• Natalie Valenzuela

Why the Filipino American Community Should Choose the Biden/Harris Ticket

Why the Filipino American Community Should Choose the Biden/Harris Ticket

By: Natalie Valenzuela

This year, the election is more important than ever. Decisions on healthcare,

immigration, education, the economy and many other progressive issues will be made in these next four years. These issues affect everyone across the U.S., and the Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) community here in Nevada is no exception. That is why it is imperative that we talk about how the APIA vote can truly change the tide of the 2020 election.

The APIA population is the fastest growing group in the U.S. Our population size is at

over 330,000 just in Nevada. Our community is vastly diverse, and Filipinos are a large margin of it--they make up roughly half of the APIA population in the state. Being Filipino-American myself, I have come to see how our Filipino community has been cast aside in recent elections, much like the rest of our APIA communities. However, we cannot be ignored any longer as a political force, and vote to decide which leaders will keep our best interests in mind, and hold them accountable when they do not. We must vote Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as these leaders over Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

Under the current administration, President Trump continues to downplay the severity of

the current pandemic--diminishing the amount of lives lost to COVID-19 and the work of our

front-line healthcare workers, many of whom are of Filipino descent. Filipinos also make up a

large portion of the hospitality and tourism industry in Nevada, especially in Las Vegas.

However, they have been extremely affected by the pandemic, as a majority of the hotels and casinos experienced long periods of closures and heavy lay-offs. While President Trump boasts low unemployment rates, the unemployment rate for Asian Americans has surged to 10.7 percent as of August, which is 7.9 percent up from last year. Filipinos are also no stranger to being misidentified within our own community, so the fact that President Trump uses derogatory language to address the origins of the pandemic, perpetuates the blatant racism that is felt throughout the whole APIA community.

Unlike President Trump, Joe Biden has made great efforts to connect with his APIA

supporters. We can rely on Biden not only because of his extensive political experience, but

also because his platform will allow the U.S. to progress forward, not backward, with many

issues that affect the APIA community. Additionally, his running mate, Kamala Harris will

undoubtedly help bring more representation in politics for the APIA community. She is half

Indian, and is the first woman of South Asian descent to have not just been elected to the

Senate, but nominated for the vice presidential candidacy. Together, this dynamic duo will go beyond just elevating the APIA presence and voices in government. They will fortify the

Affordable Care Act and help uninsured APIAs. They will invest in our youth and education

system to build a safe, enriching environment for them to learn. Our APIA small business

owners will not be forgotten, as Biden and Harris will work to increase federal funding and

eliminate prominent language barriers. They are also fully aware and recognize that the U.S.

would not be what it is today, without the hard work and determination of immigrants, especially those of APIA origin. A vote for them will ensure that necessary immigration reform is done.

I urge you to choose Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on the ballot this year; help bring the changes we want to see and strengthen our longevity for the next four years.

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