Other Group

18MillionRising

Formation:

2012

Type:

Asian American Voter Mobilization Organization

Executive Director:

Cayden Mak

Campaign Director:

Tanzila Ahmed

Headquarters:

Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

18MillionRising is a digital-based group that uses social media and online petitions to advance the interests of left-of-center Asian Americans and to combat alleged anti-Asian stereotypes. It takes its name from the estimated population of Asian Americans in 2012.[1]

The group expresses extremist ideology and goals, targeting capitalism and the United States as illegitimate and promoting “intersectional” far-left advocacy.[2] 18MillionRising has engaged with other left-leaning organizations on voter registration and activation programs.

The organization is run by Cayden Mak, who serves as its executive director.[3] The group has no fixed headquarters with staffers mostly based in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. It is a part of Allied Media Projects Sponsored Projects, part of the Allied Media Projects network.[4] Allied Media Projects serves as an incubator to left-wing causes around the country. 18MillionRising is also a member of the Media Action Grassroots Network (part of the Center for Media Justice), which is another network of left-wing groups. [5]

History

18MillionRising was founded in 2012 to mobilize and register left-leaning Asian Americans to vote. The group was named after the number of Asian Americans estimated at the time.

18MillionRising later turned its attention to online petitions. In 2013, it created an online petition asking Google Play to remove the “Make Me An Asian” app, which had allowed users to depict themselves with stereotypically Asian characteristics. Google Play later removed the app.[6]

An online petition was created in 2014 to pressure American Girl to change its mind on eliminating an Asian-American doll. The campaign was ultimately successful.[7]

18MillionRising later created a fake website targeting retailer The Gap claiming that the company had signed on to an accord with Bangladesh labor unions to raise their wages and improve working conditions in their factories. Gap then served the group with a takedown notice on the website.[8]

It also joined the so-called net neutrality debate by lobbying the FCC to regulate internet service providers under the controversial Title II rule. Their position was opposed by a coalition of minority organizations that wanted to leave the internet unregulated.[9] The FCC implemented the rule in 2015 and repealed it in 2018, which was seen a victory for free speech.[10]

Programs

The group’s biggest campaigns are its online petitions. These petitions are targeted at both government agencies and private companies and deal with left-wing and social justice causes such as government-controlled healthcare and fighting alleged racism. It allows registered members to upload petitions and send pitches for activism ideas.

It works with community organizations to register voters. It is also a partner with the Asian American Action Fund, a Democratic Party-aligned PAC that is targeted towards the Asian community.[11] The group has also created an app, VoterVox, to match Asians who do not speak English to language assistance services to help them vote.[12]

People

The head of 18MillionRising, Cayden Mak, is a speaker on the left-wing circuit who has appeared at the left-wing gathering Netroots Nation.[13] Mak was born female who now self-identifies as “post-gender.”[14] Mak frequently attends left-wing events and speaks about technology and social justice issues.

18MillionRising campaign director Tanzila Ahmed is an activist based in Los Angeles. She is known for making Valentine’s Day cards targeting anti-Muslim sentiment.[15]

References

  1. “About”. 2018. 18Millionrising.Org. Accessed July 13. https://18millionrising.org/about/.
  2. “About”. 2018. 18Millionrising.Org. Accessed July 13. https://18millionrising.org/about/.
  3. Steagall, Kristen. 2009. “Seeking A Post-Gender Society”. The Michigan Daily. https://www.michigandaily.com/content/2009-02-18/transcending-gender.
  4. “18Millionrising”. 2018. Allied Media Projects. https://www.alliedmedia.org/18-million-rising.
  5. “National”. 2018. Mag-NET. http://mag-net.org/about/our-members/national/.
  6. Demby, Gene. 2013. “‘Make Me Asian’ App Removed From Google Play Store”. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/01/17/169612676/make-me-asian-app-removed-from-google-play-store.
  7. Clehane, Diane. 2014. “Why Is American Girl Rebranding Their Historical Line Without An Asian Doll?”. Forbes.Com. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dianeclehane/2014/07/08/why-is-american-girl-rebranding-their-historical-line-without-an-asian-doll/.
  8. Nastasia, Isabelle. 2014. “Meet The Organizer Who Pulled Off The Gap Does More Hoax”. Waging Nonviolence. https://wagingnonviolence.org/2014/05/pulled-gap-hoax/.
  9. “Asian-American Groups At Odds Over Net Neutrality Debate”. 2014. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/asian-american-groups-odds-over-net-neutrality-debate-n172176.
  10. Gillespie, Nick. 2018. “Net Neutrality Is Officially Dead. That’s A Victory For Free Speech.”. Reason. https://reason.com/blog/2018/04/23/net-neutrality-is-officially-dead-dont-e.
  11. “#Myaapivote 2018”. 2018. #Myaapivote. Accessed July 13. http://vote.18mr.org/.
  12. Wang, Frances Kai-Hwa. 2015. “Can This New App Help More Asian Americans Vote In 2016?”. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/can-new-app-help-more-asian-americans-vote-2016-n406021.
  13. “Cayden – Netroots Nation”. 2018. Netrootsnation.Org. https://www.netrootsnation.org/profile/cayden-mak/.
  14. Steagall, Kristen. 2009. “Seeking A Post-Gender Society”. The Michigan Daily. https://www.michigandaily.com/content/2009-02-18/transcending-gender.
  15. Kelly, Mary Louise. 2018. “‘You’ve Hijacked My Heart’: Valentines That Fight Islamophobia With Humor”. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2018/02/14/585723977/you-ve-hijacked-my-heart-fighting-islamophobia-with-valentines-that-make-you-squ.
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