An Open Statement from 150+ Asian American and Pacific Islander Leaders Endorsing Elizabeth Warren
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, are a group of over 150 Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders who have come together to endorse Senator Elizabeth Warren to be our next President.
We are a diverse group of professionals, creators, innovators, community organizers, advocates, academics, and activists. As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, our long roots stretch back to dozens of nations around the world, yet our homes are in states across America — its coasts and its heartland, the north and south and island west.
We love this country and believe in its promise. But we see its flaws and vulnerabilities, the deep-seated ills of inequality, racism, and xenophobia that have existed in this land since before our nation itself, which have been laid bare in this present moment as starkly as any in our history. We also see the major crises this country faces both abroad and at home, from climate change and rising authoritarianism, to political polarization, unchecked gun violence, economic disparities and corruption, and endemic poverty.
This is why we passionately support Senator Elizabeth Warren for President: because she recognizes the gravity of the threats we face today to our democracy and security — and the major structural changes that are required to confront these issues. And we hope that you will join us in supporting her campaign.
Our decision to write and sign this letter has been inspired by the example of the 100 Black Womxn for Elizabeth Warren. We stand in firm solidarity with their early and bold public statement endorsing the Senator, which we urge you to go read in full, and agree unreservedly with their assessment and assertion that Senator Warren’s experience, policies, and character — and her support of broad inclusion, her profound empathy and her openness to input and change — are unique among the 2020 candidates.
We have seen in this election cycle the most qualified and exciting group of potential Democratic nominees in our modern era, including history-making AAPI candidates.
But we make this endorsement recognizing that in an era in which the darkest aspects of our nation have thrust themselves out of the shadows and embedded themselves in the White House, it is essential to have an experienced, steady, and unifying hand on the post-Trump rudder; one with a pragmatic and thorough set of blueprints for the kind of bold, transformative solutions that will be needed to repair that which has been broken by the Trump regime — and beyond that, to address the massive, pressing issues that have gone ignored by prior generations.
We believe that Senator Warren is the candidate who has outlined the most detailed and comprehensive path forward for our nation and shown the most effective and compelling plans to make that path a reality.
Many of the issues on which she’s strongest are ones with critical importance for and direct impact on our community: education, support for families, investment in entrepreneurship, immigration.
But plans aren’t all that make her our preferred candidate. Senator Warren’s policy stances have been shaped by her own human experience.
She has been a teacher and educator for much of her life, and knows the rigors and value of that role; in particular, her early job working with special needs children have led her to propose a dramatic blueprint for improving the lives and rights of people with disabilities.
She has been a mother — a single working mother, in fact — and is deeply aware of the financial and social struggles that blue-collar and middle-class families face firsthand.
She has seen how a sudden medical crisis can shatter a household’s plans and dreams, from her childhood memories of how her uninsured family was sent reeling by her father’s heart attack. Warren conducted ground-breaking research on medical bankruptcy that directly informs her support of Medicare for All and she has a track record of delivering on her ideas. She envisioned and built the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau — a whole new federal entity — to ensure that average Americans aren’t taken advantage of by large corporations.
And where immigration is concerned, she has a comprehensive plan that includes reinstating and expanding DACA, lowering barriers to naturalization, and not just reversing Trump’s refugee cuts, but committing to increase refugee admissions. She has a personal stake in the issue, as her own immediate family has grown and expanded due to immigration — Sushil Tyagi, husband to Warren’s daughter and father of Warren’s three grandchildren, came to the U.S. from India after college.
It’s impossible for any candidate to individually encompass all the facets of our diverse and vibrant society. Every person’s experience is different, and we shouldn’t assume that our leaders will instantly understand or connect with our own lives just because they’ve had similar stories. But we do know that personnel is policy. And Senator Warren’s campaign has over 100 AAPI staff in key positions, from field organizers to its strategic leadership, including longtime advisor Ganesh Sitaraman and campaign manager Roger Lau — marking the first cycle in which a major presidential campaign has hired an Asian American campaign manager. We are particularly encouraged that this inclusion of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is part of a much broader commitment to diversity: According to the campaign, about 40% of their full-time employees are people of color, and over 60% are female, non-binary, or gender non-conforming.
There is also, of course, the reality that Senator Warren herself represents a unique and transformative candidate for the office of the presidency. When elected, she will be the first woman to occupy our highest office in the entire history of the United States. This matters. It’s long overdue.
