(Pictured above: James Hong)
On June 7, MinKwon Center hosted a Voter Engagement Training at the Robin Hood Foundation. James Hong (Civic Participation Project Manager for MinKwon Center), Jennifer S. Pae (Project Manager for Voter Service and Education at the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund), and Parag Mehta, (Communications Director for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) led an audience of over 20 people through Civic Engagement and Political Organizing Training.
Jenn shared her own experiences as an impoverished Korean American to speak more broadly on the marginalization, erasure, and issues affecting Asian Americans. In addition to diversifying and complicating the “model minority” myth, Jenn also illuminated the importance of Asian Americans as a political force, emphasizing the importance of speaking with our feet and voting. Sharing the trifecta of policy, electoral politics, and community organizing and its power to effect change, James expertly led the audience through the voter registration process. The hands-on approach with multifaceted scenarios covered not only the voter registration form, but also the questions, technicalities, and difficulties often encountered when registering large groups to vote. After the overview of policies and restrictions for different types of non-profit or community groups well-represented in the audience, Parag led the workshop on what it actually means to campaign and how voting demographics have changed over time, covering the historical breakthroughs that radio, television, and even social media have made in voter turnout and political history.
We thank MinKwon Center and APIA Vote for their mobilizing efforts in engaging our communities. The ability to organize as a community and advocate our interests is essential; if you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re on the menu.
AABANY was proud to have been one of the many co-sponsors supporting this engaging and important event.