FILIPINO American actor Darren Criss is the latest celebrity to rally behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris.
Criss, along with Rep. Judy Chu, actor Daniel Dae Kim and DJ and producer Steve Aoki, headlined the campaign’s national Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) assemble program launch on Tuesday, August 25.
The event comes during the Republican National Convention week and as both parties continue to appeal to the AAPI electorate, the fastest-growing segment of eligible voters considered to be the “margin of victory” come November.
“One of the most exciting things about adulthood is feeling for the first time this sense of agency over your destiny,” Criss said, speaking directly to young voters.
Though the pandemic has hampered a lot of plans, the award-winning actor — known for his roles on “Glee” and “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” — told the audience that they can still vote and help others register.
“Guess what you can still do? You can vote,” he said. “If you can figure out how to use TikTok, the latest dance…you can definitely figure how to get your friends, who aren’t registered to vote, to vote.”
Criss, who is also a musician, pulled out his guitar and did an acoustic version of his song “Not Alone.”
“We’re going to come out on the right side of history in this coming election,” he added.
The event featured special remarks from Harris, who spoke about her mother’s immigration story.
“When my mother arrived in the United States from India, she understood that the core of her new home in America was that we not only strive for success but to leave our country better than we found it,” the vice presidential nominee said. “That’s the approach she instilled in me and I know many of you are working toward that same end.”
Harris promised that under a Biden administration, they will work to “restore honest leadership and implement a plan to get this pandemic under control.”
Over 11 million AAPIs will be eligible to vote in this cycle, comprising 5% of the country’s eligible voters.
“If you want a president and vice president who will look out for the interests of the AAPI community, leaders who encompass family values, care for the working class and the immigrant community, who will help small businesses build back better, restore the soul of not only our country, but our health care system…then you need not only vote for the Biden-Harris ticket But you need to get involved by calling your family and friends,” said Amit Jani, national AAPI director for the Biden campaign.
Preliminary polling from the 2020 Asian American Voter Survey by APIA Vote, AAPI Data and Advancing Justice | AAJC showed that 54% of AAPIs were leaning toward Biden, while 29% support President Donald Trump. Of the polled voters, 16% of voters remain undecided. (Christina M. Oriel/AJPress)