In less than one week, voters in California will decide if Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom should be recalled and, if so, who should replace him.
Filipino groups on both sides of the aisle are making their last-minute pushes for their cause. Several polls have shown voters slightly in favor of keeping Newsom.
"Governor Newsom has proven himself to be a staunch ally of the Filipino and Asian American community. There's so much at stake," Bianca Nepaes Gervacio, President of Pilipino American Los Angeles Democrats (PALAD) said. "When our community doesn't show up at the ballot box, we all lose. Democracy isn't a spectator sport. We all need to be out here."
PALAD members believe a recall and the potential replacement for Newsom would hurt California in several ways.
"We also are going to get ready for the election next year so why not wait? Give it another year so we can really get around Covid and recover from it. 200 plus million dollars is going to this recall when it could be going to the Covid and stopping AAPI hate efforts, so this recall is really a waste of taxpayer dollars," Gervacio argued.
Newsom's handling of the pandemic had strengthened Republicans' call for the recall, but PALAD believes the governor has been making the right choices and moves against Covid-19.
"As a nurse, I really appreciated that he was one of the first to come out and give support for [personal protective equipment] for healthcare workers and communities. He was first to make the hard choices to make the changes to keep our families safe, and give the support we need through the pandemic," Vicky Perez, PALAD's Vice President of Programs & Endorsements, said.
As for PALAD founder Joselyn Geaga-Rosenthal, she doesn't believe Republicans would be able to offer anything to help Californians. "These Republicans that want to represent themselves are anti-mask and anti-tax, and have no leadership for helping us fight this pandemic. California has the fifth or sixth largest economy under the Democrats. They have addressed healthcare needs, education, and housing as well. So I don't know what the Republicans have to offer," Geaga-Rosenthal shared.
President Joe Biden is expected to visit California in the coming days to help the Newsom campaign. Meanwhile, conservative Asian groups are also continuing their efforts throughout Southern California, holding rallies with some of the candidates vying to replace the governor.
This year's special election will be done by mail-in ballots. If 50% vote in favor of the recall, the candidate with the highest number of votes would replace Newsom, whose term is scheduled to end in 2022.