Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders definitely seem more engaged with the political process these days. Maybe it’s the DNC being in Denver that’s made me sensitive to everything that’s going on. Maybe it’s Obama’s Hawai’i connections. Or maybe AAPIs are finally coming out of the shadows and fighting to have our voices heard, and not be invisible anymore.
We were lucky enough to get a couple of tickets to Barack Obama’s historic acceptance speech that capped off the Democratic National Convention at Denver’s Invesco Field at Mile High. We got there late afternoon and sweated though hours of speakers like Al Gore, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden, and entertainers including Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow and Michael McDonald. The crowd went wild when Obama hit the stage, and his speech sent an electric charge through the 84,000 people in the stadium. The evening ended with fireworks, confetti and lots of applause.
Actress Tamlyn Tomita speaks bout her support for APIAVote, a non-profit organization that promotes Asian Americans’ involvement in politics, especially getting AAPIs to vote.
Erin and I have been busy all week, running around to various Asian American Pacific Islander events during the Democratic National Convention. Denver’s all dolled up and feeling like a real city, and it all culminates with tonight’s acceptance speech by Barack Obama.
We were fortunate to be given a pair of tickets to the main event (by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, whom I happened to run into on the downtown 16th Street Mall — I’ve known him for years, from before his political career, when he opened Wynkoop Brewing Co., the first brewpub in Colorado). So I’ll post a report later tonight or tomorrow about the speech.
We’re not delegates or involved in the local Democratic party organization. but we are very involved in the local AAPI community, so we ended up participating in some cool events that are part of the DNC, like an Asian American Summit and an AAPI Caucus, during which issues affecting the AAPI community and ways to organize and get AAPIs incolved in politics were discussed. I was also honored to be one of the emcees for an APIAVote Gala, along with actress Tamlyn Tomita and former CNN and CBS anchor Joie Chen (who, I found out, is half Chinese and half Japanese). Erin went to more events than I did, volunteering at a luncheon and breakfast during the week.
Anyway, here are a handful of videos from the week that have to do with the AAPI community. Enjoy! Continue reading →
Asian American voters were treated this morning by a surprise visit by Barack Obama’s half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, during the Asian American Pacific Islander caucus at the Democratic National Convention. She gave a rousing speech that fired up the people in the room.
Erin Yoshimura took these videos at an AAPI Caucus meeting during the Democratic National Convention. They include Tammy Duckworth, “Survivor” winner Yul Kwon and a young Obama volunteer, Brandon Simomura.