Friday, November 07, 2008

Amerasia and AAPI Nexus Journals Go Online

Good news for researchers in this release by UCLA:

Los Angeles-The UCLA Asian American Studies Center has launched an internet site for its two academic journals, Amerasia and AAPI Nexus. Starting November 2008, subscribers will be able to access Amerasia Journal and AAPI Nexus articles online.Both journals are recognized core publications in Asian American Studies.

Since its inception in 1971, Amerasia has been the leading interdisciplinary journal in the field. "Amerasia Journal," states Ethnic Studies Professor Yen Le Espiritu (University of California, San Diego), "continues to be an indispensable resource for scholars, students, and the broader community interested in issues affecting Asian Americans.""Amerasia articles contain information and perspectives difficult or impossible to locate elsewhere," adds Serials Review. "This journal is highly recommended for all academic collections and for large public libraries." The searchable, full-text database enables subscribing institutions and researchers access to over thirty-five years of Amerasia articles.

Amerasia's online database features over 900 articles on topics ranging from diaspora and empire, U.S.-Asia relations, and religion to legal/political/civil rights issues, sexuality and queer studies, and multiracial Asians. Library Journal has thus described Amerasia as "a scholarly journal which considers almost every aspect on the role of the Asian Americans" and "an absolute must for universities." In 2003, the Center launched AAPI Nexus Journal: Policy, Practice & Community, the most cutting-edge journal focusing on applied social science research for and on the diverse and growing Asian American and Pacific Islander community. AAPI Nexus draws from professional schools, applied social science scholars, and practitioners, with the explicit goal of reinvigorating Asian American Studies' traditional mission of serving communities and generating practical research."AAPI Nexus Journal is the nation's trusted voice for Asian American and Pacific Islander public policy debates, community-based research, and action-orientated advocacy," said Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development.The AAPI Nexus database includes articles covering civil rights, health, and art and cultural institutions from an Asian American perspective. In addition to research and resource articles, AAPI Nexus also features practitioner essays, where professionals and community leaders draw from their experiences to offer discussions and strategies regarding policy issues facing the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

The new online databases for Amerasia Journal and AAPI Nexus are valuable resources for libraries and research institutions. Access to the databases will be included as part of a new or renewed yearly subscription. The subscription prices are as follows:

o Amerasia Journal - $445 for institutions; $99.99 for individuals
o AAPI Nexus - $175 for institutions, $35 for individuals

For more information or to place subscription orders, please contact Ying Ming Tu, Distribution Manager, AASC Press, at (310) 825-2968 or or see:

Asian American Village Post-Election Debriefings

Added to the Village our "Post-Election 2008 Asian-Pacific American Round-up," a series of quick capsules debriefing the elections from throughout the Asian-Pacific American community. Who voted for whom? Who turned out and who didn't? Which Asian American candidates won and lost their races? What are the final words from the winners and losers among the candidates' outreach teams? Which Asian Americans will be in the presidential transition team?

The jury's still out on an awful lot of results in-community, but this is where the editors will be posting the capsules as they come in.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Editorials: Hapa Obama and Diversity; Florida's Shame

There is much to be celebrated on the momentous occasion of Barack Obama's election as the first non-white (or "half-white, half-black") Commander in Chief. As the editors were working on our elections debriefing yesterday and this morning, though, we found a mix of both good and bad in-comunity news that will be updated on the Village with snippets posted here on the Asian American Village blog.

The first blend of good and bad news from election night comes AALDEF - the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which coordinated its largest multipartner, multilingual poll monitoring and exit survey campaign to date. AALDEF's findings this year were that turnout by Asian American voters was up, with still-fuzzy but record numbers of us showing up at the polls, including many new citizens and first-timers. The bad news, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that "many encountered barriers at polling places, ranging from inadequate language assistance, improper requests for identification, and missing names on voter rolls". Taking the long-range view, AALDEF has announced that the toll-free, multilingual voter problem report hotline will be kept active to allow community members to continue reporting any election day obstacles or irregularities.

