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Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement


VietLead’s LaPhieuTuDo (Freedom Vote)

VietLead’s LaPhieuTuDo (Freedom Vote) is part of our VietVoice Program – a civic engagement program that focuses on lifting up and expanding local, collective, democratic practices in the Vietnamese community.

Our project includes

  • Voter Education & Volunteer Training Workshops
  • Voter Registration Programs
  • Voter Protection (Poll-watching)
  • Advocacy to end disenfranchisement to all voters

We focus on elections at the federal, state, and local levels!

Why vote?

  • Pennsylvania is home to 417,000 AAPIs, an 83% increase from 2000.
  • There are over 223,000 eligible AAPI voters, comprising 2.1% of the state’s electorate.
  • The largest AAPI ethnic groups in PA include Indian (123,000), Chinese (115,000), Korean (52,000), Vietnamese (49,000), Filipino (39,000), and Japanese (18,000).
  • From 2000 to 2010, the number of eligible AAPI voters (CVAP) in Pennsylvania grew by 48%.
  • From 2008 to 2012, the number of eligible voters in Pennsylvania grew 22%.
  • AAPI youth (ages 18-29) comprise 28% of the AAPI CVAP population in Pennsylvania.
  • AAPIs age 50 and up comprise 32% of the AAPI CVAP population.
  • 79% of Asian Americans in Pennsylvania speak a language other than English at home, and of those, more than 37% speak English less than “very well.”

Advanced Summer Training Program

Vietlead launched its first run of a new civic engagement-centered youth program in the summer of 2018. High school students from Vietlead’s after-school program continued learning how to engage their people by organizing voter registration, canvassing, and phonebanking events as well as managing and training volunteers for each event, which helped them hone their leadership, decision-making, and problem-solving skills while also giving them a plethora of hands-on experience with community organizing.

In the end, the students connected with numerous community members and allies across South Philadelphia, and even in neighboring counties. They engaged and empowered their community by

  • registering people to vote
  • educating community members on anti-immigrant and anti-sanctuary legislation in the state congress
  • prompting community members to call their representatives about solidarity with immigrants, as well as urging Governor Wolf’s office to shut down the Berks County Detention Center
  • teaching them their rights for dealing with ICE officials in various situations
  • creating a network of resistors who would alert Vietlead and endangered community members about ICE activity in the neighborhood
  • linking them with Vietlead for additional services and opportunities to help

Community Resistance Zones

In solidarity with Juntos and other minority organizations, Vietlead has taken part in creating community resistance zones throughout Asian immigrant neighborhoods in South Philly. Community resistance zones are safe zones where community members pledge to look out for neighbors in danger of being detained by ICE. As part of our community defense initiatives, Vietlead has incorporated establishing these zones into our canvassing events, where we educate community members on their doorsteps about their rights in ICE encounters and ask them to become part of our network of resistance. This involves hanging our “Keep Our Communities Rooted” poster on their window as well as agreeing to document ICE activity, should it appear in the neighborhood, and alert Vietlead and vulnerable community members about it.