LAO AMERICAN ORGANIZATION OF ELGIN (LAOE) PARTNERS WITH ASIAN AMERICAN INSTITUTE (AAI) TO DEVELOP CIVIC ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM

LAOE will educate, encourage and empower Lao American citizens to participate in the 2012 election

Elgin, IL – January 17, 2012 

The Lao American Organization of Elgin is proud to announce the partnership with the Asian American Institute, member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, to develop a Civic Engagement Program aligning with the objectives of the AAI’s Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment (PAVE) campaign.

The PAVE campaign embodies the organizational mission of AAI to empower the Asian American community through advocacy, by utilizing education, research and coalition building. LAOE will create a grass root campaign to educate, encourage and empower Lao American citizens of Elgin and surrounding communities to participate in the 2012 election at the local, state and national levels.

LAOE will be coordinating events and programs to educate the community about the election process and the importance of voting. A major initiative for LAOE is to develop an internal census to compile a comprehensive profile of the Lao American community. Through the census, LAOE will be able to collect data and identify major issues that will be communicated to local candidates running for government positions. LAOE intends to present these issues to candidates through Town Hall Meetings leading up to the November 6, 2012 election date. LAOE expects to increase the actual number or Lao American voters from previous election years.

“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to partner up with the Asian American Institute and share in their commitment to develop and strengthen our community. We look forward to helping our community become active participants in the 2012 elections by providing a platform to raise awareness of our community through supporting the legislative process. This is a monumental initiative for the Lao American Organization of Elgin and will serve as a springboard to future programs, ensuring the advancement and growth of our community,” stated Alan Thavisouk, LAOE Board Member and Program Director for Civic Engagement Program.

AAI will provide support and resources to LAOE including leadership development and training, expertise on community advocacy, and strategies on building and organizing communities.

“AAI is proud to have a partnership with the Lao American Organization of Elgin to develop a Civic Engagement Program, in conjunction with the PAVE campaign. Our united efforts will ensure Lao American voters have the resources and knowledge to exercise their right to participate in the democratic process. This alliance fulfills our mission to empower Asian Americans and ensures justice and opportunities for the future of our community and society as a whole,” said Krisna Abhay, Senior Community Organizer at AAI.

For more information about AAI, please visit www.aaichicago.org