Based in Seattle, Washington, APACEvotes (Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civil Empowerment) is a project of the left-of-center Tides Advocacy. APACEvotes focuses on educating and mobilizing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the Pacific Northwest during elections through regular programming and media outreach.
APACEvotes is an organization dedicated to educating Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States on various political and policy issues to encourage them to participate in civic engagement. The organization claims to be the “only and longest standing pan-Asian organization solely focused on civic engagement year-round.” 1
APACEvotes is actively involved each election cycle in not only educating community members about various candidates but also by endorsing campaigns, such as when the organization endorsed Lorena Gonzalez’s 2021 mayoral campaign in Seattle. 2
APACEvotes endorsed the “Roadmap to Freedom Resolution,” a proposal introduced by U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), among others, to promote citizenship for immigrants and “humane” border policies. 3
Get Out the Vote (GOTV)
APACEvotes engages in various get-out-the-vote efforts in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. APACEvotes conducts candidate forums shortly before elections are held that include live translations for non-English-speaking participants. The organization also holds various phone banks and text banks that are run by volunteers to remind community members to vote. In addition, mailers sent directly to community members’ mailboxes display voting reminders, ballot return deadlines, and resource links for more information on candidates with all information displayed in multiple languages. In the Pacific Northwest-based newspaper, International Examiner, the organization sponsors a GOTV issue of the publication ahead of election day. 4
APACEvotes also conducts GOTV efforts by participating in various community events such as “The Art of Survival,” an arts event in 2018 at which APACEvotes registered voters. 5
The organization engages with community members across a variety of media mediums. APACEvotes created a youth writing competition for article submissions to the International Examiner. APACEvotes also collaborated with KBCS radio station to conduct various interviews. In a partnership with KBCS, the organization helped create a podcast episode in which former Washington Governor Gary Locke (D) and former council member Larry Gossett (D-WA) were interviewed with the help of interview questions submitted by community members. 6 Other podcast topics included discussing the importance of voting, female Asian Pacific Islander representation in various industries, and a Tibetan-American response to Amy Coney Barrett joining the U.S. Supreme Court. 7
APACEvotes encourages the AAPI community to use “democracy vouchers” to support their candidate of choice. Democracy vouchers are a form of government financing of political campaigns and, in 2021, participants could use a voucher to donate $100 to a candidate of their choice in Seattle municipal elections including the mayoral race, city council races, and the city attorney’s race. 8
APACEvotes is funded primarily by Tides Advocacy, a left-of-center organization with close ties to the Tides Foundation, the left-of-center grantmaking organization founded by Drummond Pike. 9
- “About Us.” APACEvotes. Accessed May 7, 2022. https://apacevotes.org/about-us/.
- “Mayoral Election in Seattle, Washington (2021).” Ballotpedia. Accessed May 7, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Mayoral_election_in_Seattle,_Washington_(2021).
- “Jayapal Leads Members of Congress in Introducing the Roadmap to Freedom Resolution as a Visionary North Star for Immigration Reform.” Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, January 27, 2021. https://jayapal.house.gov/2021/01/27/roadmap-to-freedom/.
- “Get out the Vote.” APACEvotes. Accessed May 7, 2022. https://apacevotes.org/gotv/.
- Pan, Maria. “Local Cambodian American Community Shows Resilience Through the Arts.” International Examiner, April 18, 2018. https://iexaminer.org/local-cambodian-american-community-shows-resilience-through-the-arts/.
- “Collaborations.” APACEvotes. Accessed May 7, 2022. https://apacevotes.org/collaborations/.
- “Podcasts.” APACEvotes. Accessed May 7, 2022. https://apacevotes.org/podcasts/.
- “Democracy Vouchers.” APACEvotes. Accessed May 7, 2022. https://apacevotes.org/democracy-vouchers/.
- “Donate.” APACEvotes. Accessed May 7, 2022. https://apacevotes.org/donate/.