BY PHIL TAJITSU NASH
This piece was published in the 31st print volume of the Asian American Policy Review.
When combined with other research showing that APAs had the biggest net increase in eligible voters over the last twenty years and the highest recent increase in voter turnout of any racial group (a quadrupling of APA voters from 1.1 million in 2016 to 4.7 million in 2020), it is clear that APA voters will be an increasingly decisive electoral segment of the electorate in the years ahead.
In Georgia, outside a small Korean church housing a November 2020 polling site, non-partisan Asian Pacific American (APA) exit poll volunteers set up a table to conduct their surveys, just as volunteers did across the country. During the course of Election Day, however, two disturbing events occurred at this site. A truck with four or five extra-large Trump flags sped menacingly around the church’s small parking lot, and then drove directly toward volunteers at the exit poll table before exiting the lot. Some felt intimidated. Later that day, a partisan poll watcher stood directly in front of the volunteers at their table, blocked them from conducting their voter surveys of exiting APA voters, and stared them down while refusing to move or identify for whom he worked.
While no single incident escalated to the levels of anti-Asian violence that had occurred in some states earlier in the year, anti-Asian racial tensions definitely were a noteworthy factor in the 2020 election season. Other major factors included a COVID-19 pandemic, major economic disruptions, extremely high levels of unemployment, housing crises, a bitterly polarized political landscape, and a Black Lives Matter movement that galvanized nationwide conversations about racial justice and police tactics.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and its partner organizations in thirteen states and Washington, DC organized teams of lawyers, law students, and other volunteers, who conducted exit polls in many states and provided non-partisan assistance to APA voters in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, and New Mexico. The 400 exit poll volunteers spoke to 5,424 APA voters on Election Day and found that they supported Democrat Joe Biden over Republican Donald Trump by a margin of 68 percent to 29 percent, with no gender gap between APA men and women. While Vietnamese Americans favored Trump by 57 percent to 41 percent, all other APA ethnic groups favored Biden.[i]
Thanks to AALDEF’s 2020 exit polls, we know several important facts about APA voters: 27 percent of APA voters were first-time voters, 27 percent were not enrolled in a political party, and APA female voters (including some who contributed to the surge in suburban women voters) outnumbered APA male voters by 6 percent.[ii] When combined with other research showing that APAs had the biggest net increase in eligible voters over the last twenty years[iii] and the highest recent increase in voter turnout of any racial group (a quadrupling of APA voters from 1.1 million in 2016 to 4.7 million in 2020),[iv], [v] it is clear that APA voters will be an increasingly decisive electoral segment of the electorate in the years ahead.
This article will examine the 2020 presidential election through the lenses of both a unique year to elect the 46th president and forty-six years of AALDEF’s efforts to support APA community empowerment. While some challenges were unique to 2020, the article will conclude with thoughts on how APA individuals and organizations can enhance democracy via the electoral process in the future.
Overview of APA Voting and Community Empowerment
The history of voting rights for Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) in this country runs parallel to the history of fighting for our rights to work, get an education, get married, stay safe, and be treated as full citizens. APAs were not mentioned in the first United States Census in 1790,[vi] and a number of onerous restrictions on our ability to own land and have other rights were based on our status as “aliens ineligible for citizenship.”[vii]
Some of the most consequential civil rights advances of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for APAs were lawsuits filed by Chinese immigrants using white lawyers to establish equal protection guarantees for Chinese laundry owners in San Francisco[viii], [ix] and the right to United States citizenship for someone born to immigrant parents on American soil.[x]
Nevertheless, even when Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other immigrants had children who were American citizens by birth, racist local, state, and national laws—as well as blatant discrimination and threatened or actual violence[xi]—made voting and political empowerment less of a priority for many APAs than making a living. Japanese Americans[xii] and Indian Americans[xiii] tried and failed to get the advantages given to “whites” in a society where “one drop” of non-European blood meant you were a second-class citizen.[xiv]
The huge strike by Chinese railroad workers in June 1867,[xv] the proud history of labor organizing by Larry Itliong and other Filipino American agricultural workers,[xvi] and the great Hawai’i Sugar Strike of 1946[xvii] proved that APAs did not passively accept discrimination and second-class citizenship. Yet a combination of factors that included exclusion from schools, exclusion from professions, bias against those who spoke with an accent, and anti-immigrant discrimination meant that APA leaders, who could have become mayors or members of Congress if they had been white, decided instead to go into business or remain leaders in their own ethnic communities.
