A few weeks ago, I had learned of a fundraiser in San Francisco for the ASPIRE PAC , which I had not heard of before:
ASPIRE PAC is the political arm of Asian American and Pacific Islander Members of Congress. ASPIRE PAC stands for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Rising & Empowering PAC.
ASPIRE PAC is focused on supporting candidates of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent and those that support and promote the issues of the AAPI community. ASPIRE PAC offers a voice for the AAPI community and encourages active participation in the U.S. political process.
ASPIRE PAC is chaired by Congresswoman Grace Meng, and was launched in 2011 by Congresswoman Judy Chu. We welcomed two new AAPI Members in 2020. Kaialiʻi Kahele, who is the is the second Native Hawaiian since statehood to be elected to represent Hawai‘i in Congress. Marilyn Strickland, who is the first Korean American Congresswoman and the first Black Congress member from Washington.
I’ve been blogging for 8Asians since January 2007 and my particular niche (although not limited to) has been politics, so I was surprised to only learn of this PAC recently. ASPIRE PAC had been primarily focused in the Washington, D.C. area, which didn’t make a lot of sense to me. But I’m glad ASPIRE PAC is starting to expand geographically to engage potential and actual donors. Since the minimum donation was $100 to attend the fundraiser, this was a no-brainer for me and a friend of mine to attend to learn more.
Representatives Judy Chu and Grace Meng, both whom I’ve met before, expressed the need to support ASPIRE PAC to support AAPI members in Congress, AAPI candidates, and other members who have been key advocates for our community.
Other Asian American Politcal Action Committees I have heard of include:
- AAPI Victory Fund – “the first Super PAC of its kind – is focused on mobilizing Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) eligible voters and moving them to the ballot box.”
- 80-20 Initiative – “dedicated to winning equal opportunity and justice for all Asian Americans through a SWING bloc vote, ideally directing 80% of our community’s votes and money to the presidential candidate endorsed by the 80-20, who better represents the interests of all APAs. Hence, the name “80-20” was created.”
- Asian American Forward – “committed to supporting and furthering the presence of Asian Americans in American politics.”
- Asian Americans Rising – “Our goals focus on three areas: 1. Building a pipeline of change makers 2. Pioneering what’s possible 3. Creating meaningful engagement”
Personally, I would like to see the reduction of the influence in money in the U.S. political system, not more. But until changes can be implemented for campaign finance reform like spending limits, public funding of campaigns, or other solutions, I’m for certainly getting more Asian Americans politically and civically involved and in elected office.