Political Power can be understood as the ability to create societal change. PANA operates on the philosophy that the interests of the majority are not being served due to the imbalance of power wielded by an ultra wealthy minority, popularly identified in broad terms as “the one percent” during the Occupy Wall Street movement and further popularized by the Bernie Sanders presidential primaries of 2016 and 2019. Change in the U.S. towards the goal of full equality and justice has been won primarily by the accumulation and wielding of grassroots organizing power. While PANA engages in electoral arena politics, we understand the importance of building “outside game” organization and power as being primary, and that this includes strengthening solidarity with allies.
Assembly District Election Meetings (ADEMs) are biannual caucuses where each Assembly District elects fourteen delegates to represent their district in the State Democratic Party Conventions and Executive Meetings. These delegates make up roughly one-third of the 3300 total Democratic Party Delegates and are supposed to represent their community’s interests.
Voting progressives into the State Party is an important way to make change from inside the party. Delegates vote on party leadership, the party platform, and local/statewide endorsements.
In AD52, we need working people who are members of the community to represent our interests and bring new and fresh voices to the party. This is why PANA endorses this slate and encourages you to vote for these progressives.
PANA members engage in Assembly Delegate representative elections in an attempt to influence the California Democratic Party leadership composition, rules and platform, every two years. These delegates vote on Party legislative positions and who and what gets Party endorsements at the state level for the platform. Two-thirds of the CA Democratic Party votes are reserved for elected and party officials and their appointees. 1/3 of the votes are open to relatively democratic elections.
Progressive ADEMS push the CA Democratic Party to address the majority of peoples’ needs vs. the greed of corporations that work to buy off Party leadership and elected officials to server their private interests. Even while lacking critical political power, Progressive ADEMS can help to bring transparency and accountability to the electoral political process.
Request your ballot and vote in the ADEMs elections!
The California Democratic Party Assembly District Elections Meeting (“ADEM”) shall be held in each of the 80 Assembly Districts in January of each odd-numbered year in order to elect representatives as (“Assembly District delegates”) or (“ADDs”) to the California Democratic Party Democratic State Central Committee and one representative per Assembly District to the CDP Executive Board Representative.
On December 4 and 11, PANA held conversations with some progressive candidates who ran in the 2022 Midterms. From these conversations, we drew lessons from the experience to help us continue the work to win progressive political power in Southern CA and beyond.
Click on the images below to jump to the video replays of each event on the PANA YouTube Channel!
Language justice is essential in our efforts to fight for full equality and political power. It is not supported adequately by the status quo and eventually we would like to build an infrastructure than can pay translators (written and in-person) for their valuable work. We think that if properly implemented, language justice can be the “secret sauce” to win many progressive agenda campaigns, particularly in our predominantly working-class immigrant communities. Most Asian and Pacific Islander communities are over close to 60% immigrant, and for many, English is not their first language, so this is really an essential component of the grassroots work if we are to empower our peoples!
If you have any API language skills or know people that you can refer to this important effort, send them to our sign-up form here:
A conversation with the victorious Kenneth Mejia campaign and Kelsey Iino! Video recording is available on the PANA YouTube Channel!
Two Asian American progressive friends of PANA won big in Los Angeles. Both campaigns received more votes than either Karen Bass or Rick Caruso! How did they do it? Watch the replay HERE: https://youtu.be/y9nrZIODbgo
Furthermore, consider the significance of the Mejia Campaign, which ran on advocating “transparency and accountability in city government,” with exposure of critical city budget spending disparities as shown across the city on bold billboards such as this one, highlighting top concerns of Gen-Z:
More significantly than the tactic of a billboard, or rather the context for them, was the Mejia campaign’s empowerment of Gen-Z into the campaign, allowing them to take ownership of it and giving it the capacity to run a grassroots effort that swept the vote in every single Los Angeles Council District despite being 2nd to last in campaign fundraising. Nationally, the Gen-Z vote was a difference maker in the midterms, and it was nowhere better exemplified than by the Mejia campaign:
While both campaigns were running to represent the city and community districts at large, neither candidate hid from who there were as Asian Americans and stood proudly with their respective communities and culture not just during the campaign but have done so all their lives.