Japanese American Nisei veterans returning to Hawai’i after their service in the European theater during World War II joined the Democratic Party and created the most successful, sustained electoral success for APAs in history.[xviii] They routed the white plantation owner class and sent Daniel Inouye to Congress as a Territorial representative and then Congressman and Senator.[xix] This movement opened the door for Patsy Takemoto Mink in 1964, the first woman of color elected to Congress;[xx] Senator Spark Matsunaga, who envisioned the United States Institute of Peace;[xxi] and generations of Hawai’ian APA leaders of all political parties and ethnic backgrounds in local, state, and national politics.
Indian American Democrat Dalip Singh Saund was elected to represent the Imperial Valley of California in Congress in 1956,[xxii] and Chinese American Republican Hiram Fong became the first APA in the United States Senate when Hawai’i became a state in 1959.[xxiii] As the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 1970s galvanized the creation of an Asian American movement[xxiv] all across the country and Asian American Studies courses on many campuses,[xxv] dynamic community leaders such as Don Nakanishi entered the academy and created resources such as the National Asian Pacific American Political Almanac—the first record of APAs who were entering the political arena via town, city, county, regional, state, and high-profile federal offices. National APA newspapers such as Asian Week[xxvi] garnered a wide following, as APA advocates in every state looked for ideas, role models, and allies as they pushed for APA empowerment in their communities.
Today, we see the political power of APAs in the presence of numerous advocacy organizations in Washington, DC,[xxvii] contributions to the political science field,[xxviii] and the growing number of APA politicians of all political affiliations in every level of government. However, progressing from the world first researched by Don Nakanishi and his colleagues in the 1970s to the current world of APAs being accepted as voters, candidates, campaign professionals, and policy experts took fifty years of hard work by countless individuals, organizations, and communities. The rise of AALDEF in 1974 and its voter empowerment work in subsequent decades provide just one example.
Building AALDEF’s Capacity: Activists to Law Students to Lawyers
In 1974, current AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung, who had not yet gone to law school, worked with others to organize a legal rights workshop in New York City. It was attended by pioneering APA attorneys Bill Marutani, Josephine Ho, Anthony Kahng, and Ben Gim, as well as interested community members such as chemist Stan Mark, who was inspired to go to law school and now serves as AALDEF’s Senior Staff Attorney. They discussed the need for an organization to help APA community members understand the legal system, defend their rights, and move from the margins to the mainstream of American society.
By 1976, AALDEF had opened its doors at 43 Canal Street, right off of the Bowery and in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge. Nicholas Chen, who has been on the AALDEF board for forty years after first serving as a student intern, said, “We had no computers or fax machines or internet. There was barely a private place to talk to a client, and the need for legal help was so great that clients found us by word-of-mouth.”
By the 1980s, AALDEF had moved to 99 Hudson Street in Lower Manhattan as part of the Public Interest Law Center, which included the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and other leading civil rights law groups. In addition to participating in national civil rights litigation and amicus briefs in leading Supreme Court cases, AALDEF focused on immigrant rights, voting rights, economic justice for workers, language access to services, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, as well as the elimination of anti-Asian violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking. Recognizing that not everyone can afford a lawyer and that many conflicts never reach a courtroom, AALDEF staff and volunteers spent much time providing legal resources for community-based organizations, facilitating grassroots community organizing efforts, and conducting free multilingual legal advice clinics for low-income APAs and new immigrants.
