FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2016

 

Lina Park,
Asian Health Services
(510) 986-6843 | lpark@ahschc.org

Sydney Fang,
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
(510) 703-1311 | sydney@apen4ej.org

Emily Lewis,
NextGen Climate
(415) 342-7107 | emily.lewis@nextgenclimate.org

 

Business Leader and Philanthropist Tom Steyer joins key Asian American groups to grow the power of Asian American Voters

On National Voter Registration Day, Asian American leaders highlight key economic, health and environmental issues facing voters in Oakland Chinatown

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) and NextGen Climate today announced a major partnership aimed at registering and engaging voters in the Asian American community, one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in California. The partnership, part of a statewide coalition headed by NextGen Climate, was announced at a joint APEN and Asian Health Services (AHS) voter registration rally in Oakland’s Chinatown on National Voter Registration Day.

“Low-income API immigrants and refugees in Oakland, Richmond and across California have long endured the cumulative impacts of housing insecurity, pollution and climate change,” said Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director of APEN. “Now, we are a growing political force in the state, and we are voting to advance solutions in our neighborhoods, like clean air, renter protections and a democracy that works for all of California.”

“We know our democracy is strongest when the most people participate and when every community has a voice,” said Tom Steyer, NextGen Climate President. “We’re excited to be working with APEN to turn out and engage the Asian American community. On National Voter Registration Day, it’s essential we reach every Californian and ensure their voice, and their vote, is heard in November.”

Thanks to the partnership, APEN will be hiring dozens of paid organizers and recruiting volunteers to canvass and telephone tens of thousands of voters throughout Oakland, the East Bay and across the state. They will engage in registration efforts on seven college campuses, including UC Berkeley, Alameda Community College and Contra Costa Community College.

Long-time voter outreach worker for APEN and newly naturalized citizen, Linna Lin, shared her experience voting in this election. “I became a citizen just a few months ago, and this election will be the first election I am voting in. This is important to me because I want to use my voice to encourage others in my community to do so too. Voting is an obligation, and it is our right to exercise our voice,” said Lin.

AHS, a community health center that plays an integral role in promoting both health and advocacy for the Asian immigrant and refugee community in the East Bay, has already registered thousands of first-time voters and will continue its effort to register many more by the October 24th voter registration deadline.

“We believe that our measure of success is not about how many patients we see, but how many are empowered to assert their right to health and well-being,” said Sherry Hirota, CEO of Asian Health Services. “We want our community to exercise their right to vote, in order to steer the direction of this great nation.”

NextGen Climate, headed by Steyer, is partnering with 67 organizations in over 30 counties in an effort to carry out the largest voter registration drive in state history.

 

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To learn more about National Voter Registration Day visit: http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/

 

Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) ensures the right of all people to work, live, and play, in healthy neighborhoods and environments. We advance environmental justice campaigns in Oakland, Richmond, and across the state through community organizing, voter engagement, and statewide policy advocacy.

NextGen Climate is focused on bringing climate change to the forefront of American politics. Founded by businessperson and philanthropist Tom Steyer in 2013, NextGen Climate acts politically to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for every American.

Asian Health Services is a community health center that provides primary, dental and behavioral health services to underserved families of Oakland and Alameda County in English and 12 different Asian languages (Cantonese, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Mien, Lao, Mongolian, Karen, Karenni, and Burmese).  In addition to serving 27,000 patients a year, AHS advocates for the health of low-income families and children. As a nationally recognized community health center model, AHS stands at the forefront of quality and innovation.