May 25, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 29, 2021

Contact: Kevin Hirano, media@apiavote.org, (202) 223-9170
 

APIAVOTE ISSUES STATEMENT ON BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION’S FIRST 100 DAYS

 

WASHINGTON, DC - On Wednesday, April 28th, President Biden addressed a joint house of Congress and the Nation on his first 100 days in office. Executive Director Christine Chen of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) issues the following statement: 

“In June 2020, then presidential candidate Joe Biden made history by speaking directly to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities at Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote’s (APIAVote) Presidential Town Hall. There he committed to making sure AAPI voices and interests were included in his administration and that he would work to ensure the right and accessibility to vote for all people. 

After President Biden’s first 100 days, we applaud the appointments of Ambassador Katherine Tai as the 19th U.S. Trade Representative, and Erika Moritsugu as Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison. We also celebrate that of the Administration’s approximately 1,500 appointments, 15% identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander. These are significant steps in making the Biden-Harris administration look like America.  

We share in the Biden-Harris administration’s support for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Bill and ask the House to quickly pass this legislation, because like President Biden said, we need to, ‘protect AAPIs from the vicious hate crimes we’ve seen this past year.’ Asian American owned small businesses have experienced an outsized burden due to anti-Asian sentiments and health related lockdowns. We commend the Biden-Harris administration’s extension of loans to keep small businesses open and their workers employed through the American Rescue Plan.

Echoing President Biden’s call for action on the passage of H.R. 1, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, we strongly encourage Congress to protect the sacred right to vote for all our communities. For AAPI communities, H.R. 1 is an important legislation that preserves the voting access and options that were developed amid a global pandemic, such as expanded options to vote by mail and vote early. With over 70% of all Asian Americans utilizing one of these two options in the 2020 general election, AAPI voter turnout was 59%, ten percentage points higher than in 2016 according to just released Census data. In supporting H.R. 1, President Biden is taking positive steps towards making good on his promise to AAPI communities.  

However, it is important to remember that this progress is due in part to the leadership of our Asian American and Pacific Islander Members of Congress like Senators Mazie Hirono and Tammy Duckworth who took a stand to demand AAPI representation in the administration’s Senior Cabinet. Their courage and influence reminds us that an important part of our democracy is to hold our elected officials accountable. Towards this end, we applaud the re-establishment and expansion of the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI). It is our hope the reauthorization of WHIAAPI will focus on improving the quality of life and economic opportunity of AAPIs through increased access and participation in Federal programs where they may be underserved (such as health, human services, education, housing, environment, labor, transportation, and economic and community development). To advance relevant research and data collection for AAPI populations and restore the focus on underserved AAPI communities.

APIAVote and our partner-network of community based organizations look forward to working with our elected officials and the Biden-Harris administration to continue to ensure that the voices and interests of AAPIs are included and addressed.”     

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About APIAVote: Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a national nonpartisan organization that works with partners to mobilize Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in electoral and civic participation. APIAVote envisions a world that is inclusive, fair, and collaborative, and where AAPI communities are self-determined, empowered, and engaged. See our website for more information at http://www.apiavote.org/