September 25, 2018

Local Organizations Urge New York's Asian American Community to Increase Civic Participation on National Voter Registration Day

Flushing, NY — Asian American organizations hosted a press conference today with local leaders and registered voters at Flushing Library for National Voter Registration Day. The event was organized by Asian Pacific Americans Voting & Organizing to Increase Civic Engagement (APA VOICE), a non-partisan collaboration of 19 organizations seeking to increase civic engagement in the Asian American community. APA VOICE organizations will be joined by New York City Council Member Peter Koo, representatives from Flushing Library, and other leaders to discuss the importance of voting. The last day for New Yorkers to register to vote in time for the general election is Friday, October 12.

Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in the nation, and at 15% of New York City, play a critical role in determining election outcomes. Flushing and its surrounding neighborhoods have the highest concentration of Asian Americans in the city, and Tuesday’s event will attempt to register new Asian American voters and urge them to become more active civic participants.

“Asian Americans make up 15 percent of the City’s population and is the fastest growing ethnic and racial group in the state,” said John Park, Executive Director of the MinKwon Center. “Far too often, our voices are dismissed and our community is not given the priority it deserves. Our voices are our future, and it is essential that Asian Americans, immigrants, and other marginalized communities register to vote and exercise our power this November.”

“Asian Americans are among the fastest growing demographics in New York City, and we need to make sure our issues and concerns are represented on every level of government,” said Council Member Peter Koo. “On National Voter Registration Day, I encourage everyone to get involved, and get out the vote!”

“As the fastest growing ethnic group in New York State, Asian Americans make a difference with our voices when we choose to vote,” said Jennifer Sun and Thomas Yu, co-executive directors of Asian Americans for Equality. “As a proud member of APA Voice, AAFE is fully committed to a vigorous ‘get out the vote’ campaign before the upcoming general election. We urge members of our communities to register, to learn about the candidates and, most importantly, to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.”

“Voting is both our right and our civic duty as Americans. I have been alarmed by recent data showing more and more people are staying home instead of participating in this cornerstone of our democracy, said Assembly Member Ron Kim. Now more than ever, when so many of our rights that we have taken for granted seem to be threatened, it is important that we exercise our fundamental right to choose the people who represent us in government. I thank the MinKwon Center for working with our local community partners to bring greater awareness to this issue and helping to register more and more people to vote.”

“Be the change you wish to see in your community, and register to vote. Quite simply, neighborhoods and communities that vote get more attention from those who hold office, and in these times our communities cannot sit on the sidelines," said Annetta Seecharran, Executive Director, Chhaya CDC.

“Voting is a civic duty and together we can empower our communities to raise the APIA voice through voting,” said Karen Zhou, Executive Director of Homecrest Community Services, Inc.

“At a time of crisis, when our community is under attack, we all need to come together, build solidarity, and assert our rights as Americans,” said John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. “We stand today with APA VOICE to proclaim that National Voter Registration Day is only a small step in the road to community empowerment and equality.”

 

APA VOICE is a non-partisan, pan-Asian collaboration of 19 organizations seeking to increase civic engagement in the Asian American community.

MinKwon Center for Community Action, Adhikaar, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian Americans for Equality, Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Chhaya Community Development Corporation, Chinatown Manpower Project, Chinese American Planning Council, Chinese Progressive Association, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families, Homecrest Community Services, Inc., Indo-Caribbean Alliance, OCA-NY, Shetu, South Asian Council for Social Services, Pilipino American Unity for Progress, United Chinese Association of Brooklyn, YWCA of Queens.


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