Biden for President Virginia Hosts Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Virtual Roundtable
Yesterday, Biden for President Virginia hosted an Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders virtual roundtable with Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), State Senator Ghazala Hashmi, Democratic Party of Virginia’s AAPI Caucus Chair Praveen Meyyan, and AAPI leaders from across the Commonwealth. The virtual roundtable launched the Virginia AAPIs for Biden leadership council, where participants addressed the specific effects of COVID-19 on AAPI communities in the Commonwealth, the recent rise in hate crimes targeting AAPI Americans, and how a Biden-Harris administration will confront these issues and others that impact the AAPI community.
Below are key quotes from the discussion:
“We are so fortunate to have a ticket with Vice President Joe Biden and an historic candidate for the VP in Kamala Harris,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06). “The first Black and Asian American woman to be on this ticket. How many young Asian Americans and young girls woke up the next morning and thought ‘Gosh, I could be VP. I can be president.’ And the inspiration that this ticket provides will help us get them elected and we have lots of work to do but also to make sure that we are putting this country back on track … And in a state like Virginia where AAPIs can be and have been the margin of victory in so many local seats to federal seats and to this presidential election, it is crucial that we continue to reach out to the AAPI community.”
“Last November I asked voters in my district to help me send a message throughout Virginia and throughout the country that we are a diverse and inclusive community, and that this nation is vast and complex, and that the pursuit of racial, social, and economic justice is an essential endeavor for every one of us,” said State Senator Ghazala Hashmi (Chesterfield). “I know and you know that we are so much better than the dark and dystopian picture of the country that has been painted by Donald Trump and his cronies. Under a Biden-Harris Administration, we will restore the moral and stable leadership that we need to successfully bring this country out of the healthcare and economic crisis that we’re currently facing.”
“I’ve seen first-hand the excitement our AAPI communities have in electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who will be the first Asian and African American Vice President. We here in Virginia know all too well about the importance of the AAPI folk,” said DPVA AAPI Caucus Chair Praveen Meyyan. “Over the past few cycles, investments in turning out the AAPI vote have resulted in Virginia being carried by democratic presidential nominees every year since 2008 and democrats holding all five statewide offices. In 2019, we flipped the statehouse and senate and our new democratic majorities have passed bills on everything from gun reform, healthcare, education, and became the 38th state to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. And this year we look forward to carrying the state again for Biden-Harris 2020.”
“Over 400,000 AAPIs call Virginia home. And they’ve been disproportionately affected by the pandemic,” said Ravi Chaudhary, Deputy Director of Coalitions in Virginia. “AAPIs also suffer from acts of horrific racism, fueled by rhetoric caused by a negligent and divisive Trump Administration. My parents felt this same pain in the days after George Floyd died and they asked me this one question: Was all that they worked for, for all those years, for naught? Today I’m here to answer that question. And that answer is No. And we are going to be the generation that delivers. And how are we going to handle this in Virginia? Like we always have. Together. That’s why I’m proud to announce the launch of the Biden-Harris campaign’s Virginia AAPIs Leadership Council.”
“Joe and Kamala understand that America’s story is about the immigrants who came here. This country is literally built on the backs of immigrants,” said Emmy-nominated composer and singer Siddarth Khosla. “So while the current administration seeks institutionally to keep people like us out, Joe and Kamala will make sure we stay and will encourage the future generations of immigrants to come here and make this country as amazing as it can be.”