Last month, SEARAC proudly launched a voter education guide for the 2020 presidential election. The resource, targeted primarily to Southeast Asian American voters, includes responses from all candidates currently still running for president: Donald Trump (R), Joe Biden (D), and Bernie Sanders (D). SEARAC asked all three of these presidential campaigns about their stances on key issues that impact the SEAAs, including the following categories:
- Data equity / data disaggregation
- Culturally relevant K-12 support
- College access, affordability, and completion
- Access to affordable healthcare
- Culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services
- Government programs to support low-income families
- Ending unjust mandatory detention and deportations
- Strengthening naturalization programs
- Protecting and expanding family immigration
“This voter guide serves as a tool to inform SEAAs about where each presidential candidate stands on critical education, health, and immigration issues that matter most to our community. We hope that this resource empowers our families to make an informed decision when casting their votes in November,” said Quyen Dinh, executive director of SEARAC. “SEAAs face unique challenges that call for equitable policy solutions, but we need the resources and tools to empower our community to be civically engaged. While we are a historically overlooked voting bloc, we have tremendous potential to impact policies that our elected leaders make to ensure that our community thrives.”
In the 45th year of the SEAA community’s existence in the United States, SEAAs number at over 3 million. Compared to the national citizen-voting age population of 83%, the Hmong American and Vietnamese American communities fare higher at 87% and 86%, respectively. Overall, SEAA ethnic groups have larger citizen voting-age populations than Asian Americans as a whole and Latinos.
SEARAC’s voter guide can be accessed here. To read each presidential candidate’s full platform on the key issues identified by SEARAC, click on each candidate’s name: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders. (The Trump campaign declined to respond.)
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.