So, did we live up to our much-vaunted promise as an "awakening giant" able to powerfully and disproportionately affect the outcome? Exactly how many of us showed up and how did we vote? Well, no doubt media pollers and political strategists will be teasing that out for a long time to come. At least one early claim, from The Nation, found that in addition to our record turnout, Asian Americans continued our collective leftward trend to support Obama by 63%, joining a number of other demographic "majorities":

Obama's many majorities are, in some, the measures of a unity not seen in some
time. Obama won with overwhelming support from African Americans (96 percent), Jews (77 percent), gays and lesbians (71 percent), first-time voters (68
percent), Latinos (67 percent), Asians (63 percent), voters under 30 (66
percent), union members (59 percent) and women (55 percent). But, in key
battleground states, the Democrat was taking one in 10 votes cast by
Republicans, one in five cast by conservatives, one in three cast by evangelical

This "coalition of diverse majorities" is a line of exploration we also took in an IMDiversity editorial, Barack Obama, Diversity and the New Real America, providing our reflections on the relationship between unity and diversity in light of Obama's victory strategy.

But what is also clear is that with coalition-building around a central common goal come compromises. As Florida's Shame and the Limits of Change observes, Obama's coalition was enough to "turn Florida blue" on Tuesday, but his coattails appeared to be limited.

As far as Asian Americans are concerned, "'change' in Florida looks to have been a case of 'two steps forward, one step back,'" as the majority of voters in that actively opted for discrimination on a couple of ballot initatives. A mere 47.9% of the state's voters bothered to support the repeal of an outdated, unenforceable, "Yellow Peril-era" amendment to the state constitution, one of a series of Asian Land Laws created specifically to prohibit Asians from buying land or real estate. Let's say that again: A majority of voting Floridians actively decided to maintain the last last vestiges of the Asian land laws, enshrined in their constitution.

More election debriefing posts will follow as we work our way through the pile. Meanwhile, though, maybe rethink that planned vacation to Disneyworld this winter...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Follow-Up: AALDEF Asian Language Voter Help, Protection Today

In addition to the previous post from APIAVote, this last-minute re-announcement from AALDEF is worthy of noting, keeping with you, and sharing with limited-English friends and acquaintances. -- THE EDITORS

* * *
Multilingual Voter Hotline: 800-966-5946
* * *

New York City...The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), a 34-year old national civil rights organization, announced that it will dispatch over 1,300 attorneys, law students and community volunteers to 11 states to document voter problems in the November 4th elections. AALDEF will also conduct a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll in 12 languages to get a snapshot of Asian American voting preferences, in light of the surge in newly-registered voters and expected high turnout in this Presidential election.

Margaret Fung, AALDEF executive director, said: “We want to ensure that all eligible Asian Americans can participate in the electoral process and have their votes counted in this critical Presidential election.”

She said that AALDEF plans to poll 15,000 Asian American voters on Election Day in 11 states with large Asian American populations: New York, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Louisiana and Washington, D.C.

AALDEF will monitor over 130 poll sites for compliance with the Voting Rights Act and the Help America Vote Act. These polling places are in areas with large numbers of newly-registered Asian American voters; jurisdictions in which Asian-language assistance is provided; and sites where Asian Americans have reported voting barriers or intimidation in recent elections. Volunteer attorneys will check to see whether Asian-language voting assistance has been provided (such as ballots, interpreters, signs and voting materials), whether voter identification requirements are implemented in a non-discriminatory manner, and whether provisional ballots are offered to voters whose names are not in voter lists. Attorneys will also monitor settlements in recent lawsuits against New York, Boston, and Philadelphia for past violations of the Voting Rights Act.

Glenn D. Magpantay, AALDEF staff attorney, said, “In the 2006 midterm elections, Asian Americans had to overcome numerous obstacles to exercise their right to vote. AALDEF volunteers identified mistranslated ballots, interpreter shortages that led to Asian American voters being turned away, and poll workers who made hostile and racist remarks about Asian American voters. AALDEF will guard against the disenfranchisement of new citizens and limited English proficient voters.”

AALDEF will conduct a nonpartisan exit poll of Asian American voters in 12 languages: Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Tagalog, Khmer, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, and Gujarati. Voters will be asked their preferences in the Presidential and local races, top reasons for their choices, party affiliations, whether they are first-time voters, use of Asian-language voting assistance, and specific problems encountered at the polls. The AALDEF exit poll reveals vital information about Asian American voting patterns that is often overlooked in mainstream voter surveys. In the 2004 Presidential election, AALDEF polled 10,789 Asian American voters in 8 states--the largest poll of its kind in the nation. AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988, noting the steadily increasing numbers of new citizen and first-time voters.

