Thursday, February 08, 2007

INSTANT YANG Special PSA: VOTE. OR LOSE.

Dear all,

This isn't your regular weekly INSTANT YANG installment--that will come Thursday, days after the critical juncture in the future of this nation represented by today's election has passed. Given the importance of today's election, I wanted to send out a reminder to all of you that you literally wield the power to change the course of this country--and it is a power, and a right, that Americans have fought for, died for, and in the case of many of us who are immigrants or children of immigrants, traveled thousands of miles to live for.

There are dozens of elections where a handful of votes, or even a single vote, might make all the difference.

Illinois, where Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth is running as a Democrat to become the first Thai American (and second Asian American woman) in congress.

Virginia, where Jim Webb is running for Senate against George Allen, an entrenched GOP political player who made national headlines by calling Indian American S.R. Sidarth "macaca," a term meaning "monkey," and reportedly, a common slur used against dark-skinned people in Tunisia, where Allen's mother was born and raised. Filmmaker Eric Byler has been in Virginia for the past month, shooting and uploading terrific mini-docs to YouTube, including a powerful commentary by Lost's Daniel Dae Kim and a profile of Jim Webb's very cool wife, Hong Le Webb. Check them out here.

But Illinois and Virginia are just the tip of the iceberg. California. Texas. Florida. Maryland. All are places with key races frozen in the margin of error. All are places with high concentrations of Asian Americans--places where our too-often-overlooked community can make our voice heard, our impact felt.

Wherever you are, whatever your background, whatever your political affiliation--please remember to vote. And if you're reading this and you're in one of the states and districts in the electoral hot zone--or if you know people who are--email them, and remind them to take advantage of the most important liberty and greatest responsibility we have as Americans.

For some great additional info on critical races and progressive Asian American involvement in them, let me point you to terrific AsiansVote blog; and, because protecting your vote is as important as casting it, I turn you to the nonpartisan national APIAVote organization, led by one of my fave D.C. peeps, Christine Chen. If you see or experience any irregularities in your voting experience today, let them know--they have a voting issues complaint form on the front page of their site.

Thanks for your time, and the dozen kilobytes of inbox space this extra email takes up. Forward it on if you like, delete it if you choose. But do it after you vote!

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