PRESS RELEASE: Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign is Anti-Asian Hate

For Immediate Release: 

November 4, 2022  

Contact: 
Erica Maria Cheung 
media@aapiforce.org 
916-314-6413

PRESS RELEASE: RIGHT-WING DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN IS ANTI-ASIAN HATE 

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In the days leading up to California’s midterm election, many Asian American voters across the state and the country have been targeted with racist and deceitful mailers and digital ads aimed at spreading disinformation. Conservatives are using these tactics to confuse our communities, suppress our vote, and discourage us from participating in our multiracial democracy. This right-wing disinformation campaign is anti-Asian hate. 

Asian American communities are being targeted because we are vital to winning political races nationwide. This is true in California where we’ve witnessed political campaigns aggressively court Asian American voters. Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations in California know this, which is why we’ve been working together for decades to ensure that our communities have a voice—so that when power-hungry, greedy, and hateful extremists attempt to speak for us, we shut them down. 

These targeted mailers and ads are part of a coordinated national campaign by the conservative organizations America First Legal Foundation and Citizens for Sanity, both founded by former Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller. Miller is notoriously known as the driving force behind the Trump administration’s racist and anti-immigrant agenda. He continues to utilize fearmongering, transphobia, and xenophobia to influence elections across the country. America First Legal Foundation and Citizens for Sanity have poured over $33 million to distribute these ads to mislead and discourage communities of color from voting.

Conservative groups have a long history of employing divisive rhetoric to suppress voter turnout. Most recently, they have created disinformation about racial equity, affirmative action, and anti-Asian hate to cause confusion and division within our communities. These are weak attempts at revising history.

The disinformation ad campaigns blatantly lie about the origins of increased anti-Asian hate crimes, attempting to manipulate our pain and fear for political gain. In reality, former President Trump’s racist comments against Chinese people escalated the rise in anti-Asian violence. These same sentiments continue to be used in red-baiting efforts that wrongfully blame Asians for economic insecurity. A recent report shows that this kind of racial scapegoating increases anti-Asian hate. The campaigns also attack Affirmative Action, despite AAPI communities benefiting greatly from Affirmative Action and a majority of Asian communities supporting Affirmative Action policies. Further, the spectacular use of violent images in the ads is a shameful attempt to pit Asian Americans and Black communities against each other. We refuse to be tools for division and white supremacy.

Timmy Lu, Executive Director of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF) says: “These cynical and crude ads try to use our people’s real pain and suffering for their own gain, not ours. They perpetuate anti-Asian hate through words and images that create more division and treat us as victims and political pawns. It’s clear the authors of these ads fear the power that AAPIs have when we build unity with Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in our neighborhoods and across the country. But our work in engaging AAPI voters shows we won’t buy what they’re selling.”

We will not let hateful rhetoric distract from the work that our communities are doing to get out the vote and fight for a better California for all. Asian American and Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment Education Fund’s network of grassroots power-building organizations across the state have phoned 265,063 households and knocked on 6,830 doors in over 80 GOTV events since September. These organizations mobilize youth, tenants, workers, and elders to phonebank and door-knock in over 10 Asian and Pacific Islander languages. Our GOTV campaign provides voter information in 10 AAPI languages and encourages voters to exercise their right to vote. And as a member of The Million Voters Project, we build power to strengthen and expand democracy alongside Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in California. 

This disinformation campaign is yet another attempt by conservative forces to derail elections across the country by using fearmongering, xenophobia, and by inciting racial conflict. These tactics are a form of hate that hurts all communities of color. They point their fingers at everyone except the true villains attempting to limit our political power: Wealthy corporations and billionaires who back extremist politicians and the right-wing forces that attempt to undermine our democracy. We will not let them. 

Election Day is Nov. 8. Together, let’s vote as a FORCE for our families and friends all over the state. Vote for a better future for California.

