Charmaine Manansala: AAPI Vote Director for the Obama Campaign

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

To be honest, while I think it's great that Obama's sister is helping reach out to Asian Americans, I'm more inclined to find the appointing of Charmaine Manansala from APA for Progress, as the AAPI Vote Director for the Obama Campaign to hold a little bit more weight (because let's face it, you really tune out your siblings anyway).

I'm just reposting her letter in full from the APA for Progress site from a few days ago (hopefully they won't be like the AP and charge me for more than 4 words of the quote):

Leaders, Friends, and Family-Hafa Adai.

I wanted to let you know that I have been brought on board to serve as AAPI Vote Director for the Obama Campaign. The national AAPI voter outreach program is a priority for Obama for America.

I look forward to working with you in the upcoming months as we engage the Asian American and Pacific Islander community nation-wide, as well as in key battleground states. As you all know, Democrats turned out in record numbers during the primaries and caucuses to show their support for all the amazing candidates. We hope to carry that excitement forward into the fall, united for the purpose of turning the White House (along with as many states, Congressional Districts, and state legislatures as possible) BLUE, and, of course, electing Senator Obama as the next President of the United States!

The Obama campaign acknowledges the extraordinary contributions of the nearly 13 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have helped build a strong and vibrant America. As you know, the AAPI community has been no stranger to Senator Barack Obama. It is a community that he became a part of while growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia and living in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. We realize that despite the growh of our community, there are challenges we still face. For increasing numbers of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the American dream is in danger of slipping away. As President, Senator Obama will work with the AAPI community to ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable and portable health insurance that will also reduce the linguistic and cultural barriers that limit access to our medical system. We will make sure the global economy works for AAPIs by fixing our public education system, making college affordable through an annual $4,000 tax credit, and equipping our workers with the skills and training they need to compete. We will invest in renewable energy, which will ease our rising fuel costs while also saving our planet. We will do more to support small businesses, including strengthening programs that provide capital to minority-owned businesses. We will develop comprehensive immigration reforms that strengthen our security while affirming our heritage as a nation of immigrants. We will restore our Constitution and the rule of law, including our commitment to human rights abroad and civil liberties at home. We will forge a more effective regional framework for collective security in Asia and the Pacific to promote political and economic stability, confront transnational threats like terrorism and influenza, and collectively address environmental concerns. Finally, we will restore the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to work towards its original goal of meeting the underserved needs of AAPIs.

But, we must all work together to create this change.

I am grateful for your support of the AAPI community and the Democratic Party. I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the incredible efforts of the Obama Campaign’s Asian American and Pacific Islander National Leadership Council, Asian Americans for Obama, South Asians for Obama, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and other similar groups and community organizations who have done an amazing job in engaging thousands of AAPIs across the country in the election process. We are counting on that support to move us forward into the general election.

I would like to welcome the throngs of AAPIs who supported Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John Edwards, and the other champions of the Democratic Party. I am looking to you for your leadership and input in this campaign. Our goals for our families and the AAPI community are the same. With your help, input, and engagement, we can get there.

I’d like to extend a personal thank you to Congressman Mike Honda for leading our community within the party and the campaign. I am pleased to announce that Betsy Kim will serve as my Deputy Director. As you may know, there are also many talented AAPIs already in the campaign including Van, Madhuri, Eugene, Miti, Anna, Mario, Hari, Rohan and many, many others who will continue to work on AAPI outreach.

We are excited for this opportunity to serve on an historic campaign.

Again, a big thank you to all for your leadership and involvement. I will be in Chicago starting July 7th.


Maraming salamat po,

E. Charmaine Manansala
There's also an article at ABS-CBN News Online on Manansala's appointment.