Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Reproduced from Reflective Democracy Campaign; Chart: Axios Visuals

Asian American and Pacific Islander elected officials make up just 0.9% of elected leaders in the U.S., despite AAPIs accounting for 6.1% of the population, according to a Reflective Democracy Campaign report released Tuesday.

Why it matters: The report comes amid growing calls for greater AAPI visibility, following two mass shootings in which East Asian women and Sikh Americans were killed. The country has also witnessed a yearlong spike in anti-Asian incidents.

By the numbers: The report, based on data from May 2020, found that AAPIs make up...

  • 2.8% of elected officials in the federal government.
  • 1.6% of elected officials in statewide positions.
  • 2.1% of elected officials in state legislatures.
  • 0.5% of elected officials in county-wide positions.
  • 2.4% of elected officials in citywide positions.

Most states with significant AAPI populations are "seriously deficient" in AAPI political representation, the report found.

  • Hawaii is the only state whose share of AAPI elected officials nears its share of AAPIs overall.

In the criminal justice sector, AAPI invisibility is a "national crisis," the report noted.

  • AAPIs make up only 0.24% of elected prosecutors and 0.07% of county sheriffs.
    • That's two AAPI sheriffs among the country's 3,035 sheriffs.
  • Incarcerated AAPIs are often categorized as "other," contributing to their erasure even though Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Hawaii are incarcerated at four times the rate of white people, per the report.

Worth noting: The U.S. shut AAPIs out of politics for centuries, disenfranchising most AAPIs until the 1950s.

The big picture: Despite President Biden's promise to appoint the most diverse Cabinet in U.S. history, his is the first in 20 years without an AAPI secretary.

  • Following pressure, Biden last month named Erika Moritsugu as deputy assistant to the president and AAPI senior liaison.

The bottom line: "The people making and carrying out the political choices that affect AAPI communities don’t reflect them," said Premal Dharia, executive director of Harvard Law School's Institute to End Mass Incarceration, per the Reflective Democracy Campaign. "It is imperative that this change."

Go deeper

Corporates step up to support Asian American causes

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Following more than a year of rising anti-Asian sentiment, prominent business leaders and corporates are pooling millions to fight discrimination and to reverse economic and cultural exclusion. 

Driving the news: Saturday marked the start of Asian Pacific American Heritage month and numerous organizations and companies have launched platforms and programs to coincide with the time period.

  • Facebook and BMW are working with non-profit Gold House to grow Asian-led small businesses through an accelerator program and e-commerce sales campaign — like Amazon's Prime Day — called Gold Rush.
  • AT&T-owned HBO, Comcast NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS networks are launching campaigns like "See Us" and "We Belong" and special events to spotlight Asian creators. Comcast is also committing $2 million in direct support for social justice organizations.
  • Big banks like UBS and Citigroup, as well as Amazon, Walmart and Coca-Cola are part of a new $250 million effort to aid Asian American and Pacific Islander causes through The Asian American Foundation, which launched Monday

Why it matters: America's centuries-long history of excluding Asians has led to widespread systemic marginalization. The rise in attacks — many violent in nature — has galvanized the larger community to overhaul systems simultaneously.

What they're saying: “AAPI communities need systemic change to ensure we are better supported, represented, and celebrated across all aspects of American life," Sonal Shah, a former Obama official and now president of The Asian American Foundation, said in a statement.

  • In media, actors of Asian descent are still largely underrepresented.
  • In the workforce, workers of Asian descent are often left out of diversity initiatives and are the least likely group to be promoted into management.
  • In philanthropy, communities of Asian Pacific Islanders have received less than 0.5% of charitable giving.

The bigger picture: People of Asian descent currently make up about 7% of the U.S. population at 23 million and is the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group.

  • By 2060, the number of Asians in the U.S. is expected to reach nearly 36 million people, or more than 3x their population in 2000, according to Pew.

Obama says Powell exemplified what America "can and should be"

Then-President Obama speaks alongside former Secretary of State Colin Powell (left) during a meeting in the Oval Office in 2010. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama called Colin Powell an "exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot" in a statement honoring the former general following his death from COVID complications on Monday.

Why it matters: Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, was known as a Republican but played a critical role in helping Obama get elected in 2008.

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban

Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 11 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block Texas' near-total ban on abortions while federal courts consider its constitutionality.

The big picture: The court last month allowed the ban to take effect, rejecting an emergency application by abortion-rights groups. The law bars the procedure after cardiac activity is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.