New York, NY — Asian Pacific Americans Voting & Organizing to Increase Civic Engagement (APA VOICE), a non-partisan coalition of community-based organizations that serve Asian-American communities in New York, announces the launch of its 2023 Civic Engagement coalition. Sixteen member organizations will prepare and lead a comprehensive Get Out the Vote programming to educate and mobilize Asian-American communities to participate in the 2023 primary and general elections. This year’s cohort features four new member partners including Immigrant Social Services, KCMB TV, Korean-Chinese American Council, and Parent Child Relationship Association. Seven member organizations will lead door canvassing outreach in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, and Bensonhurst as well as throughout Queens.
The 2023 elections will feature competitive city council primary elections in districts with sizable Asian-American communities. It will also mark the second time New York City voters will vote using ranked choice voting for local-level primaries. Following the 2020 redistricting cycle, the lines of New York City’s council districts have also shifted to reflect the changing demographics of the city to keep communities more whole. APA VOICE members will lead multilingual voter outreach to inform voters about updated redistricted lines and ranked choice voting as well as organize candidate forums and surveys in select city council districts with active primary elections.
“The MinKwon Center’s leadership in convening APA VOICE and our ongoing commitment to expanding civic engagement among Asian American communities in New York City is essential to ensuring a truly representative democracy. With a track record of over a decade of work, APA VOICE has already made a significant impact in increasing awareness and participation among Asian American voters, resulting in a 350% increase in APA voter turnout within the past decade. APA VOICE has continued our efforts in advocating for fair and equitable redistricting to give our under-resourced communities a voice in government. As we look towards the 2023 cycle and beyond, we are excited to continue working with other APA VOICE members to address some of the unique challenges we are facing, empower our communities, and ensure our voices are heard in all levels of government.” said John Park, Executive Director of MinKwon Center for Community Action.
“The Academy of Medical & Public Health Services (AMPHS) is proud to continue our partnership with APA VOICE to raise the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander voter populations in South Brooklyn for this year’s elections. We are the fastest-growing population in the city and we need to ensure our communities understand and are engaged in the democratic process. Through the collective power of this coalition, we can ensure that we elevate the needs of AAPI communities, build political strength, and create a platform for civic engagement so that our voices are fairly represented across all levels of government.” said Hewett Chiu, President & CEO of Academy of Medical & Public Health Services.
“We are proud to once again partner with APA VOICE member organizations to help energize, educate and mobilize Asian American and Pacific Islander voters in this year’s key municipal elections.” said Thomas Yu, Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE). “Our communities are the fastest growing in New York City and there is growing recognition that civic participation is the key to ensuring that we have a voice in government at every level. All of us at AAFE are excited to work in collaboration with our nonprofit partners to plan a dynamic series of voter education and outreach events in the coming year.”
“Local elections matter! Building political power starts at the neighborhood level. Being a member of APA VOICE is an investment in Caribbean Equality Project’s hyper-local civic engagement and voter education organizing to mobilize Afro and Indo-Caribbean immigrant voters to have their voices heard. It demonstrates our collective people power to elect leaders who will advance workers’ rights, LGBTQ+ affirming legislation, end religious and racially discriminatory policies, and fight for equity for ALL, regardless of immigration status.” said Mohamed Q. Amin, Founder & Executive Director of Caribbean Equality Project.
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are a critical voting bloc, with the fastest rate of voter turnout in New York and nationwide. We are proud to continue our partnership with APA VOICE, a leading civic engagement organization, and to collaborate with partner organizations to engage our community members across the city in the political process. With so many important elections across the city this year and next, it is a critical moment to make our voices heard and to elect politicians who are responsive to our community members and their priorities.” said Wayne Ho, President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC).
“More than ever, our Chinatown/Lower East Side community needs affordable housing, economic security, and rights and respect for immigrants regardless of their status. Resources, policies, and laws are often determined at the local level. The upcoming 2023 local elections give us an opportunity to voice our concerns. We look forward to working with our partners in APA VOICE to uplift our voices.” said Mae Lee, Executive Director of the Chinese Progressive Association.
“CACF is a proud member of APA VOICE, recognizing the power of working in coalition with diverse AAPI-serving CBOs across NYC to uplift the needs of the most marginalized in our communities. Amid the undeniable growth in NYC’s Asian American communities over the last decade, our communities are eager for greater representation in government and more culturally responsive policies. We are excited to collaborate with our fellow members in empowering our Asian American communities in this upcoming 2023 City Council election cycle!” said Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung, Co-Executive Directors of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF).
