AAPI Voter Registration and Civic Engagement

September 2016

In This Issue
Events / Opportunities

Women's Quilting Group 

Fridays, 1pm-3pm
Sessions will resume on 9/9 (Fri.)

This project seeks to connect women, share stories of  courage, create beauty, and move towards healing in our lives with one another. 

All craft supplies will be provided, and take-home kits will be available. The group will be hosted at AACS (4700 Reed Rd., Suite B, Columbus Ohio, 43220).

If you want to learn more about our quilting group or are interested in attending, please contact our Program Coordinator, Yihong Dong at ydong@aacsohio.org  or 614-220-4023 x 100 .

Ikebana Classes:
Japanese Art of Flower Arrangement

Mondays, 2pm-4pm @ AACS

If you want to learn more about our Ikebana classes or are interested attending, contact our Program Coordinator,  Yihong Dong at ydong@aacsohio.org
or 614-220-4023 x 100.

Senior Benefits Program

If you have questions about:
-Medicare Part A, B, & D
-Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)
-Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
-Food Stamp Program (SNAP)
-Where to go for help
-Other related questions

Please contact:
Chin-Yin Shih
614-220-4023 x 224

Yihong Dong
614-220-4023 x 100
The Salvation Army of Central Ohio in Partnership with Mount Carmel and the Central Ohio Rescue & Restore Coalition Presents:

Cultural Competency Conference
9/30 (Fri) @ 9 am - 4 pm
Mount Carmel West, MSB Auditorium

Our anti-trafficking partners are hosting a FREE full-day training that aims to increase Central Ohio's capacity to identify and effectively serve foreign national victims of human-trafficking. AACS will be a presenter and provide training on serving Asian-born human-trafficking victims.

Register online at this link.

GOTV Door-Knocking Campaign
9/24 (Sat), Location/Time: TBD

AACS will conduct a door-knocking campaign to engage households with eligible AAPI voters and remind them to vote on Election Day.

National Voter Registration Day:
Voter Registration Drive
9/27 (Tue), Location/Time: TBD

AACS is planning on conducting voter registration on National Voter Registration Day. Stay tuned for more information about this event. Deadline to register to vote in this year's elections in Ohio is October 11.

If you are interested in volunteering at either event, please contact Asafu Suzuki at asuzuki@aacsohio.org or 614-220-4023 x 240.

*You do not have to be a citizen to register voters or to engage in GOTV activities!*
ETSS Presents:
New American Festival
9/10 (Sat) @ 12 - 5 pm
North YMCA
1640 Sandalwood Place,
Columbus, OH 43229

The New American Festival celebrates the cultural diversity created by refugee, immigrant, and asylee communities in Central Ohio. Admission is FREE.

Join AACS at our Asian Gala as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary. This year's theme is "Our Journey, Our Stories," which reflects the collective journey of our community and each of our individual stories.

Date: November 11, 2016 @ 6 pm
Location: Dublin Recreation Center

Lao Volunteer Donation Association:
Monthly Provisions Giveaway

9/17 (Sat) @ 11 am - 2 pm
1160 Alum Creek Drive
Columbus, OH 43209

Families who qualify can receive fresh fruits, veggies, and other staples. Bring your own Bag!

For more information, please call the Lao Volunteer Donation Association at 614-506-1167


From the Director

Greetings, AACS Family!

With the kids back in school and the summer vacation season wrapping up, September is a month of getting back to business. It is also a time when everyone starts paying closer attention to the election campaigns.

Voting is the cornerstone of American democracy. It is how Americans make our voices heard to those who govern. Generations of Americans--from the Founding Fathers to the women of the suffrage movement to the heroes of the Civil Rights movement--have fought for this fundamental right. I remember the first time that I cast my vote after becoming a U.S. citizen. It was the day that I felt my decision mattered.

Voting is a very important exercise for Asian-Americans, especially now. Asian-Americans are now the fastest growing population in the U.S. The Asian-American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) electorate is projected to double from 5.9 million in 2015 to 12.2 million in 2040. We are a population that can make real impacts on elections at all levels, and yet, AAPIs are still underrepresented in public office. If AAPIs do not vote and elect persons who can represent our interests, our voices will not be reflected in the policies that shape our lives.

Unfortunately, many challenges remain for the civic engagement of the AAPI community. Asian-Americans are registered to vote at lower rates than other minority groups and lag in voter turnout as well. Asian-Americans are also by far the largest group that gains the right to vote through naturalizations. This means that many AAPI voters may be unfamiliar with the American style of civic engagement and require additional education to be effective participants in the democratic process. Many AAPIs are also limited English proficient (LEP), making language access at the polls a critical need for our community.

In Ohio, AAPI voters have been affected by an additional challenge. As a result of a policy known as the voter purge, over 100,000 AAPI voters in the greater Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati areas have been removed from voter registries due to "voter inactivity." Voters who have been "purged" are no longer registered and will need to re-register before they can cast a vote.

As a member of the AAPI Civic Engagement Network (ACE Network), AACS is working with our partners to help enhance civic engagement and democratic participation of AAPIs in Ohio. One of the services AACS provides is assistance with voter registration, and we have voter registration forms available in multiple Asian languages. We hope to register every eligible unregistered voter we see before Ohio's voter registration deadline on October 11. Please stay tuned in the coming days for details about our voter registration event on National Voter Registration Day (September 27).

As important as voter registration is, it is only the first step in effective democratic participation. AACS will also be conducting Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts in September and October, including a door-knocking campaign targeting AAPI voters on September 24.

As we all know, we are in a big election year. This November, American voters will go to the polls to determine who will be the next President. These elections are an opportunity to show that the votes of Ohio AAPIs matter and that we will make our voices heard!


Charleys Kids and Ernst & Young Columbus!!


On August 31, the Healthy Asian Youth (HAY) program held its school supply giveaway and OSU Kappa Phi Lambda/Pi Delta Psi game night at Glenwood Community Center.

The backpack and school supply giveaway was made possible by the generous donations of our supporters.  Charleys Kids, a continuing supporter of our Healthy Asian Youth (HAY) program, donated 60 backpacks so that the youth in our program can go back to school prepared. Through the months of July and August, the Columbus Office of Ernst & Young conducted a school supplies drive to benefit HAY.

AACS thanks our partners, old and new, for the generous support we need to give our youth the support that they need and deserve.


AACS thanks COSI and SIMPLR for their free programming support for our Healthy Asian Youth (HAY) After School program for the 2016-2017 school year. It is with the support of generous community partners such as these groups that we can continue to provide critical educational services to the youth in our communities.

COSI workshops engage students to explore science through hands-on experiments. Activities include making roller coasters using a marble and foam tubes, programming robot dogs, dissecting sheep brains and cow eyes, experimenting with trebuchets and catapults, and more. COSI workshops will run from September through December.

SIMPLR workshops also focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and involve youth in interactive projects. Examples of these workshops include making light sabers, experimenting with electric circuits, programming a roller robot, flying drones, and more. SIMPLR workshops will run until the end of the school year and culminate in the STEM GAMES which will take place at COSI. The STEM GAMES is an event during which approved teams compete with each other using what they have learned over the year. Main competition activities include drone racing, soda can battlebots, and programming challenges.