Mark Masaoka, policy director for Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, discusses his organization’s recommendations for initiatives on the Nov. 8 ballot. (GWEN MURANAKA/Rafu Shimpo)
RAFU STAFF REPORT Trump who? For all the attention on the presidential election, a coalition of Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations is urging voters to also consider state and local measures on the Nov. 8 ballot.
“Beyond the top of the ticket, there are other candidates and amendments that will have more impact on your daily life,” said Karin Wang, programs and communications director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles.
The event was held Oct. 12 at the offices of Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. A coalition of APIA organizations presented their recommendations on a number of ballot initiatives.
L.A. City Councilmember David Ryu talks about the importance of getting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders to vote this November.
Monday, Oct. 24, is the last day to register. The last day to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot is Tuesday, Nov. 1.
In 2016, the more than 1.7 million AANHPI voters in California will comprise an estimated 11 percent of the state’s electorate. A rapidly growing segment of the electorate, Asian American voters in 2012 exceeded the margin of victory in 38 legislative districts in California.
Deanna Kitamura, voting rights project director at Advancing Justice-LA, stated that translated election materials are particularly important. Online voter registration is available in ten languages, including Japanese, at registertovote.ca.gov.
“In our state, over 2.6 million eligible voters are not fully proficient in English, including 47 percent of the eligible voters who are naturalized. Many of them may not know the voting process or their rights,” she said. “Access to registration and voting rights information in their native language will ensure they are able to assert their right to vote.”
Mark Masaoka, policy director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, said AP3CON represents 45 nonprofit organizations and that the recommendations were based upon a vote by their board.
The groups offered support for the following statewide initiatives:
Proposition 55 (education funding)
Proposition 56 (tobacco tax)
Proposition 57 (parole reform)
Proposition 58 (bilingual education)
On local propositions, the organizations support yes votes for the following recommendations:
Measure A (neighborhood parks and beaches)
Measure M (transportation projects)
Measure HHH (homelessness reduction and prevention)
Measure JJJ (affordable housing)
Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu joined the gathering, debuting a get-out-the-vote video featuring “Fresh Off the Boat” cast members Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen.
“Too many people take their right to vote for granted. But for me and many immigrants, voting is more than a privilege — it’s a responsibility,” Ryu said.
For more voter information in Los Angeles County, visit www.lavote.net. A complete list of AP3CON ballot recommendations is available at www.asianpacificpolicyandplanningcouncil.org/guide2016/.