On August 12, the Asian Law Alliance hosted a watch party of the Presidential Election Forum organized by the Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) and Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). The event marked one of the largest gatherings of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) concerning the 2016 presidential candidates to date. Held at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, presidential candidates and their representatives spoke on various issues that directly impact AAPI voters.
First to speak was Libertarian presidential nominee, Governor Gary Johnson. He spoke on the growth of the federal government and why he thought limiting government control would benefit the American people. Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party covered issues regarding climate change and its impact on Asian American families living abroad. Bill Clinton, representing Hillary Clinton for the Democrat party, spoke about Asian Americans in small business and incentivizing them to grow our economy. He also spoke on the need to reduce the costs of higher education and unemployment issues for youth. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes spoke on behalf of Donald Trump and the Republican party. He discussed the current challenges Americans are facing, such as high taxes, lower employment and the outsourcing of jobs.
In addition to the candidates, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), led by Representative Judy Chu, and Representative Mike Honda were present to speak on the importance of the AAPI vote in November and the need for our communities to become civically engaged. For instance, Rep. Chu spoke about how AAPI voters were moving from being “marginalized to the margin of victory” in elections.
According to Pew, Asian Americans earn the highest-income and are the best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. We hope that this event shows the potential of our communities’ electorate as it becomes increasingly clear that our involvement will determine the outcome of elections.