Many of the issues of our time — racial and wealth inequality, the stripping of reproductive rights, homelessness, a broken immigration system, environmental destruction, state-sponsored violence — require large coordinated efforts, but continued progress here in Oregon can show the country that another world is possible.

Over the last month, we’ve seen that possibility: Virginia elected our country’s first openly trans state legislator to the Virginia House of Delegates; Minneapolis elected the US’s first openly transgender black woman to public office; Hoboken, New Jersey, elected its first Sikh mayor. Maine voters approved a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid coverage across the state. Just this past week, Alabama elected a liberal Democrat for the first time in over 30 years.

9 months ago, we announced the formation of our 501(c)4 organization. In 2018, APANO will be making candidate endorsements and focusing our efforts in the following 6 “Priority Races” in the Portland metro area for the May 15, 2018 Primary Elections:

  • Multnomah County Commission — Chair (At-Large County Wide)
  • Multnomah County Commission — District 2 (North/NE Portland)
  • Portland City Council — Position 2 (At-Large City Wide)
  • Portland City Council — Position 3 (At-Large City Wide)
  • Oregon Senate District 24 — Democratic Primary (East Portland)
  • Metro Council President (Region-wide)

Embarking on a larger candidate endorsement process is the next step for building API political power in Oregon. APANO, considering organizational capacity and impact, selected these races by engaging members, staff, and board through surveys, conversations, events, and partner interest. We were also guided by the following criteria in determining which races to engage:

  • Elected Position purview and potential ability to impact or influence API lives
  • APANO Members in district, concentration of Asian and Pacific Islanders, and opportunity to grow base
  • APANO issue campaign or concerns (including national) at stake in district
  • Asian and Pacific Islander and People of Color candidates in district
  • APANO can make a difference in the race, it is a close, competitive race, opportunity for APIs to work on campaigns
  • Strengthens APANO’s long-term capacity and growth

While we wish we could be involved with more campaigns, we are excited to begin here to influence and hold accountable our elected officials to the concerns and aspirations of our API communities.

If you are a candidate who is running for an elected office for which APANO is making endorsements, please read our Candidate Endorsement Packet  and fill out our APANO Endorsement Interview Request Form to begin the process!

If you are a community member, think about your vision for the future. Escalate your dreams — bring them to the ballot box, to your community meetings, to your household dinner table. Find people who share the same dreams as you and help APANO ensure a government that works for you, that listens to you.

We are excited to share this journey with you! If you want to learn more or get involved with our growing political program, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Forward together,

Robin Ye
Field Organizer