[OPINION] A voice for AAPI Nevadans in Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada

By Angelyn Tabalba

AS Chair of the AAPI Democratic Caucus in Las Vegas and an active AAPI community leader in Nevada, I have dedicated much of my time to improving the lives of our neighbors and friends and ensuring that our voice is heard by elected officials. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has been a key advocate for us and she has worked alongside us to create a positive impact on our community, proving she will deliver for us when we need it most. That is why we must re-elect her this November.

During the pandemic, Senator Cortez Masto was quick to respond to our concerns. After delivering critical relief to support our small businesses and get our economy back on track, she passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which is creating thousands of jobs across the state while helping us fix our roads and bridges. She also fought to make sure this law would help us close the digital divide by delivering broadband all across our state, and combat drought with critical resources to strengthen our water infrastructure.

When the Trump White House spurred anti-Asian rhetoric, and hates crimes and xenophobic violence surged in America, our community was gripped by fear, uncertainty, and loss. We worried about the safety of our elders who went grocery shopping or our family members going out for a simple walk around the block. It’s why the AAPI Democratic Caucus quickly acted to bring our community together to speak and rally against the rise in hate, and Senator Cortez Masto made it clear she stood with us. She took the time to meet with community leaders, listen to our families and discuss real solutions to combat anti-AAPI hate crimes that have plagued our neighborhoods during the pandemic. After meeting with us, she helped pass Senator Mazie Hirono’s COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which makes it easier for victims to report hate crimes and provides them with additional assistance and support. This was an important step, and it showed us how Senator Cortez Masto will go to bat for our community.

The stakes are high when it comes to electing Nevada’s U.S. Senator, especially for the AAPI community. Time and again, Senator Cortez Masto’s opponent, Adam Laxalt, has shown himself to be a threat to our friends and neighbors, and we have to work together to defeat him.

Within days of announcing his candidacy, Laxalt touted an endorsement from Donald Trump, who spent his entire presidency spewing anti-Asian rhetoric. As COVID-19 spread across the U.S. and anti-Asian hate crimes increased significantly, Laxalt stood by as Trump repeatedly referred to the COVID-19 virus as the “China” and “kungflu” virus.

Laxalt is running to be the Trump of Nevada, focusing on his political prospects above all else. He went so far as to say it was “good news” that small businesses closed during the pandemic, because it could help his campaign appeal to voters. And when Trump came out in opposition to the bipartisan infrastructure bill, Laxalt immediately echoed the defeated former president and attacked the historic jobs legislation.

By attacking our families, our small businesses, and our jobs, Laxalt has made it clear that he stands against AAPI families in Nevada. This is not the leadership we expect from those running to represent us in Congress. When we head to the ballot box in November, consider who will be there to listen and fight for our voices to be heard.


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