clout. Since 2000, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) has run our Every Vote Counts program, working to register, educate & mobilize members of the AAPI community to the polls. Our members out in the field, especially in states with exponential population growth like Nevada and Virginia, are seeing more political campaigns courting our community for votes. Many people are now recognizing what APALA has known for so long, Every AAPI Vote Counts.
Whether you are an avid supporter to re-elect Barack Obama or an enthusiastic believer that Mitt Romney has what it takes to lead our beloved America, one thing for sure is that the AAPI community has the potential to be the margin of victory -- not just in the Presidential race but in every race down the ballot.
Many voter registration deadlines are quickly approaching and now is time to get registered. Last week, APALA launched our Every Vote Counts 2012 website. With the support of our partners Rock The Vote & 18MillionRising, our website features a voter registration widget where you can register to vote online and even from your phone.
With the election less than 2 months away (41 days to be exact), it is vital that we all make an effort to promote civic engagement in every nook & cranny across the country. Today, on September 25th, 2012, we are proud to join more than 1,000 partner organizations who will collaborate in efforts to register voters in all 50 states & DC.
Our goal is simple: Register in September, make it count in November. We want to make sure every voice is heard during this election cycle -- and registering people to vote is the first step to ensure that we are all counted. Politicians will not represent our beliefs and values if people miss the opportunity to register for the first time or re-register if they have moved.
Let's be proactive and organize our families, friends and communities to register to vote on September 25th. If we are going to make every vote count, it is crucial for communities to participate in National Voter Registration Day and turn out on November 6th.
The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance is proud to take part in organizing and ensuring our community's voices are heard by being a part of National Voter Registration Day -- a holiday celebrating our uniquely American right to vote. I am a registered voter. Will you join me to ensure Every Vote Counts in 2012?