2018 was a year of many successes and challenges for our Arab American community. As you already know, we are a local nonprofit grassroots organization that is dedicated to empowering the Arab American community in the Greater LA Area.
At a time when our community is targeted and demonized, and when Arab Americans, immigrants, refugees, and vulnerable communities are under attack, we came together in unity to organize and mobilize for a better future. We look for your partnership and support to sustain and grow this movement, and continue building community power.
Here’s a recap of some of our achievement this past year:
1. Voter Mobilization.
We led a Get Out the Vote campaign prior to the midterm elections to mobilize the Arab American community and encourage them to vote. Our staff and volunteers registered more than 200 new Arab Americans voters, collected 478 pledge-to-vote cards, and contacted 3,465 voters via phone banking and door-to-door canvassing targeting Arab Americans in Orange County. We co-hosted two candidate forums: the Anaheim Mayoral forum and the 48th District Congressional forum.
2. Celebrating our local heroes.
Our 3rd annual Arab American Heritage Gala was an opportunity to bring together our community and celebrate our local heroes who have dedicated their lives for the betterment of our communities. We honored Dr. Musa Nasir, a pillar in the Arab American community, Dr. Samar Aziz for her service to our refugee communities in Orange County, and Jewish Voice for Peace for their amazing work to stand in solidarity and friendship with our community. Watch Loubna Qutami’s inspiring keynote speech here.
3. Arab American Heritage Month
Statewide Arab American community leaders led by the Arab American Civic Council were recognized in the California Senate Floor in Sacramento on April 9th for Arab American Heritage Month. The California State Senate adopted Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 123, authored by State Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) with unanimous support.
4. Challenging Trump’s Muslim Ban
In June, the US Supreme Court decided to uphold Trump’s Muslim Ban Executive Order. On decision day we were prepared to respond, in partnership with many of our community allies and friends. We co-hosted a press conference and a community rally in Anaheim’s Little Arabia District to express our rejection of this unfair decision and continue to mobilize our community to speak up against it. We co-hosted two forums to discuss the challenges our communities face in the aftermath of the Muslim Ban. We joined a national coalition to encourage Congress to repeal the ban and gathered thousands of signatures for a petition that was delivered to Congress in December. See media coverage by the Orange County Register.