Press "Enter" to skip to content

Asian Americans Rising Pens Letters to DPOC in Support of Irvine’s Farrah Khan

 

Farrah Khan

While Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is in its final days, Asian Americans Rising (AAR) will continue to celebrate the many achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), including elected officials representing Orange County. Today, Asian Americans Rising submitted a letter to the Democratic Party of Orange County with 60 signatories, many of whom are AAPI Community Leaders, in support of Irvine Councilwoman Farrah Khan. Other non AAPI community supporters, such as Assemblywoman Cottie Petri-Norris, also signed the letter. [see below]

“Councilwoman Khan is the first Muslim woman ever to be elected in Orange County, and the first Asian American woman to be elected to the Irvine City Council,” said Tammy Kim, Asian Americans Rising Co-Founder. “Councilwoman Khan has spent years fighting for progressive values and appointing people of color to leadership positions in the community.”

“We are disappointed that an anonymous letter distributed to members of the DPOC Central Committee members and attendees generated overly harsh criticism of Councilwoman Khan,” said AAR board member, Patty Yoo. “We believe she is being held to an unfair double standard.”

“We believe DPOC shares our goal of increasing the number of AAPI voters, which Councilwoman Khan helped to deliver in the last election cycle,” said AAR board member, Priscilla Huang. “We ask that the DPOC put an end to this campaign and work with AAR to better engage with the AAPI electorate.”

Asian Americans Rising is a progressive non-partisan organization made up of members of the pan-Asian diaspora who seek to elevate the political voice and impact of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in Orange County.

Here’s the Letter:

May 30, 2019

Dear Democratic Party of Orange County Central Committee Members, Board Members, and Officers,

Asian Americans Rising (AAR), joined by the undersigned individuals, write in response to efforts to an unsigned letter that was distributed among Central Committee Members and attendees of the DPOC meeting on May 20, 2019. The letter outlined multiple charges against Councilwoman Farrah Khan and seeks her removal from the DPOC. AAR is a progressive non-partisan organization made up of Pan-Asian members who seek to elevate the political voice and impact of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Orange County.

We celebrate the achievements of Councilwoman Farrah Khan who has spent years fighting for

progressive values, such as women’s reproductive rights and LGTBQ rights. We celebrate her as the first Muslim woman ever to be elected in Orange County, and the first Asian woman to be elected to the Irvine City Council. We celebrate that Councilwoman Khan has appointed a person of color in every single one of her appointed commissioner spots. Forty-five percent of the overall Irvine population is AAPI. In the past November 2018 election cycle, there were 19,265 AAPI voters who voted in the Irvine City Council election. Of those voters, 4,544 were Republican, 6,240 were Democrat, and the remaining 8,481 were NPP or minor 3rd party members. Of the AAPI NPP voters, a significant number swung Democrat. As the top vote getter, Councilwoman Khan played an instrumental role in bringing out the AAPI community to vote for democratic candidates. People who would have otherwise not come to out to vote, came out to vote for not only for Councilwoman Khan, but also Congresswoman Katie Porter and Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris.

Councilwoman Khan holds a fiduciary responsibility of care, loyalty, and impartiality for the residents of Irvine that she serves. Her judgment was that, the vast majority of voters in Irvine would react negatively to a vote for a special election and its $900,000 price tag, and that the downsides of such a vote were not outweighed by its potential benefits. While many, including several of us, do not agree with this view, we all believe that this was a thoughtful and defensible decision, and certainly not one that would justify the harsh reaction that Councilmember Khan is receiving.

From our lens, it appears that Councilwoman Khan is being held to standards which other elected officials have not been held to. For example, Councilwoman Khan is being criticized for having appointed a Republican as her finance commissioner, even as many other Democratic Councilmembers, past and present, in Irvine and elsewhere, have also appointed registered Republicans to these non-partisan positions. We are deeply concerned that there is a double standard at work, one which unfairly holds Asian-Americans and other persons of color to a higher standard than their white counterparts.

We believe that the DPOC shares our goal of increasing the number of AAPI voters who support progressive candidates. This campaign to humiliate and remove Councilwoman Khan from the DPOC runs counter to the long term strategic objectives of the party. We ask that you swiftly end this campaign to remove Councilwoman Khan from the DPOC. Together, we will move forward to engage the AAPI electorate.

