Democratic presidential hopefuls court Asian Pacific Islander votes in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — From speaking to thousands of people in large halls, to having a more intimate conversation with certain caucuses, five democratic presidential candidates spoke directly to members of the Asian and Pacific Islander American community recently in San Francisco.

California Senator Kamala Harris, who identifies as Indian and black, said immigration is one of her top priorities and she will fight for more AAPI representation.

“We know this is an issue that has a direct impact on our community and what we need to do is to make sure no voices that are having this experience is left out. I think about the work we need to do in terms of organizing to encourage people to become elected leaders.”

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey echoed the need to see more AAPI leadership so it can reflect the population of America.

“When I got to the United States Senate one of the first things I noticed it was one of the least diverse places I ever worked. We want to make sure every single senator has to report their diversity statistics because a lot of our communities are critical to the coalitions that get people elected and we want to be sure, and I hate to sing a song from Hamilton, but we want to be in the room where it happens.”

Andrew Yang, founder of Venture for America — a nonprofit that focuses on creating jobs in struggling American cities — could be the first Asian-American nominee of a major party.

“We need to make the case for the rest of the country, as fast possible, it’s not immigrants its technological change that’s pushing more Americans to the sidelines.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota cited that 10 percent of the undocumented population is part of API community — and she commits to providing a path of citizenship for them.

“You know what Donald Trump wants to do, right? He just wants to talk about one thing and wants to scare people. And he wants to talk security issues, and everything. And he is completely overlooking with the economic imperative of comprehensive immigration reform.”

And billionaire hedge fund manager and late entry in the race, Tom Steyer, recognized the API contribution to California and the country as he laid out his plans as president.

“We will be able to deliver healthcare is a right, education from pre-K to college is a right, a living wage is a right. We will also be able to deliver clean air and pure water for every single American.”

Following the summer meetings, the next time the DNC will meet will be during the national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from July 13th to the 16th of 2020.

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