Multilingual volunteers will be at poll sites to take complaints from voters about election irregularities and other barriers to voting. Voters can also report Election Day problems to AALDEF’s toll-free Election Day Hotline at 800-966-5946, or by e-mail at

AALDEF has launched a new web campaign with tools to encourage voter participation and to recruit volunteers across the country to serve as nonpartisan voting rights monitors in AALDEF's Asian American Election Protection Project. They include a new Asian American Election Protection homepage,; videos on YouTube,, and a new Facebook group: AALDEF's new election blog,, will also be updated with reports of voter problems and the preliminary results of AALDEF's multilingual exit poll.

AALDEF voting rights coordinator Bryan Lee said: "AALDEF will be expanding all of these new web services with more information about our Asian American Election Protection project on Election Day and beyond."

AALDEF is partnering with 57 national and local groups to mobilize volunteer attorneys, law students, college students and community activists on Election Day:

National Co-Sponsors:
Asian Pacific Islander American Vote
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Korean Amer. Service and Educ. Consortium
North American South Asian Bar Association
Organization of Chinese Americans
South Asian Americans Leading Together

Legal Co-Sponsors:
AU Wash. College of Law, Human Rights Clinic - DC
Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago - IL
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian American Lawyers Association of MA
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Greater DC
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of PA
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Assoc. of NJ
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center – DC
Greater Boston Legal Services: Asian Outreach Unit
Indian American Bar Association of IL
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater NY
South Asian Bar Association of DC
South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey
South Asian Bar Association of New York
South Asian Bar Association of Michigan
U. Penn. School of Law, Public Interest Office
Temple U. School of Law, Public Interest Office - PA

Local Co-Sponsors:
Asian American LEAD - DC
Asian American Society of Central Virginia
Asian Community Development Corporation of Boston-MA
Asian Pacific American Agenda Coalition – MA
Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia - PA
Conference for Asian Pacific American Leadership – DC
Chinatown Voter Education Alliance – NY
Chinese American Voters Association – NY
Chinese Progressive Association – MA
Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia
Committee of 70 - PA
Filipino American Human Services Inc. – NY
Hunter College/CUNY, Asian American Studies Program
Korean American Coalition – DC
Korean American Voters’ Council of NY/NJ
Korean American Resource & Cultural Center - IL
Korean Community Service Center of Greater DC
Maryland Vietnamese American Mutual Association – MD
Mass VOTE - MA
National Association of Korean Americans - DC
One Lowell - MA
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation - PA
Sikh Coalition – NY
South Asian Youth Action! – NY
U. Maryland Asian American Studies Program
Vietnamese-American Initiative for Development - MD
Vietnamese American Mutual Association - MD
Vietnamese American Young Leaders Assoc. of New Orleans - LA
YKASEC:Empowering Korean American Communities–NY
# # #

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), founded in 1974, is a national organization that
protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education and
organizing. AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.

Last Word from APIAVote to Help Voting Today

The editors have been working on posting the Election Night Results and Protection section, whittling down the crazy array of info out there to compile live coverage streams, a shortlist of places to locate coverage, as well as a detailed section of resources (some ethnic- or language-specific) for identifying, reporting, and getting assistance confronting any voter intimidation, obstruction or other problems today.

Meanwhile, we are posting this succinct, helpful eleventh-hour reminder sheet from the noble folks at the non-patrisan, non-profit


As we count down the final hours of this historic election, our board members and staff of APIAVote are urging you to vote if you have not already voted. The action doesn't stop there, the following are three things you can do to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders tomorrow:

1.Bring your friends/family/colleagues with you to the polls.
2.Go through your phone book and call/text your family and friends to go to the polls.
3.Forward this email as a reminder to your family and friends.

Before you vote, keep in mind the following:

1.Double check your polling place before you vote:
2.You are allowed to call or bring a friend with you into the polling booth.
3.You may vote by provisional ballot if your name is not found on the voter records.
4.You may ask for assistance from a poll worker if you have any questions or problems.
5.If you have any problems voting, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

APIAVote's partners are in 14 states working hard for last-minute pushes to get the AAPI vote out as well as protect the voters through election monitoring and exit polling. Over the past several months, APIAVote partners have sent out educational mailers to 100,000 AAPI voters, have knocked on 10,000 AAPI household doors and counting, have had 85,000 live conversations, and robo-called 70,000 AAPI households.

APIAVote partners in conjunction with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) are at AAPI-heavy polling sites to make sure AAPIs are given a fair chance to vote. In addition, APIAVote and its partners are working with AALDEF conducting exit polls.