AALDEF chose to not take any governmental funding so that it could advocate, if necessary, against unfair practices by government entities. Instead, it held an annual Lunar New Year banquet and other fundraising events, solicited individual and organizational contributions, and wrote proposals to receive grants from foundations. Many lawyers and law firms provided pro bono representation on key cases, and thousands of students such as Nick Chen, Helen Kang, and Arthur Hui started as interns or volunteers and went on to provide years of help as staff members, exit poll monitors, board members, and donors.
AALDEF’s work in support of voting rights and civic engagement over the last few decades led or tracked many of the ways that APAs were getting involved and asserting their rights. Here are a few examples of AALDEF’s initiatives:
- 1985 – Negotiates voluntary agreement with NYC Board of Elections to provide sample ballots in Chinese and hire interpreters at poll sites.
- 1988 – Conducts first exit poll of APA voters in a presidential election.
- 1990 – Educates APA communities about the importance of participating in the 1990 Census.
- 1992 – AALDEF is the only APA group invited to testify before the US House Judiciary Committee on expanding minority language assistance under the Voting Rights Act, affecting 200,000 APAs nationwide.
- 1994 – Leads advocacy effort to secure first fully translated Chinese-language voting machine ballots in New York City under the Voting Rights Act.
- 1994 – Launches Asian American Citizenship Project in response to anti-immigrant sentiments; assists thousands of permanent residents to become US citizens.
- 1996 – Conducts exit poll of 3,264 Asian New Yorkers in the presidential election; 39 percent are first-time voters.
- 2000 – Conducts multilingual exit poll of over 5,000 APA voters in presidential election.
- 2002 – Works with New York Voting Rights Consortium, a multiracial collaborative, to coordinate state and local New York redistricting plans and election reform advocacy; monitors Korean-language ballots and assistance in New York City.
- 2002 – Works with the Beyond Ground Zero network; testifies before Congress, calling for funds to research and treat post-9/11 environmental health problems affecting Chinatown and Lower East Side residents; assists thousands of people to access 9/11 relief programs.
- 2004 – Releases new report on The Asian American Vote 2004, based on a multilingual exit poll of 10,789 APA voters.
- 2006 – Testifies before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in support of twenty-five-year reauthorization of key provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
- 2007 – In response to AALDEF’s lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act, the NYC Board of Elections agrees to update and improve its Chinese and Korean language assistance programs in Chinatown Voter Education Alliance v. Ravitz.
- 2008 – Conducts the nation’s largest multilingual exit poll of 16,665 APA voters in eleven states and Washington, DC; poll shows overwhelming APA support for President Barack Obama.
- 2010 – Releases report on AALDEF exit poll of 3,721 APA voters in five states in the 2010 midterm elections; exit polls were also conducted in 2012 and 2014.
- 2013 – Speaks at DC rally as the US Supreme Court hears Shelby County v. Alabama, a case that found certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional and limited protections for minority voters. Sues the NYC Board of Elections for failing to provide Bengali ballots in Queens; the Board settles and provides Bengali ballots for the September 2013 primary election.
- 2016 – Releases report on AALDEF multilingual exit poll of 13,846 APA voters in fourteen states in the 2016 presidential election.
- 2016 – A federal district court blocks the Texas election law that limits access to interpreters for limited English proficient voters, in violation of the Voting Rights Act, in AALDEF’s case OCA-Greater Houston v. State of Texas.
- 2017 – Conducts another exit poll, and the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirms that Texas election law, requiring interpreters to be registered voters, violates the Voting Rights Act in OCA-Greater Houston v. State of Texas.
- 2018 – More than 8,000 APA voters in fourteen states participate in AALDEF’s multilingual Asian American Exit Poll. Voter turnout is high across the country. More exit polls follow in 2019 and 2020.
All of this incremental change was combined with holding ongoing legal advice clinics for immigrants, providing assistance to immigrants seeking to become naturalized US citizens, translating legal advice materials into many Asian languages, and conducting impact litigation, when necessary. In the course of forty-six years, these activities built a reservoir of trust and a cadre of committed volunteers to help with exit polling and other labor-intensive tasks that are some of AALDEF’s biggest contributions to community empowerment.