PRESS RELEASE: AAPI FORCE-EF Statement Regarding LA City Council 

For Immediate Release:
October 25, 2022  

Contact:
Erica Maria Cheung
media@aapiforce.org

 

AAPI FORCE-EF Calls for the Resignation of Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo and a Full Investigation Into the 2021 City of LA Redistricting Process 

 

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF) condemns the racist, anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, and anti-LGBTQ+ statements made by Los Angeles City Councilmembers Gil Cedillo, Kevin De León, and Nury Martinez and LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera. These political leaders abused their powers and undermined the trust of their constituents. We call for the resignation of all members who took part in these conversations, including Councilmember Kevin De León who refuses to step down despite demands from Californians and Angelenos.

Their cruel and bigoted remarks reveal the deep-seated legacies of white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and hate that continue to pit communities of color against each other. We reject public servants who govern with their own self-interests instead of serving all the communities they were elected to represent. 

We find it telling that the recorded conversation concerned the City of Los Angeles’ redistricting process. This is the same process that community-based organizations across the city carefully participated in with great intention and in good faith to ensure Los Angeles’ district maps fairly represented all communities of interest. The kind of zero-sum racial horsetrading revealed in the tapes undermines the hard work of the coalitions that we and our Black, Latinx, and Native American peer organizations have built together to ensure the participation of working-class tenants, workers, and young people, and foster solidarity in building a multiracial democracy.

Furthermore, the specific naming and targeting of community organizations and leaders revealed their deep disdain for the grassroots participation that is a cornerstone of democracy. The councilmembers’ cynical attitudes and divisive political agenda harm our ability to empower all communities (AAPIs included) to shape our government.

As a statewide network of grassroots Asian American and Pacific Islander-led community organizations, we support the calls by our colleagues at the California Black Power Network for a full investigation into the role of race in the 2021 City of LA redistricting process and any voter suppression that may have occurred. We also support their call for the creation of a truly independent redistricting commission for the City of Los Angeles, and an investigation into other actions by those City Councilmembers that may have been driven by racial animus.

 

Statements from our Los Angeles-based leaders:

“We are in solidarity with our Black, Brown, Indigenous, AAPI, LGBTQ, and marginalized communities. Our issues are interconnected, and we believe in a better way – a society built by multiracial coalitions on the values of equity, inclusivity, and diversity. We deserve better elected officials and labor leaders who strive for and uphold these principles, not motivated by personal and political gain. When we come together for justice and accountability, we can begin to heal.” 

– Aquilina Soriano Versoza, Executive Director of Pilipino Workers Center and Pilipino Action Center

 

“Angelenos and Californians deserve leaders who represent all of their constituents—multiracial communities of people who live, work, and raise their families alongside each other and depend on each other. The comments made by the LA City councilmembers and labor leader Ron Herrera reveal a blatant disregard for the people they represent, especially those who continue to be systematically disempowered. We call out their divisive, power-hungry, and unacceptable behavior. Our city demands to be represented by leaders who care for us. Enough is enough.” 

– Lisa Fu, Executive Director of California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative

 

Alongside our partners and allies, AAPI FORCE-EF centers the voices of working-class people who want to make California a better place for our families and loved ones to live. Together, we demand the resignation of all LA City Councilmembers involved in this unacceptable backroom conversation. We demand a more just and transparent redistricting process that does not succumb to the scheming of self-interested politicians. We will continue to build progressive political power alongside Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities throughout the state to transform our government and elect leaders who care for all our communities.

In solidarity, 

AAPI FORCE-EF 

2022 California Midterm Election Guide

2022 California Midterm Election Guide

AAPI FORCE-EF’s 2022 California Midterm Election Guide provides voter information in English, Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Khmer, Lao, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Visit aapiforce-ef.vote to learn more about what midterm elections are for and how to vote to make sure our communities’ voices are heard.

Let’s use our AAPI power to VOTE AS A FORCE for a better California for all.

DOWNLOAD our 5-page PDF with more information about how to vote, what’s on the ballot, and FAQs.
DOWNLOAD our printable and foldable election guide that you can easily take with you to the polls.

