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RELEASE: NAKASEC and Affiliates Register Voters in Virginia, California, and Illinois for National Voter Registration Day

By September 23, 2014 No Comments

For Immediate Release:
September 23, 2014

Contact:

Emily Kessel, NAKASEC, eakessel@nakasec.org
Esther Kim, KRC, esther@krcla.org
Heykyung Eum, KRCC, heyeum@chicagokrcc.org

NAKASEC and Affiliates Register Voters in Virginia, California, and Illinois for National Voter Registration Day

Annandale, Virginia- Today, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) registered new voters at the H-Mart supermarket in Annandale as part of National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) to share why the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) vote matters. Prior to engaging in voter registration, NAKASEC held a press conference with Town Council Member Grace Han Wolf, Virginia Delegate Mark Keam, Board Chair Edgar Aranda-Yanoc from the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO), and President Leni Gonzalez from the League of United Latin American Citizens Council 4609 (LULAC) to encourage the Korean American, Asian American, and immigrant community to ensure that their votes count.

Grace Han Wolf, Herndon Town Council Member said:  “I strongly encourage all Asian Americans and Korean Americans to register to vote and to vote in each and every election. As a community, to move our concerns forward, our voices must be heard and they must be loud. Voting is the only way to elect more Asian Americans and others who support and serve our community. Your vote is your voice. Please register, it is easy, it is free and it is your right as an American. We can’t make things better without your vote so please, raise your voice and vote.”

Delegate Keam emphasized the strong electoral power of the Asian American community, being the largest growing population in the U.S., and called on the Korean American community in Virginia to exercise this power by registering before October 14 for the November elections. The voting right is not one that came easily. Aranda-Yanoc and Gonzalez said that the Latino, Asian, and the broader immigrant vote is what will determine the outcome of important issues such as access to affordable health care and immigrant rights in the upcoming elections.

Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon, executive director of NAKASEC, said: “We are proud to be partners and participate in National Voter Registration Day. Today is an important day underscoring the wide efforts across the nation to register more immigrants to vote. Now more than ever, we are committed to strengthening the AAPI electoral power because it seems policymakers are not taking us seriously and not working hard for the issues that our immigrant community cares about. We must hold the policymakers accountable to the community that they claim to represent. We are the rising new electorate.”

NAKASEC’s affiliates, the Korean Resource Center (KRC) and Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC), also joined the National Voter Registration Day efforts to increase the number of eligible voters in the AAPI community in Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California.

Hee Joo Yoon, executive director of KRC, said: “With the opening of KRC’s Orange County center, we are prepared to send a clear message to candidates that as the fastest growing minority in the country, AAPI voters will turn out to the polls and vote for candidates who will represent and champion AAPI issues.”

Inhe Choi, executive director of KRCC, said: “KRCC has been doing in-depth and broad civic engagement work for 19 years with the Korean and Asian American community. We are proud of our youth council, Fighting Youth Shouting Out for Humanity (FYSH), for providing a safe space for young adults to creatively express themselves through spoken word and empowering future leaders to exercise their right to vote. This year marks our 19th anniversary, and we plan to continue to register voters each year and provide language assistance for many years to come.”

National Voter Registration Day falls a week after the launch of Cities for Citizenship, a major national initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents and encouraging cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City, to invest in citizenship programs.

More online voter tools are also available on the Rock the Vote website.

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For photos and video, please visit (http://bit.ly/NVRD_VA) and follow us on Facebook (link) and Twitter (@nakasec)

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans on major social justice issues. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia and Los Angeles, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).