Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | dnc
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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. Here's an email being distributed by the group, Asian Americans for Obama, by the Hawai'ian-born actress Kelly Hu, who showed up unannounced at an AAPI Caucus meeting during the DNC (shown above):

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...

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!

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. Tammy Duckworth: Yul Kwon: Brandon Shimomura: ...

Here are DNC-related "tweets" from my Twitter feed, which shows up in my Facebook updates and also in a widget on my blog pages. Some videos, too: Above, emcee Tamlyn Tomita ("Joy Luck Club," "Come See the Paradise," "Picture Bride," Karate Kid II") introduces Mee Moua, the historic first-ever Hmong American lawmaker, a state senator from Minnesota, during the APIAVote Gala at the Marriott City Center. The week began before the convention itself, with a Saturday night Media Kickoff Party that was the city's show of excess to 15,000 journalists from around the world. I bet there were over 5,000 jrounalists, maybe 10,000, who attended the evening at Elitch Gardens amusement park. The admission was free, the rides were free, there was free food and drink everywhere, and even the arcade games were free, and the staff handed out stuffed animal prizes to anyone who played anything. The next day, Sunday, was an Asian American Summit organized by a Denver committee, which featured speakers including Congressman Mike Honda. The session was a first step towards organizing Colorado's AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander, which I'll try to use as my standard acronym when I'm not spelling out Asian American) community to participate in the political process. Monday night, the first night pof the convention, was the APIAVote Gala.

Check out the widget above. What’s a widget? Widgets are cool, portable little online features that you can put onto websites easily by just copying a little bit of code into your page. I'm helping to get the word out about The Denver Post's widget for coverage of the Democratic National Convention, coming up in a little over a week here in Denver. It’s a simple way for sites to include syndicated content from outside sources, contained within a defined box or space. Think of all the different elements on a MyYahoo or iGoogle home page – those individual boxes of content are all widgets on the page.