2022 Ripples of Change Fellowship

Ripples of Change Fellowship

Like droplets of water that flow outward to create ripples, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment Education Fund (AAPI FORCE-EF) centers and builds the political force of young people, elders, workers, tenants, immigrants, refugees, and working-class families and communities fighting for justice.

When our communities come together in collective action, we empower ourselves to redefine democracy and transform our government from one that prioritizes superprofits for the wealthy, into a government that prioritizes care for our people.

Our 2022 Fellows

AAPI FORCE-EF seeks to train new leaders who will make waves in our movements for social justice and build lasting power for progressive change. Over the course of eight weeks, Ripples of Change fellows will learn fundamental skills in digital and electoral organizing through social media outreach, voter engagement, and get-out-the-vote tactics.

Abigail Dizon 

“My growing experience in political understanding has shaped my activism and informed the way I want to support the Long Beach Filipinx community. ⁠During my ROC fellowship, I’ve been inspired by insightful guest speakers, my supervisors, and my peers. I’ve also gained valuable insight on how community activism works from an organizers perspective. ⁠

I look forward to implementing the skills I learn through the fellowship in my personal growth as an activist.

Daniel Ynchausti

“Rooted in community, nothing is more important to me than organizing around the issues that affect myself and the rest of the Filipinx diaspora from locally in the San Gabriel Valley to back home in the Philippines.⁠

In the future, I hope to work as a community organizer and policy director for a nonprofit or NGO. I enjoy writing, spending time with friends, and trying out new food spots. During my fellowship, I hope to develop my understanding of grassroots progressive change and grow in radical love.”

Isa Sasi

“I currently work within the NHPI community and I love the challenges it brings me.⁠This fellowship reminds me of how much work goes into advocating for my Pasifika people and how much more is needed to go. It also makes me more appreciative of all the hard work the Aunties and Uncles put in before me.

I feel like I am barely touching the surface, and I am very blessed to continue the work alongside my elders.”

Morgan Yen

“Through this fellowship, I’m learning about Asian American & Pacific Islander community activism and I’m inspired by how students led the fight for ethnic studies. I’m committed to advocating for the development of anti-racist curriculums on the state and national levels.⁠


I’m excited to continue growing in my political and cultural understanding through this fellowship and hope to inspire younger generations to fight for their histories!”

Samuelu Fesili

“As a part of this fellowship, I am learning how to better educate and inspire our Pasifika communities about being politically active. 

In the words of the late and great Haunani-Kay Trask, ‘Cultural people have to become political’.

I want our Pasifika voices to be active agents of resistance against the systemic exploitation, silencing, and erasure of our peoples, our cultures, and our islands.⁠”

[Image: on an orange-blue gradient, art by Fernando Argosino of an empowered force of five Asian American and Pacific Islander voters, ready to take on the future. Fists are raised, a wave with a tiger propels them forward. Below, text: “VOTE (in starry text) AS A FORCE”]⁠ ⁠

2022 California Primary Election Guide

2022 California Primary Election Guide

AAPI FORCE-EF’s 2022 California Primary Election Guide provides voter information in English, Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Khmer, Lao, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Visit aapiforce-ef.vote to learn more about what primary elections are for, how to vote, and to sign up to volunteer to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) with AAPI FORCE-EF and our network partners.   

Let’s use our AAPI power to VOTE AS A FORCE for a better California for all.

Download our 2-page Primary Election Guide, translated in Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Khmer, Lao, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. [Link]

2020 Survey of Suburban Chinese American Voters Report

2020 Survey of Suburban Chinese American Voters Report

From July 8 to August 26, 2020, a coalition of partner organizations coordinated by AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund fielded a survey in five California suburban regions with high Chinese American immigrant voter density. The results of this survey demonstrate that suburban Chinese American voters are far from a monolith and, depending on the issue, may vary across party affiliation, age, and/or nativity.

Download and read the full survey here [PDF]

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Based on the survey results, AAPI FORCE-EF also released “Portrait of a Key Community: Chinese American Voters in California.” This infographic highlights the survey’s key findings.

