HomeChinese AmericanDNC Notebook: AAPI Participants Passionately Involved in the Political Process

DNC Notebook: AAPI Participants Passionately Involved in the Political Process

Tulsi Gabbard nominates Bernie Sanders
Tulsi Gabbard walks onto the stage of the Democratic National Convention to nominate Bernie Sanders for President
By Ed Diokno


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard  (D-Hawaii) did get her moment at the Democratic National Convention when she nominated Sen. Bernie Sanders for President.
Gabbard was vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and butted heads with chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz, who was forced to resign because of the hacked emails unsealed by Wikileaks showed that she was not neutral during the primary campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Gabbard resigned her DNC position last February so that she could work on the Sanders campaign and was instrumental in making inroads in the AAPI community on behalf of her candidate.



Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus are slated to speak Wednesday, including Rep. Judy Chu (Calif.)
In addition, there are meetings, caucuses and networking among the AAPI in attendance.



Making Hillary Clinton the presidential nominee was historic and that needs to be celebrated, no matter what your political persuasion.

Another historic event occurred that none of the mainstream media has covered. In the preamble of the Democratic Party’s platform, Filipino American labor organizer Larry Itliong got mentioned. Is this the first time an Asian American was mentioned in any party’s platform?

Written into the preamble:

“And we know that our nation’s long struggle with race is far from over. More than half a century after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled, more than half a century after César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong organized, race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind. We must face that reality and we must fix it.”

“There is no question that this platform is the most inclusive of the AAPI community in history,” said Christopher Kang, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans national director.

RELATED: GOP’s new Southern Strategy with immigrants in the Willie Horton role


Diversity was not the official theme during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, but one can’t help but notice how many more people of color are in attendance in comparison to the Republican convention held last week.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign told Fusion that 292 of the 4,766 DNC delegates are Asian American; 2,887  or over half of this year’s delegates are women. African American men and women account for 1,182 delegates (compared to 18 at the RNC) while 747 are Latinos and 633 are LGBTQ-identified people.


Ima Matul gave a moving presentation of her story of being lured from Indonesia with offers of a job, but instead she became a victim of sex trafficking. She credited Hillary Clinton for making human trafficking an issue for the United States. She survived her ordeal and is now an advocated helping other victims of human trafficking.


Members of KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress have been in Philadelphia to advocate for “progressive solutions to issues affecting the community” before party organizations, leaders and elected officials attending the convention.

These issues include improving the lives of Filipino World War II veterans, comprehensive and humane immigration reform, affordable health care for all, access to high-quality education and protection of civil rights.

In May, KAYA endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president because of her “commitment to the Filipino American community, particularly in her support for equity for Filipino World War II veterans and comprehensive immigration reform,” the group’s press statement said.

“We believe that America can only be stronger together,” said Romeo Ymalay, KAYA national co-chair. “The future of our country will be much brighter if we treat each other with respect, ensure that we lift each other instead of tearing each other down, and give all Americans a seat at the table.”


Elaine Quijano
Elaine Quijano hosted a CBS segment at the Democratic National Convention.

It was good to see Elaine Quijano given a spot on the CBS schedule. Prior to joining CBS, Quijano was a general assignment reporter for CNN, based in Washington, D.C. where she covered stories involving the White House, the Pentagon, and the Supreme Court.

Back in 2006, she was CNN’s White House correspondent during the George W. Bush administration. The Filipina American journalist also worked for CNN Newsource, the network’s affiliate service, and was part of the round-the-clock coverage of the September 11th terrorist attacks. She subsequently reported from Kuwait City in 2003 before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Before joining CNN, she was a general assignment reporter for WFTS-TV in Tampa, Florida. She also worked as a reporter for WCIA-TV in Champaign, Illinois.

Quijano has a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Northern Mariana delegates
I love the roll call vote during which each delegation gets a moment to brag about their state. One of my favorites was the 11-member delegation from the Northern Marianas. They were decked out in flowered crowns and leis. Nine votes went to Sanders and two went to Clinton.


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