Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), who represents Alhambra, among other neighboring cities, addressed a room of about 3,000 people in Las Vegas, Nevada at a presidential election forum for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on Saturday.
The forum, co-hosted by APIA Vote and the Asian American Journalists Association, was unprecedented because it was the first time that representatives of presidential nominees from four different parties spoke to the AAPI community at the same event.
Libertarian nominee Governor Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein were in attendance at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace, along with former president Bill Clinton, who spoke for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and Utah attorney general Sean Reyes, who represented Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Chu, who serves as the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, told the Asian American electorate that they could help decide the election in swing states, such as Virginia, Pennsylvania and Nevada.
“We have gone from being marginalized to the margin of victory,” Chu said to an energized the crowd. “But in order to truly make a difference in this election cycle, we must know where our presidential candidates stand on the issues that matter most to us, and that’s why today’s presidential town hall is so important.”
She cited key issues such as racial profiling and hate speech, which have harmed Asian Americans, and in particular, South Asian, Muslim and Sikh communities.
“The political rhetoric has become so toxic this cycle, that we in the AAPI community cannot afford to sit in the sidelines. And regardless of which candidate you support, or what your political affiliation may be, we know that violent and hateful rhetoric targeting AAPIs has no place in our society,” Chu said. “But simply condemning these remarks is not enough. We must hold our presidential candidates accountable by exercising our right to vote…Together, let’s make sure that AAPIs are the margin of victory in November 2016 and beyond.”
(Featured photo above by astrobuddha is licensed under CC BY 2.0)