Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer addresses Asian American voters in community forum

Orange County, CA — Three presidential candidates got up close and personal with Asian American voters in Orange County — especially entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who crowd-surfed his supporters — called the Yang Gang — at Aa first of its kind AAPI presidential forum.

The AAPI Victory Fund and Asian Americans Rising Pac hosted a community forum with Yang, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and billionaire businessman Tom Steyer for fireside chats.

Each of them had the chance to address the AAPI community and pressing needs.

Yang touched on his proposal for universal income, and immigration reform.

“The freedom dividend that I’m proposing, would be for citizens, so if you’re a permanent resident or green card holder, this would be an incentive for you to become a citizen. For people that are undocumented I’m for the path to citizenship.”

Steyer expressed his excitement on qualifying for the October debate.

“It is really important and I’m extremely energized both by this and I just came from New Hampshire and learning what people think and see how they’re different from Los Angeles and San Francisco and San Jose the valley.”

Gabbard, who was raised in a Samoan and European household with Catholic and Hindu teachings, was homeschooled through high school — but attended an all-girls Christian missionary school in the Philippines.

“This the accurate way to explain my ethnicity and ancestry and they haven’t done it. They haven’t done it which I think points to unfortunate how dismissive, present company excluded, a lot of our mainstream media is to who we are, how diverse we are as people, as Asian American as Pacific Islanders and just be like ok we’re not white people.”

Shortly after she was first elected to Congress, Gabbard even visited the Philippine boxing champ, Manny Pacquiao, during a training camp in 2012 — and the two expressed support for each other politically.

Meanwhile, Filipinos including a delegation from Pilipino American Los Angeles Democrats, or PALAD, made their presence felt at the forum which stressed the importance of the Asian American vote which is believed to be crucial in the 2020 presidential election.

“Hopefully over time other candidates running for office will know the Asian Pacific island community is the fastest-growing immigrant community in the US,” said Jaime Geaga. “So with numbers we get power we get more strength hopefully they’ll take time to talk to us get our support get our vote for them and also hear what our concerns are.”

With as many as 20 presidential candidates vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination, Filipino voters said their support is still up for grabs, and all three that attended the forum managed to make an impact on them.

“The fact that the Asian Pacific audience matters nationally is a huge thing, that all presidential candidates should be talking about, I’m actually really disappointed we only got 3 candidates today,” said Godfrey Plata. “I think we’re much more than the margin of victory many of them are considering it’ll show in the votes whether or not they showed up today.”

On Thursday, members of PALAD will come together for a watch party to hear what the other candidates will have to say on issues that matter to them, during the third Democratic presidential debate in Houston, Texas.

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  • Mario
    13 September 2019 at 5:24 am - Reply

    Straight to the point this 3 candidate has no chance to be a President. YANG funny, interesting guy, promised to give $ 1000 each US citizen if elected. I don’t think BIDEN will like him to be his VP. TOM STEYER, a billionaire, feels that a Billionaire could win the Presidency, he is not talented as TRUMP and will never settle for VP. Tulsi GABBARD, darling of Filipino Hawaiian voters, grew up and went to school in the Philippines. The only candidate who understand WAR economics, being deployed from the ME.US spend $6 Trillion in the ME, yet we did not gain anything.She was a logistic officer,that a bottle of water cost $.10cent, but Taxpayer pay $3.00 in Iraq. The difference called SPREAD goes to the politician on the top etc.,she understand the distribution of the spread. The longer the war the better, more soldier dies more commission on caskets, flags drape etc.She a good VP,because we will never go to war, but the Democrat hate her.