First Statewide Grassroots Asian Electoral Organization Built Largest Electoral Field Program for Asian Americans in the Country
Pennsylvania — Today, it became official that Vice President Joe Biden won the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, resulting in him winning the presidency. According to the Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance (API PA), PA’s first and only 501c4 political organization dedicated to the needs and interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, post-election data will reveal that API PA’s grassroots work to educate and persuade AAPI voters in the state was crucial to delivering the win for Biden.
According to API PA, early vote data reveals that in the 2020 election cycle:
- 50% of AAPI voters in the state requested mail-in ballots, the highest percentage for any racial category
- More than 56,000 AAPIs cast their ballots early in PA, a 4,719% increase from 2016
API PA recruited more than 1400 Asian American volunteers and made 1.3 million calls to voters in PA, with support for ten AAPI languages, in support of Joe Biden and Auditor General candidate Nina Ahmad, who would be the first Asian American in statewide office. Roughly half of the calls, hundreds of thousands of texts, and relational organizing within community networks were to sign AAPIs up to vote by mail. Additionally, API PA made 55,000 in-language persuasion and GOTV calls to low-English proficiency Asian voters.
Nancy Nguyen, Co-Executive Director of API PA, had the following statement:
“Despite being the fastest growing portion of the electorate in Pennsylvania and nationally, AAPI communities are often completely ignored by local and national candidates and underinvested in by political institutions. And yet, we were the crucial margin of victory to halting a second Trump administration and giving Black, Latinx, and Asian working families in our state a fighting chance.”
“The growing AAPI electorate, along with the existence of the first organization capable of engaging Pennsylvania’s Asian voters politically across multiple cultural and language divides, has huge implications for the present and future of our state and country’s politics.”
“AAPI Pennsylvanians sacrificed their evenings and weekends to have sometimes hard conversations with family members, organize leaders of their churches, mosques, and temples, and make more than a million calls to voters. Shoulder-to-shoulder with Black and brown communities across the state, we came together to stop Trump and fight for justice by providing our people with a vision for the future and an agenda to improve their lives.”
“Without a doubt, we’ve shown that when we actually invest in reaching AAPI voters — parents and grandparents, college students, people with low-English proficiency, small business owners, workers — in language and culturally accessible ways we can channel political power in elections and longterm for the issues that matter most to us: healthcare for all, just immigration policies that keep families together, well-paying union jobs, and ending racial discrimination and state violence. Our people helped deliver a win for Biden, and now he must deliver for us with bold policies that address the magnitude of the systemic problems our communities face.”
The Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance’s (API PA) mission is to build long-term power for APIs in Pennsylvania, by coordinating political, electoral, and legislative work to hold our elected officials accountable, engaging in culturally competent and linguistically accessible direct voter contact with our communities, and building solidarity with other aligned communities of color across the state.