The Mejia campaign included language justice work in translating much of their campaign material and Kelsey has a long history with deep ties in the Japanese American community.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as a whole represent the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. and have been an integral part of the Los Angeles social fabric for more than 170 years. Increasingly, our voters are playing critical roles in many important elections. As the majority of our interests align with other communities fighting for full equality and justice, we will be asserting our voice in the new coalition coming into being that chooses the path in service of the people and not the self-serving machinery of the Democratic and Republican Party establishments which has been prioritizing the interests of corporate greed.
Kenneth Mejia and Kelsey Iino will help lead this trend in Los Angeles. PANA is proud of both of them and wish them full success in their new elected positions!
With far-right-extremists still threatening to destroy what remains of democratic society, this may be the most important midterm election of our lifetimes and for the planet. Mail in ballots have been sent. Check your voter registration status HERE. Please urge your family and friends to vote.
From the work of two Presidential primary cycles since 2016, members and close allies of PANA have not only been stepping up, but winning! Many lessons for ground game political campaigns to be consolidated and replicated!
Glendale City Council candidate, Karen Kwak, renters’ rights and environmental justice activist, garnished over 6,500 votes on with an extremely efficient vote per spend ratio, winning more votes than others who raised far more money. Her campaign raised a serious question as to who should be considered a “viable candidate.”
Nationally, we see the damage judges in the highest court can do. Locally, this November, let’s elect judges that will do the right thing in the service of the public interest! Congratulations to the “Defenders of Justice!”
Tsukuru Fors, Reggie Wong and Taiji Miyagawa share experiences from their work to win healthcare-for-all, including AB 1400 in CA.
How efforts by PANA to address the larger issue of inequality faced by Asian and Pacific Islander Americans are an example of how to build a broader, more diverse and powerful grassroots movement to win the change we all need:
Ahead of the 2022 midterms, the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll found that Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders are significantly more likely to be mobilized by a shared fear of violence and discrimination than before the pandemic.
From Politico.com, by Rishika Dugyala and Beatrice Jin | 10/3/2021
In this article, the authors discuss how the rise in violence directed towards Asians in the U.S. and around the world has led to many turning towards multi-Asian unity as a strategic political stance.
According to a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll, there has been a significant increase in the number of Asians and Pacific Islanders that now identify with the broader “Asian/Pacific Islander American” or “Asian American/Pacific Islander” label and not only their individual nationality alone.
In PANA’s analysis of this development, while defeated President Donald Trump was the leading promoter of racist anti-Asian scapegoating (calling COVID-19 the “Kung Flu Virus”), anti-Asian rhetoric has also been spread by the likes of Democratic Party officials such as Joe Biden (China bashing and warmongering) and CA Governor Gavin Newsom (blaming Vietnamese Nail Salons for the spread of COVID-19). Due to Trump and the ground-level MAGA forces high profile and the less antagonistic and diverse base of the Democratic Party, however, the Asian/Pacific Islander demographic will naturally skew anti-Republican.
We have a dire need to gather our multilingual capacity in order to build political power in our communities. We cannot continue to concede the Asian language spaces to the Right Wing as we have been doing. We must commit to valuing ALL voices in our communities and not fall prey to White Supremacist “English-only” nativist thinking.This initiative will be key in offsetting various attacks upon the immigrant sectors of our communities extra burdened by language discrimination and empower those who stand the most to gain in campaigns to win equal rights.Long and short-term campaigns such as for rent control, local school board elections, Medicare-for-All, immigration reform…language justice will enable the most-ignored people in our communities to exercise their political power.
Please share the sign-up form so we can build this database! For those of you with language skills, please fill it out and submit your information!
When Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, and other prominent Democrats appeared online at a major fundraiser last night, they spotlighted one of the least discussed lessons of the 2020 election: Asian Americans are poised for a major leap in electoral influence.
In Democratic circles, the bloc’s impact on the 2020 election has been largely obscured by the intense focus on understanding how Donald Trump improved his performance among another rapidly growing minority group, Latinos. But the magnitude of the Asian American turnout surge, and its influence on the result, is drawing increased attention as analysts complete more detailed studies on which Americans voted last year.