Created by RUN AAPI, #theNew seeks to drive young AAPI voters to the polls in 2020.
By Audra Heinrichs.
This year, the National AAPI Power Fund and the National Education Association commissioned the first ever political opinion poll that focused exclusively on young Asian Americans between the ages of 18-34.
The poll results indicate that while 77% of participants believe that young voters will matter in 2020, a staggering 1 in 3 young AAPI unregistered voters did not plan to register to vote. The most significant barrier? Motivation.
It also reported that nearly half of the registered voters were still uncertain of whether or not they’d actually cast their vote next month. Reasons vary, but according to the poll, 83% said the most important issue facing voter turnout is the COVID-19 epidemic, with 1 in 3 voters reporting being accused of spreading the coronavirus.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing demographic in the United States, yet history shows that they’re among the least politically active. Enter RUN AAPI, a 501(c)4 focused on building political power among young AAPI and led by Obama White House alum Brad Jenkins; CEO of Phenomenal, Meena Harris; and Marvel’s first Asian American superhero, Chloe Bennet.
The organization, who was behind the recent poll, has teamed up with political strategists and some of the brightest Hollywood stars to launch #theNew, a campaign designed to empower and mobilize young Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.
On September 25, the influencer-driven campaign released a #theNew video celebrating Senator Kamala Harris, Mindy Kaling, Naomi Osaka, Awkwafina, Andrew Yang, Lana Condor, Alexander Wang, Ted Lieu, Chanel Miller, Hasan Minhaj, Kal Penn, Ali Wong, Eugene Yang, Randall Park, Jose Antonio Vargas, Chloe Kim, Jason Momoa, Kumail Nanjiani, Dwayne Johnson, Maya Erskine, and many more.
Considering the fact that young AAPI voters strongly support The Green New Deal, Black Lives Matter, and Medicare For All, one thing is certain: If the U.S. has any real intention of embracing progressive policies, we all must do better to make certain young AAPI non-voters see the value in their vote.