The 2022 midterm elections were the first national elections since Roe v. Wade was overturned and the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Since then, there has been ongoing disinformation challenging the integrity of the 2020 election results and bad actors sowing seeds of confusion targeting voters of color. As such, this year’s elections served as a litmus test for what issues are top of mind for Americans, what they consider a step in the right direction, and who they trust to take us there.
It is against this backdrop that YOU and the Asian Americans for Change Fund in Virginia jumped in to stop a Youngkin-endorsed right-wing Asian American to the halls of Congress. And Asian American voters decidedly rejected the limitations of identity politics and politicians who pit communities of color against each other.
We congratulate Rep. Jennifer Wexton on her reelection to represent Virginia’s Congressional District 10. She has been a key ally on issues important to the Asian American community in Virginia including citizenship for all, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights and protections, and public education. Despite Cao’s attempts to use education as a wedge issue, voters in Loudoun County showed the country that every child should feel safe at school, every child deserves an accurate and quality education, and there is no place for partisan politics in the classroom.
This year, the Asian Americans for Change Fund in Virginia talked to and turned out Asian American and immigrant voters in Congressional District 10. 23% of Virginians in District 10 are foreign born, of which 47% are from Asia. We created and shared multilingual informational materials so all eligible voters could exercise their right to make their voices heard in this democracy, regardless of language proficiency or immigration background. Preliminary data shows that turnout among likely AAPI Democrats in District 10 increased by 153% from 2018.
While some races are still too close to call and control of the federal chambers hang in the air, we hope that all elected officials will work together to move all our communities and our democracy forward while connecting with constituents in a meaningful way on issues important to them.
The Asian Americans for Change Fund in Virginia found the most compelling issues for Asian American and immigrant voters included protecting reproductive rights, establishing a quality and accurate public education, and improving the economy for working and middle class Americans. Support for citizenship for all also remains high, and we will continue to work with our communities and legislators in DC to move forward that common-sense legislation.
In 2023, we must articulate a strong vision for the future, and how electing the right people will realize that vision. A year ago, Republicans took control of both chambers in the state legislature and the Governor’s seat. In some cases, they were successful in rolling back the progress we’ve made in Virginia and enacted legislation that hurt workers, families who are not wealthy, immigrants, and communities of color.
Now we must turn our attention to the upcoming General Assembly, school board and county supervisor races in Virginia, where Asian Americans and immigrant communities will continue fighting for immigrant justice, protecting students, and an inclusive and accurate public school curriculum.
Asian Americans for Change Fund seeks to organize, empower, and mobilize Asian Americans – communities of West Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and East Asian descent – to engage in the democratic process. We envision a world where all people are able to pursue their highest dreams, live with their loved ones, and participate fully in their democracy. Learn more at aafcfund.org.