But what matters even more is that in the Senator herself, we see someone with a genuine sense of humility and sincerity, a willingness to engage directly with constituents one on one, a desire to directly connect, emotionally and practically, and find solutions that work across boundaries and expectations.
Openness, connection, a sense of purpose combined with humility — these are what America desperately needs today. This is what we, as Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders in our own communities, aspire to bring into being. And we believe that Elizabeth Warren is the leader who can help make it a reality at the grassroots and at the highest level.
We the undersigned stand with Senator Warren in this fight, and ask that if you agree, you share this statement — and stand with us.
LIST OF ENDORSERS
(as of 1/24/20; institutional affiliations for identification only)
Andrew Ahn (CA), Sundance Award-winning Filmmaker, @andrewahnfilms
Geri Sanchez Aglipay (IL), Small Business, Financial Capacity and Economic Development Advocate, @randomintention
Tanzila Ahmed (CA), Founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY). Artist and Storyteller #GoodMuslimBadMuslim #MuslimVDayCards, @tazzystar
Sasha Neha Ahuja (NY), Community Organizer and Hillary for America Alum, @ahujie
Sefa Aina (CA), Board Chair, Founding Member of EPIC (Empowering Pacific Islander Communities); Former Vice-Chair, Obama’s Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Liz Hsiao Lan Alper (CA), TV writer (Chicago Fire, The Rookie); WGAW board of directors; equity and inclusion advocate, @lizalps
Subini Annamma (CA), Associate Professor of Education, Author of The Pedagogy of Pathologization: Dis/abled Girls of Color in the School-Prison Nexus, @DrSubini
Gina Apostol (NY), Novelist, Author, Insurrecto
Frank Aum (DC), Former Senior Advisor on North Korea at Pentagon under Obama Administration, @frankaum
K.J. Bagchi (DC), Co-Founder/Immediate Past Board Chair, Desis for Progress, @kjbagchi
Brad Baldia (PA), President, Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of PA & Southern NJ; Past Commissioner, PA Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs.
Vidhi Bamzai (MS), Civil Rights Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center, @vidbam
Ginny Barahona (NJ), International Development & Philanthropy, Former Obama Appointee, @gjb20005
Amanda Baran (VA), Attorney and Writer; Former Senior DHS Immigration Official and Senior Advisor to WHIAAPI Under Obama, @abaran76
Marie Bigham (LA), Co-Founder and Executive Director, ACCEPT: Admissions Community Cultivating Equity & Peace Today, @ACCEPTGroup
Iram Parveen Bilal (CA), Filmmaker, Artivist; Former Chair, Asian American Committee, Writers Guild of America; Founder, Qalambaaz, #PakistaniCinema, #womendirectors, @irampbilal
Gregory A. Cendana (DC), Dancer, Strategist and Entrepreneur, @gregorycendana
Dr. Stephen Chao (TX), Family Physician; Community Advocate; Former President of Chinese American Doctors Association of Houston
Rabia Chaudry (DC), Attorney and Advocate; New York Times bestselling author; executive producer, The Case Against Adnan Syed, @rabiasquared
Karen Chee (NY), Comedian and TV Writer, @karencheee
Preeti Chhibber (CA), Author and Podcaster, @runwithskizzers
Andrew Chin (NC), Paul B. Eaton Distinguished Professor of Law, Adjunct Professor of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina
Cindy Chin (CA), Educator, Teach for America Alumnus; Former Board Member, East Palo Alto Kids Foundation, @teacherchin
Curtis Chin (CA), Writer and Documentary Filmmaker, Tested and Vincent Who?, @curtischin
Li-Chen Chin (NC), Assistant Vice President for Intercultural Programs and Instructor, Program in Education, Duke University, @lichen_chin
Dennis Chin (NY), Racial Justice Educator, Communicator and Queer Activist, @denniscchin
Chang Chiu (TX), Co-Founder, Chinese American Progressive Action, @changchiu
Dr. Esther Choo (OR), Emergency Medicine Physician; Writer; Health Services Researcher; Healthcare Equity Advocate, @choo_ek
Tracy Chou (CA), Software Engineer; Entrepreneur; Diversity advocate; Founder and CEO of Block Party; Co-Founder of Project Include, #MovingForward, and Arena, @triketora
Olivia Chow (CA), Activist and Organizer, @livlylife
Keith Chow (MD), Writer, Editor, Podcaster, and Creator of The Nerds of Color, @the_real_chow
Arthur Chu (OH), Writer, Cultural Commentator; Jeopardy Champion, @arthur_affect
Navneet Chugh (CA), Attorney; Founder, South Asian Bar Association, @navneet_chugh
Nicole Chung (MD), Author, All You Can Ever Know; Co-Editor of the Forthcoming Anthology A Map Is Only One Story; Editor in Chief, Catapult Magazine; Former Managing Editor, The Toast, @nicolesjchung
Deborah S. Craig (NY), Broadway and TV Actor, @deborahscraig
Selma D’Souza (IL), Community Activist; Attorney, @selmaGB
Vinh Dang (PA) , Co-Founder, Dang-inh Productions, @VinhDanglicious
Anil Dash (NY), CEO, Glitch; Advocate for Ethics and Inclusion in Tech; Pioneering Blogger and Host of the Podcast “Function”, @anildash
Gem P. Daus (VA), Philippine American Studies at University of Maryland, Author, Researcher, @straygems
Shilpa Dave (VA), Faculty of Media Studies, University of Virginia; Author, Indian Accents: Brown Voice and Racial Performance in Television and Film.
