New community center courts covet Asian American and Pacific Islander voters – The Nevada Independent

The Republican National Committee opened an Asian-Pacific American Community Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday that it sees as a resource for reaching out to voters and a hub for members to raise community concerns.

Located in a plaza in Las Vegas’ Chinatown, it’s one of 25 new centers the RNC has opened across the country in recent months. Community members lined up outside the center on Wednesday as committee chair Ronna McDaniel and Nevada GOP chairman Michael McDonald spoke at the opening ceremony, which coincided with the Month of Asian American heritage.

In Nevada and the United States, Asian American Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing demographic. The growing population of the AAPI translated into increasingly influential political power – accounting for 11% of the electorate.

“This is a long-term commitment the RNC is making to communities to show that we are a party that represents every American,” McDaniel said. “And we also recognize that the Democratic Party has taken the Asian American vote for granted for far too long, and it’s time for the Republicans to step up.”

A group gathers outside during the opening of the Republic National Committee Las Vegas APA Community Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. (Jeff Scheid/Nevada Independent)

The opening event included a video of U.S. Rep. Young Kim (R-CA), one of the first Korean American women to serve in Congress, who said Republicans were trying to reach new U.S. voters from Asian origin across the country. She said the community center will be key to the GOP’s goal of retaking the US House, US Senate and Nevada governorship in November.

Many in the audience cheered as Kim said, “I’m so excited to see all of these RNC investments spreading our common sense conservative values ​​to new communities and bringing our country back from Joe Biden and the radical Democrat agenda.”

U.S. Representative Amata Coleman Radewagen, the first woman from American Samoa to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, attended in person and said her cultural values, including family and faith, align with the American dream and the values ​​of the Republican Party. She added that the community center will improve and expand the lives and opportunities of Asian American families.

Pauline Ng Lee, who is Chinese-American and former president of the Nevada Republican Club, agreed with Radewagen that the AAPI community’s emphasis on faith, family, personal dependence and independence closely reflects Republican values. She said it was a “dream come true” for the center to finally open, as she has been a big supporter of it since its inception.

As one of the final speakers at the event, McDaniel highlighted some of the major issues facing the Asian American community, including an increase in hate crimes and cost of living and a lack of voice. parents in education.

She said that since President Biden took office, hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased by 339%. Hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased dramatically throughout the pandemic, with the organization Stop AAPI Hate reporting 6,603 incidents from March 2020 to March 2021. Democrats, however, blamed former President Donald Trump for the increased anti-Asian sentiment in the country, noting that he has used racist terms to describe the coronavirus pandemic.

Republic National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel walks to her vehicle after speaking at the opening of the RNC’s Las Vegas APA Community Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. (Jeff Scheid/Nevada Independent)

One of the attendees, Cyndi Crowe, a Filipino American and lifelong Republican, nodded emphatically at McDaniel’s speech. She said food shelves were empty and gas prices had become too expensive since Biden took office.

On education, McDaniel said Republicans believe parents should have authority over what is taught in children’s classrooms. She said students are being left behind because their leaders have let them down.

“We’ve seen Asian Americans get involved in school board races…because they understand that what the Democrats are doing with our education, our children’s future is not right,” said McDaniel. “Our children are now collateral damage to Democratic politics, and Asian Americans will not defend that.”

McDaniel outlined the RNC’s plan to defeat Gov. Steve Sisolak and U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and win five seats to retake the U.S. House of Representatives. She said she felt good about where the party was at given the growth it was seeing in the number of Hispanic and AAPI voters.

“Everyone is on the front lines, defending the greatest nation because we are so lucky to live in the United States,” McDaniel said. “Never take it for granted because we know Democrats don’t think that way. They want to fundamentally change our country and we are on the front lines of preserving freedom and the greatest nation in the world. »

James C. Tibbs