An Open Statement from 150+ Asian American and Pacific Islander Leaders Endorsing Elizabeth Warren

Jan 23 · 13 min read

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.

We have compiled a separate policy sheet on some of the ways in which Senator Warren’s plans are of personal and particular relevance to AAPIs here.

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.


Endorsement in English
Endorsement in Chinese (Simp.)
Endorsement in Chinese (Trad.)
Endorsement in Korean
Endorsement in Vietnamese

(as of 1/24/20; institutional affiliations for identification only)

If you’d like to add your name to this list, please fill out the form here — or email Jeff Yang, Laura Shin or Curtis Chin at


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

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

Saira Rao (CO), Co-Founder of Race To Dinner and Haven Media, @Race2D and @MagazineHaven

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

 by the author.


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The Medium account of a group of 140+ AAPI leaders who support Elizabeth Warren for President of the United States

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