Candidates Forum on Asian Pacific American Issues September 10th, 2008

[Miami, Florida – September 9, 2008] The NANAY, Inc. and OCA – South Florida Chapter will conduct the first-ever voter education / candidates forum with Presidential candidates and U.S. House of Representatives for Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

What:

Candidates Forum on Asian Pacific American Issues

When:

2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008

Where:

NANAY Community Center
659 NE 125 Street, North Miami, FL 33161

Why:

Historically, Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) have not participated actively in our democratic process. Voter turnout in our community lags behind that of whites, African-Americans and Latinos. The percentage of the Asian American population registered to vote remains among the lowest of all ethnic groups. As the fastest growing minority group in the United States, and as a group with an increasing number of community-specific social and political challenges, it is increasingly important that APAs play an active role in American politics and government.

APAs are 2.2% of the total population of Florida (18 millions). APAs have increased to nearly 400,000 in Florida – five folds since Census 2000 — but too few APAs vote.

Who:

Invited Presidential Candidates:
– Senator John McCain, Republican Party
– Senator Barack Obama, Democratic Party

Invited US House of Representatives 18th District Candidates:
– Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Incumbent, Republican Party
– Annette Taddeo, Candidate, Democratic Party

Invited US House of Representatives 21st District Candidates:
– Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Incumbent, Republican Party
– Raul Martinez, Candidate, Democratic Party

Invited US House of Representatives 25th District Candidates:
– Mario Diaz-Balart, Incumbent, Republican Party
– Joe Garcia Raul Martinez, Candidate, Democratic Party

This non-partisan forum is sponsored by NANAY (National Alliance to Nurture the Aged and the Youth) and OCA-South Florida Chapter and is supported by 20 co-sponsoring community organizations. Each candidate has been invited to make a short introductory statement to be followed by a question and answer session on a range of issues that impact Asian Pacific American community.

The purpose of this Forum is to give candidates for President and House Representatives an opportunity to address a wide range of issues that affect community sustainability and livability in our community and country. At the Forum, APAs will hear Candidate’s positions and make informed decisions before voting.

As part of APA Get-Out-The-Vote initiative, new voters’ registration will be available.

“As advocates for APA, we want to know who is truly committed to making a positive difference for Asian Pacific American community,” said Winnie Tang, President of OCA-South Florida Chapter. “Information gained from this forum will help members of our community cast their votes come November.”

“We need to know about issues that will be put on ballot in November and how candidates feel about Asian Pacific American issues so that we can make informed decisions “ said Dr. Joy Bruce, President of NANAY, Inc. “I am glad that Asian Pacific Americans are finally speaking up and getting heard.”

For more information, contact Winnie Tang at 305-753-8791.

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