The election of our lifetime is happening TODAY, and we are asking you one more time to extend yourselves by urging your friends, neighbors, and colleague to invest in the future of our country by casting your ballots. Our children's futures stand on the outcome of today's election, and you can take part in determining this outcome.

Our coalition partners and organizers have energized our communities to get out the vote, and the thousands of voters we have contacted daily is a testament of our community's electoral growth. We are very excited about the results of hundreds of volunteers who were able to register voters, educate voters, and today will push hard to get our AAPI voters to the polls. Your active participation by voting TODAY will keep our AAPI community and especially our leaders accountable to the democratic process, which is both a right and a privilege that must be nurtured and protected.

Together, our vision, our voice, and our votes will make the difference. Remember, "no vote, no grumble."

-Vida Benavides, Executive Director on behalf of the APIAVote family

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Features focus on Vietnamese Support for McCain

This morning's Weekend Edition Sunday program on National Public Radio aired a segment exploring how the national trend of Asian Americans leaning heavily for Barack Obama is being bucked by large portions of the Vietnamese American community. While most national Asian American organziations and the largest proportions of polled APAs from diverse ethnic groups and regions are continuing their leftward trend in 2008, Vietnamese Americans have collectively remained Senator McCain's most stalwart supporters among Asian Americans.

Reporting from Little Saigon in Orange County, Ca., NPR interviews supporters explaining a strong connection they feel for the candidate, in lagre measure out of respect for his serving years in a North Vietnamese prison camp. Online audio for this story will be available at approx. 12:00 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, as more detailed coverage by the Associated Press' Amy Taxin observes, the "special tie" many Vietnamese Americans feel for McCain has carried over from his time in Southeast Asia to his service in Congress. McCain's subsequent "efforts in Congress on behalf of Vietnamese refugees is being repaid" Taxin writes, in her report from a campaign office in a strip mall in Westminster, which she describes as "ground zero for efforts by Vietnamese-Americans to elect the Republican presidential candidate and, at the same time, increase their political influence."

On the Vietland website, a commentary attributed to Shandon Phan suggests that this sense of connection is not lost even on younger Vietnamese Americans, who may be at a generational remove from the war.
"As young Vietnamese Americans, some of us grew up listening to our parents
tell us bedtime stories of the war...Some may call it a burden, but we take
pride in treasuring that part of our history," Phan writes.

This recognition of the community's history carries a feeling of obligation and gratitude for many voters.
"As Vietnamese Americans who believe that Senator John McCain is uniquely
qualified to lead our nation, we have been handed an unprecedented opportunity
to express our gratitude for his sacrifices. Recognizing this opportunity also
demands us to act," Phan says.

A number of commentators are also watching the Vietnamese American vote closely this Tuesday, seeing it as significant not only for McCain in particular, but also as an indicator of the community's clout. In recent years, much has been written and forecast about the rapidly swelling political influence of Asian American voters overall, and of the growing California Vietnamese community in particular.

However, California's VietAms faced some bracing setbacks in the 2006 elections. As Andrew Lam of New America Media observed, the midterms left Vietnamese Americans "mulling a poor showing byVietnamese American candidates" and "asking why only three out of 18 Vietnamese candidates from California [all incumbents] won their races for city, state and national offices...What happened to the growing political clout of the state's Vietnamese community?"

The community suffered the further blow of scandal, as a scare-letter campaign targeting Latinos dogged O.C. congressional candidate Tan Nguyen well after losing his election effort, and gave rise to a stigma that seemed to unfairly mark the wider community and its candidates. Even though the state AG cleared Nguyen of intending to intimidate voters, the feds charged him with attempting to impede the investigation itself. Nguyen was indicted by a federal grand jury on an obstruction-of-justice charge just last month, and on Oct. 14 entered a not-guilty plea in advance of his December trial, according to the Orange Country Register.

All of these setbacks may be only so many "growing pains," however, as Andrew Lam wrote in his midterms follow-up, "Big Politics in Little Saigon". In the event of a McCain victory on Tuesday, the profile of Vietnamese Americans as a voting bloc could be raised considerably. This would likely position the community to have an important role within the Republican Party, which has otherwise seen a continuing mass-abandonment by other Asian American ethnic groups over several cycles now. As such, it could play also be positioned to play a large role in representing the wider Asian American community itself.