A young Asian woman smiling. MYAAPIVOTE is for racial and gender justice is at the bottom of the image.

Lately I have been canvassing with Asian Pacific American for Civic Empowerment (APACE) to get more Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to vote. Having Asian and Pacific Islander American participate in civic activities is important to me because the reason for many of the inequalities we have in American society is due to the lack of diversity among folks in power. Without being a part of the Asian and Pacific Islander community, it is not possible to truly understand the desires of said communities. We need more Asian and Pacific Islander Americans who truly understand their communities engaged in civic activities to advocate for our needs.

I grew up in a household that did not discuss politics very often. In grade school, many of the white students were very knowledgeable and passionate about engaging in current events and politics. I did not feel like politics was my place, nor did I understand the hype with politics. Every time politics came up in the classroom I felt excluded because I was not up-to-date with the news and I did not understand all the political jargon. Running for office, lobbying, or even just reading about politics was very unappealing to me at the time. It was not until I began my work as an activist that I unknowingly became more politically involved. After learning about the cycle of labor exploitation and oppressive actions done toward people of color to build up America, I started getting involved in organizations that help to treat the disparities that are a direct result of this history. I did not realize my activism was rooted in manipulating the political system we had in place. Such a large part of activism is fighting for political rights. I view my work with activism as a means to help people live a more comfortable life in America. Activism did not feel like the typical politics I was exposed to in grade school. It was much more relatable and relevant to me, my family, and my community. I now feel the enthusiasm my high school peers felt back then.

I vote to earn my citizenship.

I vote to give back to the community.

I vote to partake in government decisions.

I vote to take responsibility for the things that goes on around me.

I vote to make my voice heard.

I vote to empower communities of color.

I vote to advocate for those without this power.

I vote to contribute to the ameliorating of my America.

This is why I vote.