AAPI-Specific Questions to be Part of MSNBC Democratic Presidential Debate

APIAVote yesterday issued a press release highlighting the impact of Asian American and Pacific Islander votes in the Jan. 19 Democratic and Republican caucuses in Nevada.

The MSNBC Democratic Presidential Debate on Jan. 15 will pose AAPI-specific questions to the Democratic candidates, reflecting the strategic importance and political strength of the AAPI community in Nevada and throughout the country.

The CNN/Nevada Democratic Party Debate last November had four million viewers, setting the record for a primary debate. The upcoming MSNBC debate gives candidates an enormous opportunity to address the growing AAPI population in Nevada.

The AAPI population in Clark County has grown significantly in recent years, drawn by economic opportunities. First generation AAPIs have made considerable economic contributions, and more than half have gone on to become citizens. Within this diverse community, AAPI subgroups face more education and language barriers than others. AAPIs, for example, need both cultural and in-language assistance in order to fully participate in the upcoming caucus.

“AAPIs are a key electorate in this critical race,” said Gloria Caoile, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and APIAVote board member. “AAPIs in Nevada are the fastest growing population in the country and specifically in Clark County.”

“AAPIs from across the U.S., particularly AAPIs in the West, will be watching,” said Noe Kalipi, APIAVote board member. “Nevada – being the first caucus in the West and ranking 3rd for highest Pacific Islander population and 6th for highest Asian American population – will have a significant impact in how AAPIs vote.”

“More than 50 percent of first generation AAPIs in Clark County are citizens, and a substantial number of these citizens need in-language assistance to participate politically,” noted Doua Thor, Executive Director of SEARAC and APIAVote board member. “Candidates that wish to court their votes must first recognize these issues.”

APIAVote is a national non-partisan, nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes civic participation of Asian Pacific Islander Americans in the electoral and public policy processes at the national, state and local levels.

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