Power Vote! An Introduction to Civic Engagement
From Korean Resource Center
Since 2000, the AAPI community which now includes over 14.6 million people has grown over 23% making it the fastest growing racial group in the country. As the population grows, so does its electoral power if fully realized. In the 2000 elections, 5.4 million AAPIs were eligible to vote and slightly more than 2 million actually voted. In the U.S., 80% of elections are won by a margin of 5% or less. In this context, the AAPI voting bloc can be a critical and determining factor.
The Korean American community follows the trend of the AAPI community in its growth and electoral potential. The population of eligible Korean American voters is also increasing steadily - those who are citizens and 18 years and older numbered 461,059 nationally in 2000. Since 2000, the Korean American population has increased 54% across the country and currently there are 482,225 Korean American voters nation-wide. Significant barriers to political participation are language access and familiarity with the electoral process. With that in mind, this guide is designed to walk first time voters, young and old, through the entire electoral process and includes important sections on how our government works and the history of voting rights in America.
 A Time to Participate Fully
Americans from all walks of life --- young and old, working families and immigrants, Korean Americans, Latinos and African Americans --- understand intimately that we as a community and nation are living in a defining political moment. Never before in our lifetime has it seemed so urgently necessary for our communities to participate. We are at a turning point --- from the prolonged war in Iraq to the broken immigration system --- and policies that chart the course of our everyday lives are at stake. A better America will not come simply by the outcome of the 2008 elections but by how we as a people come together. Can we stand by the belief that prosperity must be shared by all that live in this country? Can we stand true to upholding cherished values of justice, equality and fairness for all?
Issues that have been emerged during the presidential elections such as immigration reform, universal healthcare, quality public education, war in Iraq, affordable housing, good jobs, and a strong economy are the same issues that Korean Americans and AAPIs care about. But, the impact is different and the 2008 elections is an opportunity to promote policies that will benefit all communities. 2008 is our year to mobilize and act. Towards this end, NAKASEC has launched its 2008 "Power Vote” campaign because our vote is our power.
© 2008. This guide is produced by the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC). May be copied for personal, noncommercial use. All other rights reserved.