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LAS VEGAS - Recognizing the group’s power as a voting bloc, US Senator Harry Reid urged Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in Nevada to be more involved in the campaign and election this year.
In particular, the senior senator from the Silver State asked AAPIs to support President Obama in his bid for reelection in the November polls.
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were leaders in 2008 to get President Obama elected,” he told AAPI business and community leaders at a meeting in Las Vegas last August 23.
“Now we must stand together again to ensure that the American Dream is protected for the next generation,” he also said.
At the forum, Reid told local AAPI leaders about the Obama administration’s programs that support the AAPI community. These include the American Jobs Act that aimed to spur the growth of small businesses and in effect increase the hiring activity of these firms.
US Census bureau records showed that businesses owned by Asian-Americans grew the fastest in the last 10 years. As such, this group benefitted from the proposal.
Reid also mentioned the recent deferred action immigration program which is also expected to benefit a large number of AAPIs.
“(President Obama) is committed to continuing to fight for policies that give every Americans, no matter their background, the opportunity to succeed,” he said.
“But if we are to succeed we need to work together to make sure we give President Obama more time to work for our communities,” he said.
“That means we each have to do our part by getting involved in this campaign,” he added, noting that AAPI leaders should urge members of their communities to participate in the political process.
Nevada’s AAPI population is considered the fastest-growing group in the nation, US Census Bureau records showed. From 2000-2010, the group registered a 116.5 per cent growth, census records showed. The group has greatly outpaced previously fast-growing Hispanic group which only registered a slower 81.9 per cent in the same period.
Nevada is also a key swing state in this year’s presidential election. As such, AAPIs will have a great opportunity to influence the election in the area, community leaders noted.
In an interview at the sidelines of the event, Reid told Asian Journal that job creation is the priority of the Obama camp, is the president is reelected.
He also urged community members to participate in the polls. “Be selfish. Vote for what’s good for you.”
With a report from Robert Macabagdal/AJPress