In Solidarity,

Tammy Kim

Co-Founder, Asian Americans Rising; Korean American Democratic Committee; Korean

American Community Leader; AAPI Activist

 

Patty Yoo

Asian Americans Rising Board, DGI Member

 

Priscilla Huang

Asian Americans Rising (Board member)

 

Susan Lew

Asian Americans Rising, Community Activist

 

Sukhee Kang

Former Mayor of Irvine

 

Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen

Councilmember, City of Garden Grove

 

Naz Hamid

Asian Americans Rising, Education Activist, Asian Community Activist

 

Joe Pak

Lifetime Democrat, Former Obama Administration Appointee

 

Cottie Petrie-Norris

CA State Assembly

 

Jessica Cha,

Korean American Democratic Committee; Secretary, Orange County Asian American Bar

Association

 

Shikha Bhatnagar

South Asian Community Leader

 

Cyril Yu

Chinese American Community Leader

 

Tracy La

Vietnamese Community Leader and Activist

 

Jennifer Koh

Immigration Law Professor

 

Caroline Hahn

Korean American Democratic Committe e

 

Dr. Linda Vo

UC Irvine

 

Fengshun Alvin Chang

UC Irvine

 

Branda Lin

Irvine Community Services Commissioner

 

Arnel Dino

DPOC Executive Board Rep AD65, DPOC Central Committee Member(AD 65), State

Chair, Filipino American Democratic Caucus of CDP

 

Charlie Choi

Korean Association of Senior Citizens

 

Andrew Chou

Elected Councilmember

 

Briana Kim

Korean American Democratic Committee

 

Beth Krom Former

Irvine Mayor and Councilmember

 

Avinder Chawla

Resident

 

Ryan Ahari

Peace Corps

 

Rida Hamida

CA State Assembly, Muslim Community Leader

 

Nathaniel Epstein

Filipino Community Leader

 

Ritesh Srivastava

Resident

 

Beth Fujishige

Resident

 

Afreen Mirza

Pakistani Community Leader

 

Mari Fujii

Community Activist

 

Sabiha Siddiqui

Resident

 

Vicki Tamoush

Resident

 

Jutta Gamboa

DGI

 

 

Samira Saleh

Resident

 

Daniel Luo

Asian Americans Rising

 

Yanni Guo

Resident

 

Fauzia Rizvi

Corona Norco Democratic Club

 

Michelle V. Duman

Member, DPOC Central Committee

 

Kiran Srivastava

Resident

 

Josephine Park

Modus Education

 

Steve Huang

Resident

 

Talor Williams

UCI Alum, Progressive Student Alliance at UCI, SGI-USA National / West Territory /

Southern California West Zone / North Orange County Region / Tustin-Orange Chapter /

Santiago Hills District

 

William Leonard

President of The Progressive Student Alliance at U.C. Irvine

 

Eugene Fields

Council on American-Islamic Relations Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter

 

Aaruni Thakur

OC Dem

 

Mariam Tariq

City of Irvine

 

Hishmah Hamid

California State University Fullerton

 

Maria Olivieri Minney

Self employed

 

Robin Gurien

Democrat

 

Enrica Costa

Irvine resident

 

Dannie Cesena

CA LGBTQ Health, Human Services Network, Orange County Equality Coalition

 

Claudia Perez

Self

 

Ray Regalado

Asian Americans Rising

 

Amir Baum

Climate Reality Orange County Chapter

 

Ariane Jong

UC Irvine

 

Hyepin Im

Faith and Community Empowerment

 

Gianna Lum

UC Irvine

 

Melahat Rafiei

DNC

 

Eugene Hung

Feminist Asian Dad Blog

 

Mark Tabbert

Citizens climate Lobby

 

Jennette Jun

Volunteer, National Asian Pacific Center for Aging

One Comment

  1. Gail Lewis Gail Lewis June 1, 2019

    I wish you would have printed the unsigned letter also. Farrah maybe a progressive in her heart but not in her votes. So far she has voted consistently with the conservatives backing the builder 5 PTS every wish. She also voted on NOT giving the residents of Irvine a chance to vote for the 5th council member. Instead the council member was chosen by the conservatives on the council. Is this a real progressive?

Comments are closed.