In March 2017, The Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Oregon’s oldest and largest Asian and Pacific Islander advocacy organization, became a nonprofit 501(c)(4), allowing the organization to become involved in electoral organizing for political candidates at the state and local level (city, county, school board). This 501c4 designation also allowed for expanded capacity for local and statewide ballot measure organizing and policy lobbying, two aspects of advocacy which APANO had previously engaged. APANO Communities United 501(c)(3) arm of the organization was retained as well.
What is an APANO political endorsement?
A political endorsement is an official statement of support from APANO for a particular candidate. It means the candidate’s record, performance in office or promise of future relations align greatly with APANO’s mission and values to better serve the Asian Pacific Islander community.
Why is APANO endorsing political races?
Embarking on a full cycle candidate endorsement process is the next bold step for building Asian Pacific Islander (API) political power in Oregon. We envision this as an important step for us to more fully achieve our mission of uniting Asian and Pacific Islanders for social justice. In March 2017, APANO Oregon’s oldest and largest Asian and Pacific Islander advocacy organization, announced its expansion as a nonprofit 501(c)(4), which positioned us to be a bolder and more active voice in Oregon politics.
APANO’s political program is community-based, multi-issue and guided by APANO’s mission, vision and values. Our endorsement process reflects our work and priorities in local, state and national politics, and is non-partisan. Our goals are to:
- Strengthen future elected officials relationship with APANO members, board and staff
- Educate elected officials and candidates on the issues APANO members are facing
- Expand opportunities for Asian and Pacific Islander political engagement
Is this election the first time APANO has endorsed candidates for local races?
We’ve done this once before! In May 2017, APANO engaged in small-scale pilot run of School Board endorsements in 3 Portland area school districts — David Douglas School District, Portland Public Schools, and the Multnomah Education Service District — with success. However, this is the first time we’ve made individual candidate endorsements at the city, county, or State level.
How is APANO funding this electoral work?
APANO raises funds from individual donors, secures direct foundation grants, as well as funding in partnership with other progressive racial justice and immigrant rights organizations. We welcome and encourage donations to APANO , a 501(c)4 non-profit. Donations are not tax deductible.
How can I get involved with APANO’s electoral organizing?
Sign up to get involved! You can also contact our Political Team at [email protected] — they can connect you with opportunities to learn more about the political process and sharpen your campaigning skills.
How did APANO determine which races to make endorsements in? Why are the selected races only within the Portland metro area?
APANO is a member-driven organization, and members are consistently engaged in determining the organization’s electoral fights through surveys, conversations, events, and partner interest. APANO considers which electoral races to work in (“Priority Races”) by using certain selection criteria. They include:
- Elected Position purview and potential ability to impact or influence API lives
- APANO Members in district, concentration of Asian and Pacific Islanders, and opportunity to grow base
- APANO issue campaign or concerns (including national) at stake in district
- Asian and Pacific Islander and People of Color candidates in district
- APANO can make a difference in the race, it is a close, competitive race, opportunity for AAPIs to work on campaigns
- Strengthens APANO’s long-term capacity and growth