“ISS is excited to join the APA VOICE coalition and continue our work expanding voter outreach, access, and education. Civic engagement is critical to nurturing and empowering the immigrant families we serve. Our voice matters. When communities are able to exercise their right to vote, they strengthen the well-being of their communities.” said Beatrice Chen, Executive Director of Immigrant Social Services, Inc. (ISS).
“At KCMB-TV, we are committed to promoting civic engagement and voter education in the Korean American community through modern, innovative broadcasting media. As a proud member of the APA VOICE coalition, we are excited to collaborate with like-minded organizations to amplify our collective impact. Together, we can work towards a more informed and engaged electorate, and a stronger, more representative democracy for all.” said Dami Choi, Founder & Executive Director of Korean Community Media Broadcasting – TV (KCMB-TV).
“As an organization dedicated to serving immigrant survivors of gender-based violence, we recognize the importance of amplifying their voices and ensuring their participation in the civic process. Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) is proud to be a part of the APA VOICE initiative alongside other community-based organizations. Together, we will work to strengthen the voices of immigrant survivors of gender-based violence and ensure that their experiences inform policies and decision-making at all levels of government.” said Jeehae Fischer, Executive Director of Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC).
“This is a very important partnership, especially when we consider that our community’s voter participation rate is often lower than other groups. We know that this unequal participation rate can have a significant impact on the election. The collaboration between the Korean-Chinese American Council and APA VOICE can help our community members understand the importance of civic participation and empower us with the opportunities to truly shape our future.” said Chengyue Jin, Founder & Executive Director of the Korean-Chinese American Council.
“MCN’s core mission is to facilitate the emergence of a Muslim-American population that is civically engaged and educated to be active participants in society. We are grateful to be able to fulfill this mission through our partnership with the MinKwon Center as a 2023 APA VOICE grantee. Participation in the electoral process is one of the most crucial steps towards sustaining our democracy and building a more inclusive and just society. Through this partnership, we reached over 50,000 Muslim New Yorkers in the last election cycle and we’re excited and honored to join the APA VOICE campaign to promote inclusive electoral participation for the second year in a row!” said Aniqa Nawabi, Executive Director of Muslim Community Network (MCN).
“OCA-NY is proud to be a member of APA VOICE, working to outreach and educate our community on the importance of civil engagement and building political power for Asian Americans across New York City. We look forward to working with our APA VOICE coalition members to educate our community about ranked choice voting and the importance of voting in the upcoming primary elections!” said Brianna Cea, President of OCA-NY.
“We believe that civic engagement is the cornerstone of a thriving democracy and that it is critical for all members of our communities to actively participate in the democratic process. By engaging in civic work, we can create meaningful change and ensure that the voices of all members of our communities are heard and represented.” said Nicole Huang, Founder & Executive Director of Parent Child Relationship Association.
“New Yorkers are facing major challenges such as rising inflation, hate crimes, loss of jobs, and limited access to critical benefits. It is of utmost importance that our community members vote so that our voices are heard and that we have representation at all levels. At SACSS, we focus on educating our clients on the importance of voting in 19 different languages which makes it easier for them to understand and register.” said Sudha Acharya, Executive Director of South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS).
“Since our inception, South Queens Women’s March has prioritized building political power in our historically under-resourced local neighborhoods. We encourage our South Queens community to become active participants in the decision-making processes taking place all around them. Our work centers empowering traditionally marginalized communities to change what’s wrong in their neighborhoods. To achieve those goals, we are a proud member organization of APA VOICE. Our work in coalition with all at APA VOICE has truly been a game-changer when it comes to increasing capacity and the overall reach of our programming to promote civic engagement.” said Aminta Kilawan-Narine, Founder & Executive Director of South Queens Women’s March.
“APA VOICE has given inspiration and dignity to our AAPI neighbors who have gone without representation and a voice for much too long. Through a seamless facilitated organized effort, our AAPI brothers and sisters are one step closer to having a more unified voice thanks to the civic engagement APA VOICE has been leading on. APA VOICE has been active, involved and they have been a beacon for our AAPI community.” said William Jourdain, Executive Director of Woodside on the Move (WOTM).
Full List of APA VOICE 2023 Civic Engagement Coalition Members:
- Academy of Medical and Public Health Services
- Asian Americans for Equality
- Caribbean Equality Project
- Chinese American Planning Council
- Chinese Progressive Association
- Coalition for Asian American Children and Families*
- Immigrant Social Services
- KCMB TV
- Korean American Family Service Center
- Korean-Chinese American Council
- MinKwon Center for Community Action
- Muslim Community Network
- OCA New York
- Parent Child Relationship Association
- South Asian Council for Social Services
- South Queens Women’s March
- Woodside on the Move