E.J.R. David (AK/WA), Professor of Psychology, University of Alaska-Anchorage. Author of Brown Skin, White Minds: Filipino/American Postcolonial Psychology; We have not stopped trembling yet: Letters to my Filipino-Athabascan Family, @EJRDavid
Lawrence-Minh Bui Davis (MD), Curator, Editor, Writer, Scholar; The Asian American Literary Review
Ramona Diaz (MD), Documentary Filmmaker, Motherland; Imelda, @cinediaz
Rushabh Doshi (NY), Seasoned entrepreneur, Startup coach and former DNC staff, Rush Doshi
A.C. Dumlao (NY), Transgender Advocate, Activist, and Writer, @mxacdumlao
Tuyet Duong (MD), Former Obama Appointee, Founding Committee of Vietnamese Americans for Hillary, and PIVOT, @tuyet_duong
Aditi Dussault (DC), Obama Administration Appointee, @aditidussault
Ayesha Ghazi Edwin (MI), Executive Director of American Citizens for Justice/Asian American Center for Justice. Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commissioner and lecturer at University of Michigan School of Social Work. Asian American civil rights advocate.
David L. Eng (PA), Richard L. Fisher Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania
Caroline Fan (MO), Community Organizer; Startup Strategist; Former Endorsements Chair, Asian American Action Fund, @carolinefan
Jenn Fang (CA), Founder and Editor, Reappropriate (reappropriate.com), @reappropriate
Kip Fulbeck (CA), Distinguished Professor of Art, University of California, Santa Barbara, @kipx
Shruti Ganguly (NY), Filmmaker; Appointee, Obama Administration’s ECCO committee of influential media and entertainment executives, @shrutirya
Gayatri Gopinath (NY), Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis; Director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, New York University
Abby Govindan (TX), Comedian and Writer, @abbygov
Sonia Gupta (LA), Attorney; Technologist; Anti-Racism Advocate, @soniagupta504
Jenny Han (NY), New York Times bestselling author, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You, @jennyhan
Pakou Her (MO), Principal, Tseng Development Group, @pakouher
Jennifer Ho (CO), Professor; Director, Center for Humanities &the Arts, University of Colorado Boulder, @DrJenHo
Caroline Kyungah Hong (NY), Associate Professor of English, Queens College, City University of New York, @chonkeyhong
Tonga Hopai (HI), First Tongan to Serve as White House Intern, @just_tonga
Tiffany Hsieh (DC), Political and Community Activist, @thatshaycrayy
Yvonne Hsu (DC), Former Obama Appointee
Madeline Hsu (TX), Professor of History and Asian American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
Vicki Hsueh (WA), Professor of Political Science; Director of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Betsy Huang (MA), Associate Provost; Dean of the College; Klein Distinguished Professor, Clark University, @ProfBetsyHuang
Elena Hung (MD), Disabled Rights Advocate and Mom of Disabled Kid with Complex Medical Needs; Immigrant; Lawyer; Ally, @ElenaHung202
Hyepin Im (CA), President and CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment, @hyepin
Zareen Jaffery (NY), Founder, Salaam Reads, @ZareenJaffery
Gish Jen (MA), Author of The Resisters and other books, @GishJen
Rev. Sandhya Jha (CA), Author of Pre-Post-Racial America and Transforming Communities; Founder and Director, Oakland Peace Center, @pastorsandhya
Anu Joshi (NY), Immigrant Rights Activist, @anu22
Anil Kalhan (PA), Professor of Law, Drexel University; Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California, Berkeley, @kalhan
Michael Kang (CA), Sundance Award-Winning Filmmaker, @kangisman
Kathy Khang (IL), Author, Raise Your Voice and More Than Serving Tea; Progressive Faith Advocate, @mskathykhang
Jeffrey S. Kim (CA), Former Commissioner, California Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Affairs
Jian Zapata Kim (VA), Former Obama Appointee; Past Vice Chair, Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia; Co-Founder, KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress (previously Filipinos for Obama)
