Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Blog

Look How Far We Have Come

Unity. Leadership. Voice. This election is about an Arab American community coming of age.

30 years ago, when Arab Americans made campaign donations, our contributions were returned. When we tried to raise our voice on policy issues, our concerns were largely ignored. We were considered a minority of no political significance.

Today, Arab Americans’ voter preferences are the stuff of CNN headlines. We have representation in Congress and the Administration. We’ve changed the course of elections and our votes—and our contributions—are actively sought by candidates from both parties.

Our community has grown in numbers and it has come together to become one of the best-organized, most engaged and politically adept ethnic communities in the United States.

In these final weeks before the 2012 election, we should reflect on how far Arab Americans have come in the political process—and get ready to break down new barriers.

Arab American Opinions Matter.

The Media Knows It.

In September, when AAI released the results of our poll on the Arab American vote in 2012, CNN had AAI President Jim Zogby on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” to discuss the issues driving our community’s vote. The poll was also covered by several of the nation’s top news outlets including, POLITICOThe Daily Beast and the National Journal.

Citing our findings, National Journal, author Steve Clemons issued a warning to the Obama camp that ethnic voters, including Arab Americans, matter.

The Candidates Know It.

In New Jersey, our community was largely credited with helping Congressman Bill Pascrell beat his Democratic challenger Steve Rothman in a tough primary battle. Our voice and our numbers were so strong, they drove Republican nominee, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, to cast himself as “the true Pro-Arab Candidate.”

Arab Americans Know It.

That’s why so many are involved in Yalla Vote. They’re:

  • Part of a record number of Arab American Delegates at the 2012 conventions in Charlotte and Tampa
  • Hosting Town Hall meetings in key states like Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, and Texas
  • Organizing national phone banks to reach thousands of Arab American voters
  • Running for office in 14 states
  • Representing the Arab American community in political parties and campaigns around the nation

You Know It.  Now Act On It.

Here’s how:

  • Volunteer to phone bank and help get out the vote
  • Follow us on Twitter (@aaiusa) for election news and more
  • Read up on the issues and share your opinions with your elected officials

Lastly, please support our work by making a contribution today. You helped build this institution and your continued support will help us break down more barriers in the years to come.

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