Election 2020: A Challenge for AALDEF and Other Advocates
Some of the issues that challenged elderly APA voters and those with limited English ability in 2020 were similar to issues seen by veteran poll monitors over many decades. For example, AALDEF Senior Staff Attorney Susana Lorenzo-Giguere reported that some poll officials in 2020 still do not understand that Chinese and other Asian voters customarily give their name to the poll worker with their surname first, for example, “Nash Philip” rather than “Philip Nash.” Poll workers have turned away such voters because they inevitably cannot find the voter so listed in the list of registered voters. A variation on that misunderstanding occurred when voters used an English nickname such as “Ann” on a driver’s license and an official Vietnamese name such as “Anh” on a voter registration, causing poll officials to reject such voters because the name on the voter’s ID does not match the name on the list of registered voters. Finally, some poll workers were hostile to APA voters with limited English proficiency, made anti-Chinese comments about Chinese voters, yelled at APA volunteer poll monitors who were providing election protection and language assistance, and even demanded that authorized APA poll monitor volunteers leave poll sites and exit pollers leave designated outdoor exit poll tables.[xxix]
However, in many respects, Election 2020 was unlike any other election:
- The COVID-19 virus limited in-person voter registration, polling, Get-Out-the-Vote (GOTV) activities, and exit polling. Masks made communication more difficult, and social distancing made approaching voters to ask exit poll questions riskier for all involved.
- President Trump’s blatant anti-Asian taunts and his encouragement of anti-Asian bullying resulted in a spike in anti-Asian violence that led Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) and others to sponsor and then pass a House of Representatives resolution condemning anti-Asian bigotry and discrimination.[xxx]
- Concerns about the virus also led to the closing or consolidation of voting locations, which was a tactic used in years past in minority communities to create chaos and discouragement on Election Day. Many AALDEF volunteer exit polling teams had to scramble from one location to another as the day started because notice about closed polling locations was not uniformly well-publicized. On the plus side, however, the consolidation of polling places meant that some exit polling teams were able to reach some voters who would have voted at locations with no exit poll questionnaires available; so, this year’s results included more Bengali, Korean, and other exit poll results.
- Exit poll takers and volunteer poll monitors, who provide non-partisan assistance at polling sites, tend to be older and therefore less likely to volunteer to go out in public due to the pandemic. As a result, the number of AALDEF volunteers dropped precipitously from about 800 to about 400, and there were fewer volunteers able or willing to work full-day shifts.
- AALDEF privacy experts worried that voters who did not want to wait to answer exit polls in-person might also object to answering questions online, which might be seen as less private. AALDEF got around this issue, however, by providing a QR code to an online exit poll questionnaire that was not publicly broadcast except to voters who were leaving a voting place and did not want to stop to talk.
- Exit polls take a lot of labor in the preparation phase, but COVID-19 restrictions meant that the ninety boxes of exit polling materials sent to volunteers around the nation (up from eighty-two in 2016) had to be assembled and mailed by staff members working in socially distanced shifts.
As always, volunteers tended to be about two-thirds students (undergraduates, law students, and graduate students) and one-third lawyers and community members. In some cities such as Boston, for example, students from the Harvard APALSA, Pan-Asian Graduate Student Alliance, Kennedy School of Government Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus, and T.H. Chan School of Public Health South Asian Student Association did the planning and volunteering that made the exit polling possible.
Challenges: The Virus and Beyond
Given almost fifty years of experience, AALDEF was able to adapt to the challenges of the 2020 election and get polling data that will help researchers, policy analysts, and community groups to understand who voted, how they voted, and what their needs and concerns are. For example, while APAs overwhelmingly chose Biden over Trump,[xxxi] there were voters who supported Trump despite what one woman described as “his inability to keep his mouth shut.” In fact, this elder had stockpiled food at home before coming to the polls to vote for Trump because she had heeded Trump’s warning that civil unrest was coming if he was not re-elected.
