Watch out, San Francisco elected officials and political candidates, because a new nonprofit is looking to give out “Asian scores” to rate your performance.
A team of Asian American political activists has formed the Association for the Advancement of Asians, or “Triple A,” to boost political engagement and better inform voters about officials’ records on issues that Asian Americans often prioritize, such as public safety and public education.
“If we can galvanize the Asian community for the benefit of the issues, I think we win,” Chris Do, who founded Triple A and sits on its board, told The Standard. “We can start getting stuff for our community by just voting, and that's the dream I have for the organization.”
It’s unclear what the “Asian scores” will be based on as the group is still finalizing specifics, but the board said that it will be completely issue-focused and “basically colorblind.” Volunteers will read the details of various pieces of legislation and track voting records on pertinent topics, like funding for police.
The first report is expected to come out before the March 2024 election. Do emphasized the rating process will be transparent and include feedback from a wide range of political spectrum to ensure the credibility of the scores.
However, the group may align with the more moderate factions of San Francisco politics, as some board members were active during the 2022 Board of Education and district attorney recalls.
Lily Ho, a political activist and also a board member, said it’s important to continue the political momentum in the community from 2022 as Asian Americans overwhelmingly supported efforts to unseat those incumbents.
“How are we continuing the infrastructure and connections to the community that we built?” Ho said. “How do we keep this going?”
Ho acknowledged that San Francisco’s Asian community is not monolithic, but that Asian voters should be better informed on issues they care about instead of being diluted and divided.
These “Asian score” reviews may also reflect the popular political narrative in the city that progressive Asian American elected officials are not representing the Asian community after former Supervisor Gordon Mar lost his reelection to Joel Engardio in a heavily Asian district.
“If you're not even Asian and you get a high Asian score, God bless you,” Do said. “If an Asian candidate doesn't get a high score, so be it. I am OK with that.”