November 10, 2016

We Continue to Build Power With Our Communities

Over the last day, we have fielded numerous calls from folks asking to be more deeply involved in APANO in response to the election results. As an ever-evolving force on the frontlines of our community, we are at a place to build and take action together. Our foundations are our relationships, where we consistently reveal our powerful capacity to envision and realize a just world, and identify the inequities we need to address to thrive.

This is a challenging time, where fear of a changing demographic is used as a scapegoat for our country’s problems. Many forces, including sexism, xenophobia and racism, have contributed to our situation. Our communities are facing real threats, from bullying, deportation, and violence toward loved ones, to further divestment in education and health care. Too many experience poor schools, housing emergencies, are uninsured, and more.

APANO is prepared and determined to plot a course through rocky and uncharted waters. Given the new political climate, we are more committed than ever to our organizing and advocacy strategies. More than ever, we continue to build with our communities and across communities. We invite you to join us in our pivot to legislative advocacy by clicking here.

Despite heartbreaking losses, and new elected leaders who propose draconian and damaging public policy, APANO also experienced concrete wins:

  • In Portland, Yes for Affordable Homes won, improving the outlook for many in the face of rising rents and housing instability.
  • Voters approved key investment measures for high school graduation, parks and green spaces, and more.
  • We trained and engaged hundreds of new volunteers in APANO’s VOTE program, creating deeper partnerships and alliances.
  • We worked hard to reach and engage the 250,000 Asian and Pacific Islanders in Oregon through multilingual voter guides, phone banks, door to door, social media platforms.
  • Increases in our organizational leadership role and capacity to campaign and win.

The hard news is we lost Measure 97, setting back our vision to end a generation of disinvestment, and to give our children and communities a fair shot to thrive. Yet we did something historic this election - we stood up to the largest global corporations and told them it’s time to they pay their fair share. No Oregonian believes we should be dead last in corporate taxes while kids and families struggle. APANO is determined to continue building with our historic coalition of 300 organizations representing 500,000 members for sustainable revenue and to address the $1.4 billion cuts to schools and healthcare.

Looking ahead, APANO will pivot as swiftly as possible to evaluate the new landscape and identify potential threats. We’ll be monitoring voting rights, revenue solutions, immigration and gender justice issues even more closely. We are laying the groundwork with our new electeds to advance solutions important for our communities.

Most of all, we’re continuing to build our base, our leadership and our capacity to advocate. Each of you have the power to reach out more intentionally to build power. Who is in your network? What are their reflections on the election? How would they like to be involved? What support do they need to take steps to engage in collective action?

Our legislative kickoff will be December 1st in Portland, and we’re organizing members to attend Legislative Town Halls until the 2017 legislative session starts in February. Click here to join us in our next steps in legislative advocacy and our upcoming campaigns.

Forward together,

Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Executive Director
Kathy Wai, Civic Engagement Manager
Kara Carmosino, Director of Programs and Strategy
And all of us at APANO