AALDEF’s success is based on a holistic model of community service legal work that sees success not as the victory of one plaintiff in a court case, but as a legal case that is one part of an overall strategy to empower individuals, other community service organizations, the surrounding community, and the nation as a whole. For example, AALDEF’s efforts to promote economic justice have helped low-wage workers collect stolen tips, get paid legally mandated minimum wages, and improve workplace conditions that ultimately lead to a better workplace for everyone. AALDEF’s immigrant rights efforts have encouraged clients to get naturalized, learn their rights, and assert their rights at the ballot box. In both of these legal arenas, community education and legal clinic work is done onsite at small immigrant rights or worker rights organizations that provide interpreters. The net effect is that the legal client is served, while AALDEF, the partnering organization, and trust in the nation’s legal processes all are improved as well.
Success in providing non-partisan poll monitors and collecting exit poll data comes from having a year-round Democracy Program and a team with diverse skill sets and experiences. For example, Director Jerry Vattamala is a lawyer and adjunct law professor who refines, implements, and analyzes polls, while also litigating cases, providing testimony on APA voting rights, speaking on redistricting panels, and leading training for volunteer attorneys, law students, and others. Voting Rights Organizer Judy Lei, who handles the logistics involving exit polling work, is also an actress and community organizer whose people skills are essential when reaching out to community partner organizations. Senior Staff Attorney Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, who formerly served as a Special Litigation Counsel at the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice and is a nationally recognized voting rights expert, has participated in cases to defend not only the voting rights of APAs, but also those of Native Americans, the Hispanic community, and people with disabilities.
What will future elections hold for the APA community, and how can AALDEF and other APA community groups prepare to help APAs vote and get involved?
- More translators are needed at majority-minority precincts, and more training is needed for poll workers and others who will interact with the names and needs of APA voters, especially those with limited English abilities.
- More needs to be done to remind reporters, politicians, and policy analysts that APAs are not monolithic or easily categorized. For example, more exit polling and analytical studies of APA evangelicals will allow for a more nuanced and thoughtful view of a large and growing community.
- Much more needs to be done to halt anti-Asian harassment, such as the truck prowling through the parking lot in Georgia, that unfairly or unlawfully discourages APAs from full civil engagement and voter participation.
- More political campaigns need to do outreach to APA communities during campaign season – both to understand how to encourage APA voting and address the needs of APA communities once a candidate becomes an elected official.[xxxii]
Postscript: Runoff Election in Georgia
AALDEF organizer Judy Lei, Senior Staff Attorney Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, and Legal Intern Joanna Xing partnered with staff from the Atlanta-based Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) to conduct exit polling in Georgia’s Gwinnett, Fulton, and DeKalb counties during the 5 January 2021 United States Senate run-off elections. The Georgia exit polls, offered to over 270 individuals in Korean, Bengali, Chinese, and Vietnamese, showed that 22 percent of API voters were casting their vote for the first time, 33 percent were limited English proficient, and 77 percent were foreign-born naturalized citizens. Two-thirds of APA voters favored the Democratic candidates (Warnock 64 percent and Ossoff 68 percent) over their Republican opponents (Loeffler 33 percent and Perdue 31 percent).[xxxiii]
Jerry Vattamala, AALDEF Democracy Program Director, said, “One issue we observed in the runoff elections was that hundreds of voters of color, including Asian American voters, were turned away and told they were at incorrect poll sites. This was particularly egregious when the site to which they were directed was closed. We will continue to work with election officials to investigate these serious voting problems.”[xxxiv]
To address these issues on Election Day, AALDEF and CPACS staff provided a necessary polling place look-up service, not only for API voters, but also for Black and Hispanic voters. CPACS staff even provided car rides to elderly APA voters who had been turned away so they could reach their proper voting site.
