Like the movies Back to the Future, Lord of the Rings, and Scream, I too have returned for Part III – my third stint as a Mutineer. And like every good trilogy, I have a plot line that resuscitated me from the dark basement of the North Dakota bunkers – the exciting 2008 Presidential Elections.
Here in Southern California, the Asian and Pacific Islander community is all abuzz with the upcoming Presidential Townhall Forum to be held at the University of California, Irvine this Saturday May 17th at 4pm. In the works for the past few months, the Townhall will bring the candidates together and hold them accountable to OUR community in a historic first time ever event. At least 4,000 members of the APIA community are expected to come out, and it will be a great opportunity to have OUR issues finally highlighted in this important election.
The million dollar question – are the candidates really coming? Angry Asian Man says…
I’ve heard a pretty reliable rumor that the Clinton campaign has confirmed their participation for the event, but the organizers have yet to hear from the Obama and McCain campaigns. Dude, they better be there. Barack, where you at? And McCain, if you are indeed interested in courting the Asian vote, it might be a good idea to show up… this is Orange County, after all.[angryasianman]
McCain should pay attention — in Orange County, 47% of all Asian American voters are Republican. And why should Democratic candidates care? 46% of South Asian voters in Orange County are registered Democratic — the only APIA group in Orange County to have more registered Democrats then Republicans.
With the Clinton camp basically just confirmed, and McCain and Obama still in the air with confirming for this event, I am struck with the sad thought – does our community (whether the under the umbrella of the ‘APIA’ label or the sub-heading of ‘South Asian’), really not matter to the candidates to come out to listen to APIA issues in a townhall setting? Is this election really simply about the “hard working white Americans”, black and white racial politics, and the “si se puedes” of Latino union workers? Where is our Macaca Moment in this election cycle?
As we move forward in this election, I hope that we can force the media to have an APIA angle to this racially charged election. And hopefully, this Saturday can play a big part in it. I will be there front and center, hopefully, live blogging the Presidential Townhall Forum to let The Mutiny know just what is going on. And maybe I can sneak my way into even asking the candidates a question or two.
My question for you is this: If you could ask the presidential candidates, whether McCain, Obama, or Clinton, any question in a townhall setting, what would it be? Mainstream issues such as universal healthcare, downward economy, or rising cost in education? Or desi-related with outsourcing jobs, health disparities and ‘the rice crisis’? You ask the questions in the comments, and I’ll do what I can to make sure the questions get to the candidates on Saturday.
And if you are in Southern California and want to go, it’s not too late! FREE tickets are still available to the Townhall event. If you are not in Southern California, no worries – there will be a live stream of the event available online the day of the event also accessible here. And of course, I’ll be blogging for you as well!
On a personal note, I just want to say that I’m excited to be back in the North Dakota bunkers to be writing for you! Whoohoo! Election 2008, here we go…