FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2020
AAPI FORCE-EF Coalition Takes Part in Historic Schools & Communities First Ballot Initiative
To qualify for the November 2020 ballot, the multi-racial coalition behind Schools & Communities First submits over 1.7 million signatures of support
MEDIA CONTACT: Lan Nguyen, Lan@aapiforce.org
Today, AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF) is proud to announce that our state-wide mutli-racial coalition has submitted over 1.7 million signatures for the Schools & Communities First Initiative, which would direct $12 billion every year to the most pressing needs in our communities, including critical local services and schools, while protecting homeowners, renters, and small businesses.
With these signatures submitted, the initiative will qualify for the November 2020 ballot. This is the most signatures ever submitted in California for a ballot initiative, which is a historic benchmark that displays the public’s strong support for this initiative. AAPI FORCE-EF and our partner organizations, who build political power for working class Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, collectively gathered over 5,300 signatures from our community members. Organizations that took part in our movement to collect signatures for Schools & Communities First include AYPAL, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Chinese Progressive Association, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Hmong Innovating Politics, and Khmer Girls in Action.
“A lot of the volunteers and activists were excited about reclaiming resources for public education, and to finally address the longstanding issue of disinvestment that our public schools faced,” said Jennifer Phung, Field Director at AAPIs for Civic Empowerment. “When we asked voters to sign the petition, most people thought it was a no-brainer. It made sense that we should prioritize improving our schools, and also invest in all the things that we rely on as a community (libraries, health clinics, community programs, etc).”
A recent report from the University of Southern California (USC) showed that every county in the state stands to benefit from the Schools & Communities First initiative, and polling has shown that the Schools & Communities First initiative is supported by 58% of likely California voters.
“As we’re in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis, it is more clear now than ever that our local communities deserve the funding we need to help our communities stay healthy and thrive, from public school resources to sanitation departments to health clinics,” said Lan Nguyen, Communications Manager at AAPIs for Civic Empowerment. “Our community members are stepping up on the frontlines as healthcare providers, grocery store workers, childcare providers, and volunteers in the community. It’s time our government steps up too and invests in our communities.”