By Ed Diokno
The campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced that it is appointing Jason Tengco to serve as its new Asian American Pacific Islander outreach director, the campaign said in a press release.
Tengco, who served as deputy director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, replaces Lisa Changadveja, who left the role last week to take on a position with the Democratic Party in Colorado. Changadveja became Clinton’s AAPI outreach director in August.
“Jason is passionate about engaging AAPIs in the political process, building a pipeline for youth empowerment, and ensuring that the AAPI community’s diverse issues are heard and addressed,” a said a statement from the Clinton campaign.
Tengco, whose parents are from the Philippines, served as the initiative’s liaison in the White House Office of Public Engagement and managed the first-ever White House Summit on AAPIs.
He has also worked for the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and was an Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies fellow for U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA).
RELATED: GOP makes a push for AAPI voters
News of Tengco’s appointment comes a little more than two months after Clinton’s campaign announced the formation of an AAPI leadership council, comprised of more than 150 elected officials and community leaders who will help Clinton organize support for her campaign in AAPI communities ahead of caucuses and primaries.
Members of the council include Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Gregorio Sablan from the Northern Mariana Islands.
RELATED: AAPI voters help Clinton in Nevada
Both Democrats and Republicans have made great efforts in this year’s presidential race to court AAPI voters, an electorate that by 2040 is expected to double, rising to 12.2 million, according to a 2015 report from the UCLA Center for the Study of Inequality and Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.
AAPI voters could play a key role in upcoming primaries and caucuses in states with sizeable AAPI communities, including Washington, New York and California. Asian Americans make up 5.4 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census.
(Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.)
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