Rising through our collective power


November 7, 2020

Today, the winner is democracy. 

Joseph R. Biden is our next President and Kamala Harris is our first Black and South Asian Vice President. We owe a debt of gratitude to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American organizers braving hate and a pandemic to turn out voters who carried this election. Their votes are a referendum on white supremacy and a clear call for repairing the damage to our democracy from the past four years.

As a community, we must also own our power: Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) were crucial to the outcome of this election. Nationally, early exit polls indicate that 67% of Asian American voters cast their ballot for Biden. 

The API vote turnout was the result of the tireless work of organizations around the country. API groups, including Advancing Justice-Atlanta, API Pennsylvania, Freedom Inc. in Wisconsin, and NAKASEC and many, many others built operations on the ground with grassroots organizing and culturally and linguistically competent outreach. We saw 14-year-olds in California phone banking first-time immigrant voters in battleground states, elderly voters standing in long lines despite COVID-19, and our poll monitors raising the alarm when counties failed to provide translated materials. This national infrastructure also made it possible for Advancing Justice’s attorneys to intervene and pressure election officials to fix problems. For example, we forced Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, where APIs are 5% of eligible voters, to open more lines on Election Day. 

As we turn to address the deep systemic racism and inequality in our country, our work is just beginning. Undoing the harm from the past four years and advancing a truly equitable agenda will be no easy task. 

Our work in California where key ballot measures on Affirmative Action and workers’ rights have failed reminds us that we still have much to do to educate our communities. We must continue to protect our communities from deportation and criminalization, repeal the Muslim and African bans, and build our power through a fair redistricting process. We will continue to center the most vulnerable of our community members and ensure their direct experiences shape and inform our work towards a more just and equitable society.

Thank you for all your work and for being our partners in this struggle. 


In solidarity and community,

Aarti Kohli


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