SEARAC Statement on the Election of Joe Biden as President of the United States

Dear SEARAC family, friends, and community:

The SEARAC staff and I would like to express our deepest gratitude for your participation in the 2020 elections. Despite a global pandemic that has impacted all of our lives, we have seen historic voter turnout from the Southeast Asian American community this Election Day, including a record number of early votes and mail-in-ballots cast. It was through the dedicated efforts of advocates and community members, especially in battleground states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, that Southeast Asian American communities were mobilized to bring that power to the polls this fall. From phonebanking efforts to fighting for language access on our ballots, SEAAs across the country gave their all to this incredibly consequential election.

With the news that Joe Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States, we are committed to pushing his new Administration to implement progressive policies that address the roots of structural inequity in our communities — policies for which our ancestors fought. President-Elect Biden has pledged to restore refugee admissions and end family separation; to take seriously the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged our communities; and to protect the Affordable Care Act, which reduced uninsured rates in our communities by half. However, our communities need more than just progressive steps; President Elect-Biden must take bold, decisive, and urgent action and place a full moratorium on deportations within the first hundred days of his Administration. 

We also wanted to celebrate the groundbreaking election of Kamala Harris as Vice President. Vice President-Elect Harris is the first woman, the first Black person, and the first Asian American person to be elected to this position. During her victory speech, VP-Elect Harris acknowledged her roots as a child of immigrants, stating: “And to the woman most responsible for my presence here today — my mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who is always in our hearts. When she came here from India at the age of 19, maybe she didn’t quite imagine this moment. But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible.” The stories of our communities are echoed in the VP-Elect’s story, and our achievements are echoed in her historic election.

Even though Election Day is now behind us, our work is not over. We must acknowledge the long road ahead to heal our country and fight for an America that truly values freedom and justice for all. Rest assured that SEARAC will amplify our communities’ voices and continue to fight for change from the White House to our local municipalities. We look forward to your continued support and partnership in this vital work, and we thank you for everything you have done to get us to this point.

Take a deep breath, take the rest that you need, and then join us as we hit the ground running.

Katrina Dizon Mariategue
Acting Executive Director, SEARAC