Asian American members of the Democratic party are launching a multi-million-dollar effort to win Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters across the U.S.
Justice Unites Us is a super PAC (Political Action Committee) focused on “engaging AAPI voters and community leaders in order to increase turnout and drive up support for endorsed candidates.”
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) defines super PACs as “committees that may receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor unions and other PACs for the purpose of financing independent expenditures and other independent political activity.”
Having spent $850,000 this year so far, Justice Unites Us told NBC that it is set to spend much more in key states with pivotal Senate races, such as Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada.
Aftab Pureval, Cincinnati’s first Asian American mayor, is among the founders of the initiative, which intends to target restaurants, groceries and other small businesses where local immigrant and ethnic networks thrive.
“They’re really the nucleus of AAPI communities across the community,” Pureval was quoted as saying. “They support temples of worship. They support community and cultural events. And they haven’t really been reached by either party.”
According to Justice Unites Us Executive Director Minh Nguyen, the previous lack of electoral participation within the community is due to the failure of major political parties to invest in mobilization.
The AAPI voting community is now being recognized as a political force after a record turnout in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Democratic National Committee member and Justice Unites Us co-chair Lindy Li noted that Democrats must now “make these types of targeted investments that could be the game-changer in races that will ultimately be won in the margins.”
Shripal Shah and Jennifer Chau will serve as Justice Unites Us’ senior advisers while Raghu Devaguptapu, Tim Lim, Irene Bueno, Vida Benavides, Luisa Blue, Kevin Acebo and Mark Skidmore will be part of the super PAC’s advisory council.