Download and read the “Portrait of a Key Community: Chinese American Voters in California” infographic here [PDF]

2020 Post-Election Survey of AAPI Civic Engagement Organizations

2020 Post-Election Survey of AAPI Civic Engagement Organizations

Following one of the most historic elections in U.S. history, AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund surveyed 20 integrated voter engagement (IVE) and other community partners throughout the country to gauge Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) experiences voting during the pandemic and to assess the landscape around language barriers and the provision of language assistance to voters. “Exercising Power In a Pandemic: A 2020 Post-Election Survey of AAPI Civic Engagement Organizations” is a part of a larger effort to assess language access work in the civic engagement arena nationwide; document and raise up best practices; and ultimately cultivate greater support for efforts to tackle the problem. 

Download and read the full survey here [PDF]

Statement: Recall Election

Statement: We Celebrate our Grassroots Mobilization Efforts in the September 14 Special Election

Community Organizations Reached Thousands of AAPIs to Vote Through Field and Ethnic Media Outreach

 

October 7, 2021

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community organizations reached and mobilized thousands of AAPIs to vote in the September 14 special election. 

 

“We did this because we needed to. We did this to protect immigrant working class AAPI communities facing anti-Asian hate crimes and a raging pandemic disproportionately affecting Pacific Islanders more than any other group in California. This campaign was about protecting our communities from a clear threat against the progressive wins we’ve had and advancing the racial, economic and environmental justice issues we are fighting for every day.” said Rozlind Silva, AAPI FORCE-EF’s Civic Engagement Organizer.

 

Our community organizing network led the state’s biggest AAPI-focused get out the vote operations as a core member of the multiracial alliance, Million Voters Project (MVP) which mobilized AAPI, Latinx, Black, and Youth voters across the state. In the four weeks since MVP and AAPI FORCE-EF  kicked off the GOTV campaign, the groups’ community-led operation to turn out voters of color turned this recall election into a base building opportunity. 

 

Daisy Maxion, Filipino Advocates for Justice’s Civic Engagement Organizer said, “Our outreach programs expanded the electorate by making sure Asian immigrant voters understood what was at stake in this election. By not voicing our vote, we  would roll back decades of progress in protecting low-wage workers, addressing the current spike in anti-Asian violence, and making sure corporations pay their fair share in California.” 

Outreach teams spanned the state, with get out the vote operations in Sacramento, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County, and San Diego. Our field partners include Asian Solidarity Collective, California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Hmong Innovating Politics, and Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (OCAPICA). Canvassers and volunteers had direct phone and door conversations with over 6,000 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters across the state of California, with voters contacted in English, Tagalog, Hmong, and Vietnamese.

 

Through our partnership with the Secretary of State’s office, AAPI FORCE-EF and local partners also reached voters through TV, radio, print, and digital advertisements

  • Hmong Innovating Politics’ Communications Associate & Language Specialist spoke about the importance of voting on KBIF 900AM Hmong Radio and Hmong TV Network.

  • Shared thousands of print flyers with general information about the special election and the necessary education about how ballots were distributed.

  • Translated materials that demystified the recall ballot were boosted on social media channels most used by community members. 

 

Every conversation made a difference. With voters, our network of passionate phone bankers and door-to-door canvassers emphasized that everyone in California should earn fair wages, have clean air and water, live in a safe, affordable home and be able to care for our families. We let them know that their votes would decide the future of California.

By making sure our neighbors and peers filled out their ballots, we empowered ourselves to keep us safe and protect the progress our movement has made to protect immigrant, refugee, and working class communities. 

About AAPI FORCE-EF

AAPI For Civic Empowerment Education Fund is a network of Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations across California dedicated to strengthening and expanding democracy, while growing the political participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Steering committee organizations include Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Chinese Progressive Association, Filipino Advocates for Justice, Hmong Innovating Politics, Khmer Girls in Action, and Pilipino Workers Center. Our partner organizations include Asian Solidarity Collective,  Asian Youth Center, AYPAL, CA Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Jakara Movement, OCAPICA, and South Bay Youth Changemakers.