Meet 5 AAPI power players shaping politics and policy in America
We featured them in March in our annual Power List of 40 people with undeniable sway over key policy battles — from abortion to environmental justice to elections to tense negotiations with geo-political foes.
Selected on The Recast Power List for leading the White House’s abortion access fight during the midterm elections, the vice president herself pushed the administration to keep talking about the abortion issue, arguing it was an issue of personal freedom and would resonate with voters of any gender.
With Biden announcing his reelection bid last week, look for Harris to play a prominent role, making the case why voters should give the Biden-Harris administration four more years.
Hwang is nothing short of a change agent. Years ago she founded an incubator program aiming to identify and elevate progressive AAPI women in political leadership. In the past year she upped her game, with the Asian American Women’s Political Initiative creating a fellowship program focusing on giving women up to $10,000 for civic impact projects.
With upcoming elections next year and a growing AAPI influence in politics, we predict you’ll be hearing much more about her in the years to come.
Nothing beats a politician that can connect with their voters. Yee demonstrated this like no other Arizona Republican could last cycle. In a year featuring election deniers like Kari Lake and Blake Masters sharing the same ticket — and losing their respective races – Yee won the race for state treasurer, easily. She attributed it to her campaign’s focus on not getting distracted by “side issues.”
Yee is now one of the few Asian American women to hold statewide office in the nation. Expect her profile to grow among National Republicans in the coming year.
If you care about making polluters pay, then Kim is the one you call. Taking companies to court and compelling them to pay to limit toxic chemicals being spewed into the air and filing complaints in cities like Jackson for violating safe drinking water rules for their residents – that’s all part of Kim’s jam.
Keep an eye out for the DOJ attorney as he continues this fight — environmental justice is a key pillar of the Biden administration’s platform.
Lindsay Kagawa Colas
Paired on our list with Cherelle Griner, the wife of formally-detained WNBA star Brittney Griner, Colas played a pivotal role in helping secure the hooper’s release from a Russian prison. Colas used her bullhorn to highlight why Griner was in Russia to begin with: the huge pay disparity between WNBA stars and those in the NBA.
Look for Colas, who serves as Griner’s agent, to assist Griner as she navigates her way back to the court while advocating for other Americans detained in Russia.