“Even with a record number of early voters in Georgia, AALDEF’s exit polling revealed a remarkable Election Day turn-out among young and first-time Asian American voters,” said Senior Staff Attorney Lorenzo-Giguere. “It also cemented AALDEF’s enduring commitment to protect the rights of all voters of color when they were turned away by poll workers from their polling places in Gwinnett County.”[xxxv]
Looking toward the future, AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung observed: “Asian American voters played a critical role in electing Warnock and Ossoff in two extremely close races that will result in Democratic control of the US Senate. Asian American voters must no longer be ignored in the political process.”[xxxvi]
Phil Tajitsu Nash teaches Asian Pacific American history, art, and public policy courses at the University of Maryland, and has served as founding executive director of the Asian American Justice Center, staff attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), weekly columnist at the N.Y. Nichibei and Asian Week newspapers, and curator of the Asian Pacific American Program at the Smithsonian Institution’s 2010 Folklife Festival. Nash also is affiliated with the U.M. Latin American Studies Center, based on his decades of work with Native Americans in North America and Brazil on human rights, culture, and language issues.
[i] AALDEF, “AALDEF Exit Poll: Asian Americans Favor Biden Over Trump 68% to 29%; Played Role in Close Races in Georgia and Other Battleground States,” AALDEF Press Release, 13 November 2020, accessed 18 January 2021, https://www.aaldef.org/press-release/aaldef-exit-poll-asian-americans-favor-biden-over-trump-68-to-29-played-role-in-close-races-in-georgia-and-other-battleground-states/
[iii] APIA Vote, “2020 Asian American Voter Survey,” Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote Press Release, 15 September 2020, accessed 18 January 2020, https://www.apiavote.org/research/2020-asian-american-voter-survey;
[iv] Li Zhou, “Asian Americans are Seeing Unprecedented Outreach – but Campaigns Could Still Do Better,” Vox, 3 November 2020, accessed 18 January 2020, https://www.vox.com/2020/11/3/21540472/asian-american-campaigns-outreach
[v] Juan Gonzalez, “The Media has it Wrong. Record Latinx Turnout Helped Biden. White Voters Failed Dems,” Democracy Now, 5 November 2020, https://www.democracynow.org/2020/11/5/2020_election_ballots_electoral_college
[vi] United States Census, “1790 Overview,” United States Census, accessed 18 January 2020, https://www.census.gov/history/www/through_the_decades/overview/1790.html
[viii] Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886), Justicia, accessed 18 January 2021, https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/118/356/ .
[ix] AALDEF won a case in Philadelphia in 2019 that had some similarities to the Yick Wo case: AALDEF, “Philadelphia Settles Discrimination Lawsuit with Chinese Restaurant Owners for $265,000; Formally Agrees Not to Enforce Disputed City Ordinance,” AALDEF Press Release, accessed 18 January 2021, https://www.aaldef.org/press-release/philadelphia-settles-discrimination-lawsuit-with-chinese-restaurant-owners-for-265-000-formally-agrees-not-to-enforce-disputed-city-ordinance/
[x] United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898), Justicia, accessed 18 January 2021, https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/169/649/
[xi] Ronald Takaki, Strangers from a Different Shore (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1998). https://www.google.com/books/edition/Strangers_from_a_Different_Shore/mt_tw5cn8y0C?hl=en
[xii] Takao Ozawa v. United States, 260 U.S. 178 (1922), Justicia, accessed 18 January 2021, https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/260/178/
[xiii] United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, 261 U.S. 204 (1923), Justicia, accessed 18 January 2021, https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/261/204/#214
[xiv] Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s, 2nd Edition (Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, 1994) https://books.google.com/books?id=j9v6DMjjY44C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Michael+Omi+and+Howard+Winant,+Racial+Formation+in+the+United+States:+From+the+1960s+to+the+1990s,+2d+Edition&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwis3Oys5sHuAhXnHjQIHTztBHgQ6AEwAHoECAAQAg
