Central Florida grassroots initiative all about amplifying AAPI voices through voting

Asian American Pacific Islanders Coming Together (ACT) is set to hold a town hall on June 27

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 22: Voting booths are setup at the Yuengling center on the campus of University of South Florida as workers prepare to open the doors to early voters on October 22, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. Florida voters head to the polls to cast their early ballots in the race for the Senate as well as the Governors seats. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A town hall for a new grassroots initiative in Central Florida that aims to amplify the voices of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community through voter engagement will be held ahead of election season.

Asian American Pacific Islanders Coming Together, or ACT, will host a public discussion at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office at 119 W. Kaley St. in Orlando starting from 6 p.m. on June 27.

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The initiative, formed by a group of independent and non-partisan citizens, promises to provide an educational public platform for the AAPI community and hopes to increase AAPI voter participation by 20 percent.

“Now, more so than ever, our country is facing critical issues ranging from rising gas prices, inflation, abortion rights, hate crimes, gun control, immigration and more. It is important for the AAPI community to come together to have our voices heard. This is one step forward to participating in our democracy and a huge step toward empowering our community,” ACT Co-founder Onchantho Am, Esq., said in a news release.

While Orange County now has the largest AANHPI population in Florida, according to statistics released by AAPI Data in 2020, there is still a lack of voter engagement and contact within this group across the U.S.

AAPI Data shows that in the 2018 Asian American Voter Survey, 50% of Asian Americans received no contact or were unsure if they received contact about the election from the Democratic party and 60% reported the same from the Republican party.

ACT is seeking volunteers and partners to support increased voter engagement within this community by voicing the community’s top “Kitchen Table” issues ahead of the town hall through an online survey, which runs through June 15.

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.