Asian Pacific Islander Voices — California Democratic Party

The Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, in itself,
is one of the original four Caucuses of the Party. And the party recognizes them playing an integral
role in California. The AAPI population is blossoming in many
parts of California. And recognizing that is of vital importance
for the Democratic Party; to continue to grow, and to continue to succeed, and to show to
not only California — but to the rest of the country — that strength really does
come from diversity. It is a growing demographic. It is leaning toward Democratic voting and
registration, which is great. But we can’t take that for granted. This Party — the California Democratic Party
— has been extremely successful in advancing diversity and making sure everyone has a seat
at the table; and making sure that our Party is representative of our California — which
is the most diverse state in the country. There are opportunities now, within our Caucus. Locally, I’ve seen different communities really
rise up and represent the API and Filipino community voices very well. We have the most API legislators we’ve ever
had in California history. We have twelve Democratic, strong API leaders
right now. I’m from Orange County. Four of our congressional seats are in play
this year. We have a very high Vietnamese population. We have a very high Korean-American population. One of the biggest things that we’re excited
about in Orange County is engaging those communities. In the API community, there are also a lot
of Republicans. So, when you have API Democrats, our issues
are different from theirs. So, it’s a lot of having a discussion and
working together in terms of how to address the needs of the community. I think, in a lot of ways, especially with
older Asian Americans or Asian Americans that maybe more recently immigrated to the United
States, there is I think more of a conservative streak. Whereas younger AAPI’s, especially those born
in urban centers like Los Angeles, like San Francisco, et cetera, are just simply more progressive. Maybe my generation versus other generations…I
think values tend to remain the same. It’s just the way that people go about executing
those values, or seeing those values become a reality — if that makes sense. There are values that span across generations. And I see that a lot more, now that I get
a little older… And I say “older” even though I’m just in
my mid-twenties. We have a lot of students in high schools
and colleges who are more interested in joining their local organizations; in grassroots;
in joining local clubs; and really helping out with the democratic process. A lot of the negativity, and the hatred, and
the just bad stuff that is coming out of the Administration is being combated by a lot
of more, different kinds of people. A lot of people seem to be caught up in the
toxicity of past races and fighting against Trump. But now is not the time to simply fight against
Trump. We need to fight him at every step of the
way, but what we REALLY need to be doing is empowering and talking about why the Democratic
Party is a hundred times better than our Republican counterparts. The fact that we’re honoring Filipino and
API achievements this weekend is definitely an honor for me, because people like Assemblymember
Bonta, people like Betty Yee, people like Fiona Ma have really blazed a trail here in
California. But, again, having us at the table is as important
as celebrating our accomplishments. If we don’t see faces that are similar to
ours — people who face the same challenges as us — then those issues will never be
addressed. And how are people supposed to know what issues
we are dealing with, if not there to tell it.

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