Ramey Ko (TX), First Asian American Judge in Austin, TX; Former Obama Appointee, @rameyko
Madhavi Krevat (NC), Organizer, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Sarah Kuhn (CA), Author, Heroine Complex; I Love You So Mochi, comic book writer Shadow of the Batgirl, @sarahkuhn
Manjusha Kulkarni (CA), Executive Director, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, @KulkarniManju
Preeti Kulkarni (CA), Commissioner, Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission
Dave Kumar (DC), Community Organizer, Co-founder and National Co-chair, South Asians for Obama
R.O. Kwon (CA), New York Times bestselling author, The Incendiaries, @rokwon
Thanhha Lai (NY), Author; Winner of National Book Award, Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, Newbery Honor, @thanhhalai
Heather Laverty (DC), Labor Activist, @HeatherLaverty
C.N. Le (MA), Director, Asian and Asian American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst, @cnle
Dayne Lee (CA), Nonprofit Attorney, Board Member (Empowering Pacific Islander Communities)
Jennifer Lee (NY), Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, @JLeeSoc
Philip Lee (CA), Publisher and Co-Founder, READERS TO EATERS, @PhilipLeeR2E
Stephen Lee (CA), Professor, University of California, Irvine School of Law, @profstephenlee
Tina Lee (CA), Founder, MotherCoders, @mstinalee
Nancy Leong (CO), Professor of Law, University of Denver; author, Identity Capitalists, @nancyleong
Amazin LeThi (GA), Athlete, Author, LGBTQ Activist, Athlete Ally ambassador, @amazinlethi
Ricky Leung (NC), Community Organizer; Boardmember, Durham People’s Alliance, @rwkster
R. Zamora Linmark (HI), Author, Rolling the R’s and The Importance of Being Wilde At Heart
Cezar A. B. Lopez (NY), Former Obama Appointee, @cezarssmd
Lori Lopez (WI), Associate Professor of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin – Madison, @kidolopez
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (CA), New York Times bestselling author, The Food Lab; NYT columnist; Chief Culinary Consultant for Serious Eats, chef at Wursthall, a modern California beer hall, @kenjilopezalt
John Ly (CA), Lawyer, Liang Ly LLP, @johnk_ly
Victor Manalo (CA), Dean, Claremont Core, Claremont Lincoln University, @victormanalophd
Grace Chan McKibben (IL), Activist and Organizer, @GraceChanMcK
Courtney Milan (CO), New York Times Bestselling Author; Former SCOTUS Clerk Turned #metoo Agitator; Inclusion Advocate, #1 Yuzuru Hanyu Fan, @courtneymilan
Kristin Mink (MD), Teacher; Activist; Organizer, @KristinMinkDC
Mike Mochizuki (DC), Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University DC
Erika Moritsugu (DC), Former Obama Appointee, @ErikaMoritsugu
Aparna Mukherjee (CA), Writer; Systems Thinker; Ex-FUSE Corps Fellow; Executive Advisor, City of Los Angeles, @aparnamuk
Enormvs Munoz (NY), Actor/Dancer
Joohee Muromcew (WY), Writer and Editor; Content Strategist, @TheRealJoohee
Taiyo Na (NY), Musician; Writer; Educator, @taiyona
Kevin Nadal (NY), Professor of Psychology, John Jay College; Author of Filipino American Psychology, @kevinnadal
Raj Nadella (GA), Samuel A. Cartledge Associate Professor of New Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary, @rajnadella
Meera Nair (NY), Author, Video:Stories, Activist, @meeranairny
Celeste Ng (MA), New York Times Bestselling Author, Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere, @pronounced_ing
Steve Ngo (CA), Lawyer; Founder, Pham Fund; and former Trustee, City College of San Francisco, @SteveNgoSF
Anthony Ocampo (CA), Associate Professor of Sociology at Cal Poly Pomona, and author of The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race, @anthonyocampo
Ellen Oh (MD), Middle Grade and Young Adult Author; Co-Founder of WeNeedDiverseBooks, @ElloEllenOh
Elizabeth R. OuYang (NY), Community Activist, Civil Rights Lawyer; Educator; Special Assistant to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Under President Clinton
