A large part of the Asian Law Alliance’s work has been devoted to naturalization services to help immigrants become citizens. It naturally follows that voter registration would become part of our work given our mission to empower our community. In addition, our work in this area is increasingly important given low registration rates of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans in the nation as a whole.
ALA recognizes that the most meaningful expression of being a U.S. citizen is one’s ability to vote and we are here to make it happen. Since 2012, we have held numerous voter registration drives and tabled at local events all over Santa Clara County. For this presidential election year, we have partnered with the Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN) and the Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) to expand our registration efforts.
ALA found recent success in April where we tabled for the first time at the Vietnamese American Roundtable’s Black April event. Black April commemorates sacrifices of the Vietnamese community members and we honor that by engaging our community through the democratic process. At the event, AACI’s students were out in full force to register all attendees and to stress the importance of learning about the candidates and propositions.
As November nears, we hope to increase our registration efforts in forums indicated as large community hubs by our partners. We understand that there are still a large number of unregistered, potential voters living in Santa Clara County and we will work to educate and empower those who will shape our community for decades to come.