WASHINGTON — The AAPI Victory Fund–the first Super PAC of its kind–announced its launch at the National Press Club on Thursday. With the margin of victory of less than 5 percent in key battleground states and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) eligible voters in those states exceeding that number, the AAPI Victory Fund will seek to mobilize AAPI millennials and young professionals, baby boomers and senior voters in an unprecedented way and move them to the ballot box.
Speakers included Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia; The Honorable Chris Lu; Shekar Narasimhan, chair of the Fund; and Dilawar Syed, co-founder and vice chair of the Fund. Former Secretary of Transportation and Commerce Norman Y. Mineta serves as Honorary Chair of the AAPI Victory Fund.
Speakers cited the AAPI Victory Fund as an unprecedented vehicle for influence, targeted strategy, realizing the potential for the AAPI vote by building sustained power behind a common agenda.
“The AAPI Victory Fund occupies a unique space, using precinct level data in targeted states to effectuate change,” said Sec. Norman Y. Mineta. “Speaking as a former elected official, this approach will allow candidates who value the AAPI vote to capture the votes needed to win in elections being decided by the narrowest of margins.”
“The AAPI population is growing fast in Virginia and its members are enriching communities all across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Tim Kaine. “I am happy to join this effort to expand AAPI political participation–in voting and running for office–nationwide.”
“Asian American immigrants have among the highest rates of naturalization in the U.S. at 59 percent compared to 47 percent among all immigrants,” said the Honorable Chris Lu. “The Victory Fund’s work to increase civic engagement within the AAPI community underscores the strong impact that new Americans and those eligible for citizenship will have in the upcoming election.”
“It’s time for AAPIs to expect a seat at the table,” said Shekar Narasimhan, chair of the AAPI Victory Fund. “As a community, AAPIs have the numbers and financial, technological, and intellectual resources to be an undeniable political force in 2016 and beyond.”
“AAPIs are a community of entrepreneurs, innovators and job creators. This community’s growing influence and power is an asset in electoral contests as well as in governing a new America. Presidential candidates cannot afford to ignore or alienate the AAPI electorate,” said Dilawar Syed, co-founder and vice chair of the AAPI Victory Fund. “The AAPI Victory Fund will do everything in its power to ensure candidates supportive of the AAPI community are rewarded. And those who indulge in politics of race, division and bigotry face an Asian Americans community mobilized across the country.”
“The strength of the AAPI Victory Fund is its understanding and value in working in coalitions,” said Bel Leong-Hong, co-founder and vice chair of the AAPI Victory Fund. “The Victory Fund’s resources will be leveraged with partners with common goals to elect a presidential candidate that understands our issues.”