I met Annabel during a rally for the rights of immigrants and we had been emailing for few weeks. We run into each other again this week at the Obama rally in Maryland.
Here is a very interesting email from Annabel -who is of Koren heritage. She describes her whereabouts in the primary elections day in the DC area. I am sharing this with her approval. Also watch her in a video at the end of this post.
What a day! It snowed and rained most of the day...the worst weather of this winter. Despite the freezing rain, we were still fired up and passing out Obama flyers from 6am until 7pm at polling stations.
And it paid off. Obama took the Chesapeake by a wide margin. MD - 60%, VA - 64%, DC - 75%
Eric and I are especially proud of the Virginia results because that is where we focused our outreach and the margin is significantly higher than what was predicted. We out-Baracked the traditionally more liberal Maryland.
Thanks to everyone who helped us make thousands of calls to Latino and Asian voters in Virginia. We're still counting the numbers, but it looks like in four days we made over 10,000 calls, more than half in-language (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Spanish). We had phonebanking parties in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Washington DC and many made calls alone from home including several senior citizens. This was a great outreach effort with collaboration from Latinos for Obama, South Asians for Obama and Asian Americans for Obama.
I wanted to give a big shout-out to Grace Nozaki who coordinated the virtual phonebanking center from Virginia. I wanted to make a point of thanking the party hosts and local coordinators: Martin Fuentes, Angelica Jongco, Gening Liao, Rudhir Patel, Amyn Kaderali, Eric Byler, Theresa Mah, John Park, Ryan Kim, Tuy Le, Jackie Bong-Wright, and Teresa Martinez. And of course all the callers...many speaking baby versions of these languages.
There were many spirited volunteers who made hundreds of calls alone and went canvassing alone or in small groups over the weekend all over Virginia. It was extraordinary to have so many friends call to ask: what can I do...I want to do something to help.
We worked well together and we produced results! We don't have the exit poll figures yet for Asian voters in Virginia, but Obama did win 54% of the Latino vote in Virginia. Hooray!
AALDEF conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in Virginia yesterday, so we'll have some numbers to share shortly.
Based on my unofficial survey at a polling station in Annandale, Virginia, (Northern Virginia's Koreatown) we have a long way to go in reaching Asian voters. For instance, it seems first-generation Korean Americans don't know much about Obama and they went with Hillary because they know her, like her and feel safe with her. According to AALDEF, in New Jersey, Clinton won 73% of the Asian American vote, with 22% supporting Obama. In New York, 86% supported Clinton with only 14% supporting Obama.
We have a lot of work to do, but I'm optimistic that we will find a way to reach our parents and grandparents. I say that very deliberately because there is a generation divide in this primary. This is a blessing in disguise for the Asian American community. We are forced to talk to our parents about something other than grades, jobs, God, marriage and children: politics. Hooray!
It's about time. I'm doing it and it's a lot of fun. My mom and aunt are now both Obama-obsessed and can't get enough of him. My dad--who twice voted for Bush--has warmed up to Obama and is now convinced he will be good business.
I attach here a thank-you note from Eric who is traveling all day today from DC to SF (three flights!), and my op-ed in Korea Times-Washington DC edition about Obama that was published yesterday. A friend translated it for me. Let me know if you want the Korean-version. I'll send you a PDF.
Despite the challenge and hard work ahead for us in doing outreach to Asian and Latino voters in upcoming primaries, I am optimistic. It feels so great to be part of changing America. I can't think of anything more rewarding and fun.
Thanks again and I look forward to working with you all on firing up Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania.
ANNABEL PARK ON WHY SHE SUPPORTS OBAMA