[xv] Chris Fuchs, “150 Years Ago, Chinese Railroad Workers Staged the Era’s Largest Labor Strike,” NBC News, accessed 18 January 2021, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/150-years-ago-chinese-railroad-workers-staged-era-s-largest-n774901
[xvi] Patricia Leigh Brown, “Forgotten Hero of Labor Fight; His Son’s Lonely Quest,” New York Times, 18 October 2012, accessed 18 January 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/us/larry-itliong-forgotten-filipino-labor-leader.html
[xvii] Center for Labor Education and Research (CLEAR), University of Hawai’i – West Oahu, “1946: The Great Hawai‘i Sugar Strike: Rice & Roses,” CLEAR, accessed 18 January 2021, https://www.hawaii.edu/uhwo/clear/home/1946.html
[xviii] “AJA Political Advancements — Inouye, Matsunaga, Mink and Ariyoshi,” Nisei Veterans Legacy, accessed 18 January 2021, https://www.nvlchawaii.org/aja-political-advancements-—-inouye-matsunaga-mink-and-ariyoshi
[xix] Chris Cillizza, “Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye dies at age 88,” Washington Post, 17 December 2012, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2012/12/17/hawaii-sen-daniel-inouye-dies-at-age-88/
[xxi] “Spark Matsunaga’s Legacy: The United States Institute of Peace,” USIP, accessed 18 January 2021, https://www.usip.org/spark-matsunagas-legacy-united-states-institute-peace
[xxii] Phil Tajitsu Nash, “Centennial of Asian American Pioneer Dalip Singh Saun,” IM Diversity, 1999, accessed 18 January 2021, https://imdiversity.com/villages/asian/centennial-of-asian-american-pioneer-dalip-singh-saund/
[xxiii] Dan Nakaso, “Hiram Fong dead at 97,” Honolulu Advertiser, 18 August 2004, accessed 18 January 2021, http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Aug/18/br/br03p.html
[xxiv] Michelle Chen, “Making and Unmaking the Asian American Movement: Karen Ishizuka’s ‘Serve the People’ tells the story of a radical period in Asian American activism, and compels us to ask, where does that lead us now?” Asian American Writers Workshop, 17 November 2016, https://aaww.org/asian-american-movement/
[xxvii] Philip Nash, “March on Washington: A History of Asian Pacific Americans’ Growing Political Power in the Nation’s Capital,” Harvard Asian American Policy Review, volume 19-20 (2009-10): 27-37. https://aapr.hkspublications.org/print/vol20/
[xxviii] Pei-te Lien, M. Margaret Conway, and Janelle Wong, The Politics of Asian Americans: Diversity and Community (Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, 2004). https://books.google.com/books?id=o7ucGq1RZ-EC&newbks=0&hl=en&source=newbks_fb
[xxix] Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, email message to author, 21 November 2020.
[xxx] Nicholas Wu, “House passes measure condemning anti-Asian discrimination amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” USA Today, 17 September 2020, accessed 18 January 2021, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/17/covid-19-house-vote-condemn-anti-asian-discrimination/5806530002/
[xxxi] “AALDEF Exit Poll: Asian Americans Favor Biden Over Trump 68% to 29%; Played Role in Close Races in Georgia and Other Battleground States,” AALDEF Press Release, 13 November 2020, https://www.aaldef.org/press-release/aaldef-exit-poll-asian-americans-favor-biden-over-trump-68-to-29-played-role-in-close-races-in-georgia-and-other-battleground-states/
[xxxii] Li Zhou, “Asian Americans are Seeing Unprecedented Outreach – but Campaigns Could Still Do Better,” Vox, 3 November 2020, https://www.vox.com/2020/11/3/21540472/asian-american-campaigns-outreach
[xxxiii] “AALDEF Exit Poll: 2/3 of Asian American voters favored Senators-Elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in 2021 Georgia runoff elections,” AALDEF Press Release, 7 January 2021, https://www.aaldef.org/press-release/aaldef-exit-poll-2-3-of-asian-american-voters-favored-senators-elect-raphael-warnock-and-jon-ossoff-in-2021-georgia-runoff-elections/
[xxxv] Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, email message to author, 17 January 2021.
[xxxvi] “AALDEF Exit Poll: 2/3 of Asian American voters favored Senators-Elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in 2021 Georgia runoff elections,” AALDEF Press Release, 7 January 2021, https://www.aaldef.org/press-release/aaldef-exit-poll-2-3-of-asian-american-voters-favored-senators-elect-raphael-warnock-and-jon-ossoff-in-2021-georgia-runoff-elections/