APALA and its sister organization, the Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement (IAPALA), submitted testimony to both the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee in June. APALA and IAPALA recommended a strong position that stands up for workers everywhere, opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, repairs a broken criminal justice system, protects all communities with stronger gun control measures, and disaggregates data on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community – many of which were adopted into the final platform.
APALA National President Johanna Hester commented: “It is clear the voices of the AAPI community mattered to the drafting committee this year. Throughout the platform, we see a common thread of inclusivity and dignity and respect for all people. This is a platform that APALA can get behind, and we need to stand behind a candidate who will champion our issues and not stifle our voices.”
Members of the AAPI community that served on the platform committee included: Vida Benavides, former Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa; San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; Karen Narasaki; and Dilawar Sayed.
“There is no question that this platform is the most inclusive of the AAPI community in history,” said National Director Christopher Kang of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, a coalition of which APALA is a member. “It adopts our overarching priorities that would resonate throughout government: a theme of inclusion; an understanding that data should be disaggregated to fully address AAPI needs; and a belief that government services should be culturally and linguistically appropriate.”
“Even in its preamble, the mention of Filipino-American labor organizer and someone I call one of my Manongs – Larry Itliong – next to historical figures like Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, and Dolores Huerta reaffirms the important achievements and the vital place our community has in American history,” reflected APALA Executive Director Gregory Cendana. “We are not a population to be forgotten heading into November’s general election.”