- And in Philadelphia, Rep. Pramila Jayapal joined celebrity chef Padma Lakshmi to rally the South Asian American community.
Two days before the midterms, Vice President Kamala Harris joined several lawmakers at a ‘Get Out The Vote’ event honoring and engaging the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) voters. The Nov. 6 event was co-hosted by AAPI Victory Fund and Chicago’s famous improvisational comedy club, The Second City.
The event aimed to galvanize the AANHPI electorate into action at the polls. These voters, who were the margin of victory in several key battleground states in 2020, once again have the power to determine elections up and down the ticket, according to the AAPI Victory Fund.
“With issues like reproductive rights, the spreading of mis and disinformation, and the future of democracy at stake, it is crucial for the 13.3 million newly eligible AANHPI voters in 2022 to use their collective power to vote for not only the representation their communities deserve but for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot,” the Political Action Committee added.
Joining Vice President Harris were Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, as well as AANHPI leaders, elected officials, artists, and community leaders. “The Asian American voter turnout in the 2020 election is a very big part of why I’m the Vice President of The United States,” Harris told the gathering. “Inclusion and representation matter and members of the Administration should reflect the communities that are impacted, being impacted, and are believers of this country.”
AAPI Victory Fund Founder and Chairman Shekar Narasimhan reiterated the “power of the AANHPI vote and the power of representation at every level of government.”
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), celebrity chef and host Padma Lakshmi and vice president’s niece Meena Harris joined Gisele Fetterman at a ‘South Asian Women Get Out the Vote’ event to inspire and engage the South Asian community. “We knocked 2,000+ doors yesterday in Pa’s South Asian communities and reached hundreds of thousands through WhatsApp & the audience of volunteers like Padma Lakshmi, Pramila Jayapal and Meena Harris,” tweeted Neil Makhija, executive director of Indian American Impact, the host of the event.
Makhija told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the South Asian American community “can make the margin in Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, Texas — all of these states.” Noting that until recently there hasn’t been any South Asian-focused voter turnout efforts, he said the nonprofit he leads is “finally building that.”