80-20 is a national, nonpartisan, Political Action Committee dedicated to winning equal opportunity and justice for all Asian Americans

The Future of Asian Americans
By Joel Wong, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year Everyone! 

Here is wishing everyone a healthy and successful new year

Upon being elected the next President of 80-20 PAC I have received many congratulatory comments from my friends, amongst which is a sobering note from one of my best friends, “I would not be so quick to congratulate Joel. His job is a difficult one.”

Yes our job - yes! it is your job as well - will not be easy. To shed some light on it, I would like to present the following facts.

1.    The U.S. Asian population grew 72% between 2000 and 2015 (from 11.9 million to 20.4 million), the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. By comparison, the population of the second-fastest growing group, Hispanics, increased 60% during the same period. (Pew Research, September 8, 2017)

2. The U.S. Asian population overall does well on measures of economic well-being compared with the U.S. population as a whole, but this varies widely among Asian subgroups. The median annual household income of households headed by Asian Americans is $73,060, compared with $53,600 among all U.S. households. However, there are some notable exceptions, i.e.,  Bangladeshi  ($49,800), Hmong ($48,000), Nepalese ($43,500) and Burmese ($36,000).

3. About half of Asians ages 25 and older (51%) have a bachelor’s degree or more, compared with 30% of all Americans this age.

4. However, new results from an NPR survey show that large numbers of Asian-Americans experience and perceive discrimination in many areas of their daily lives. This happens despite their having average incomes that outpace other racial, ethnic and identity groups ( https://www.npr.org/2017/12/06/568593799/poll-asian-americans-see-individuals-prejudice-as-big-discrimination-problem ).

5. According to the  Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF ), in the 2016 Presidential Election 79% of all Asians voted for Clinton vs, 18% for Trump, thus effectively reaching 80-20. ( https://www.npr.org/2017/04/18/524371847/trump-lost-more-of-the-asian-american-vote-than-the-national-exit-polls-showed ).

What the above facts imply is this. Despite being the fastest growing ethnic group and attaining high levels of education and family income, Asian Americans still feel discriminated. As well, a reason that our voting pattern has not been noticed despite the fact that we block voted in 2016, is probably due to the low turnout of Asian votes and the lack of a unified “voice” in the mainstream media.

This lack of “recognition” by the mainstream has not been lost in our strategy to empower ourselves. We are planning to form coalitions with other Asian American Associations and Organizations. We aim to disregard our differences and find our common goals and will vote as a block. Only then will the mainstream media notice and respect us and give us our due in the daylight.

The lesson is clear, in order to make a difference we must speak out and get active politically.

Join 80-20 and ask your family and friends to join. We have elected a new Board of Directors and a new set of Officers. We stand ready to serve you and empower ourselves. Please join 80-20 PAC and exercise your rights as full fledged citizens.
Joel Wong

80-20 PAC