Jennifer S. Pae (CA), Strategist, Organizer & Advocate, Trainer & Facilitator, and Former Obama DNC Delegate, @Jennpae
Ellen K. Pao (CA), CEO and Co-Founder, Project Include; Advocate for Inclusion and Ethics in Tech; Former CEO, Reddit; Award-Winning Author, Reset, @ekp
Annabel Park (VA), Filmmaker, 9500 Liberty, @annabelpark
Jacqueline Parker (NJ), US Military Academy Graduate, US Army Veteran, LGBTQIA Christian Activist, @jsparker4
Anh Phan (VA), Community Organizer
OiYan Poon (CO), Associate Professor of Higher Education Leadership, Colorado State University, @spamfriedrice
Luvh Rahke(CA), TV writer, Board of Directors Writers Guild of America
Nisha Ramachandran (DC), Community Advocate; Co-Founder, Desis for Progress, @nisharama17
PJ Raval (TX), Filmmaker, Call Her Ganda; Before You Know It, @pjraval
Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow (CA), Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA); Author, Don’t Be an Asshat and In Defense of Kindness, @breyeschow
Kiki Rivera (HI), Playwright; Independent Theater Artist, @KIKerZ
David S. Roh (UT), Associate Professor of English, University of Utah, @drdr78
Dan Santat (CA), New York Times Bestselling Children’s Author; Graphic Novelist and Animator, @dsantat
Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons (OR), Unitarian Universalist Minister, @revsantoslyons
Rabeya Sen (CA), Policy Advocate on Housing, Equitable Development, Environmental Justice & Immigrant Rights, @RabeyaSen1
Angana Shah (MI), Economic Inclusion and Development Specialist; Attorney, @AnganaRShah
Esther Shin (WI), Neighborhood Revitalization and Equity Leader
Laura Shin (DC), Founder of Korean American for Obama and Korean Americans for Hillary. Past President, Korean American Democratic Committee of Los Angeles, @lshin818
Valerie Soe (CA), Filmmaker, Love Boat: Taiwan, Professor of Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University, @vsoe
Vega Subramaniam (MD) , South Asian/LGBTQ activist, @vegavahini
Soh Suzuki (MI), Board, Japanese American Citizens Alliance, Detroit Chapter; Board, James and Grace Lee Boggs School
Melvin Tabilas (GU), Community Organizer
Renee Tajima-Pena (CA), Documentary Filmmaker, Who Killed Vincent Chin?; No Mas Bebes, @rtajima
Edward Tang (AL), Professor and Chair, American Studies, University of Alabama
Theresa Thanjan (NY), National Co-Chair, South Asians for Obama; Documentary Filmmaker, Whose Children Are These?, @TNYC2
Bouapha Toommaly (CA), Former Kerry-Edwards Staff; Activist; Daily Kos, Director of Finance, @bouapha1
Viet Tran (DC), Deputy Press Secretary, Human Rights Campaign; Former Obama White House AAPI Initiative, @viethoaitran
Monique Truong (NY), Bestselling Novelist (The Book of Salt; Bitter in the Mouth; The Sweetest Fruit); Librettist; Attorney; Vice President, Authors Guild, @monique_truong
Vincent Paolo Villano (NY), Hillary for America Alum, @vincentpaolo_
Nisha N. Vyas (CA), Civil rights and Housing Attorney, @nvyas
Alton Wang (CA), Community Activist, @altonwang
Esmé Weijun Wang (CA), New York Times-bestselling Author, The Collected Schizophrenias; The Border of Paradise; Speaker; Teacher, @esmewang
Constance Wu (CA), Actor, Hustlers; Crazy Rich Asians; Fresh Off the Boat, @constancewu
Susan Wu (CA), Investor and Startup Advisor, @SW
Jeff Yang (CA), Author; Editorial Commentator; Podcast Host, “They Call Us Bruce”, @originalspin
Jenny Yang (CA), Comedian and Writer, @jennyyangtv
Alvina Yeh (DC), Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, @yehforvina
Miriam Yeung (NY), Consultant; Former Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, @miriamyeung
John Yi (CA), Boardmember, Korean American Democratic Committee, @johnkyi
Nancy Wang Yuen (CA), Sociologist; Author, Reel Inequality, @nancywyuen
Joseph Yun (DC), Former US Ambassador and Special Representative for North Korea Policy