I was reading the blog Angry Asian Man, and came across The Boston Globe article on “Asian-Americans notch wins in municipal elections.” I’m originally from Massachusetts (as stated in my profile – I grew up in Western Massachusetts), so it was really interesting to read:
“Several Chinese-American politicians won election in Newton, Brookline, and other posts around the region this month, as Asian-Americans made some strides in increasing representation in the area. Paul Watanabe, director of the University of Massachusetts at Boston’s Institute for Asian American Studies, pointed to evidence of a growing trend with the victories on Nov. 6, including in two races in Newton, where Greer Tan Swiston was elected to the Board of Aldermen in Ward 3’s at-large race, and Alderwoman at Large Amy Mah Sangiolo was reelected in Ward 4. Also, Donald H. Wong was elected to the Saugus Board of Selectmen, and then named chairman by the board, and Lisa Wong was elected mayor of Fitchburg. Other Chinese-Americans to win office include Brookline School Committee member Ira Chan and former Brookline School Committee member Terry Kwan. Watanabe said Asian-Americans from other ethnic backgrounds who have also won seats include Sam Yoon, a Korean-American just reelected to a second term on the Boston City Council; Rithy Uong, a Cambodian-American who served on the Lowell City Council; Dean Tran, a Vietnamese-American who just won a second term on the Fitchburg City Council; and Lexington School Committee member Ravi K. Sakhuja and Norfolk Selectman Ramesh Advani, both Indian-Americans. He said the success of those candidates has spurred other Asian-Americans to run, noting for example two Chinese-Americans who ran unsuccessfully for City Council in Quincy this year.”
Massachusetts is about 5% Asian, and a lot of those Asians live in the greater Boston area (for reference: California’s population is about 12.5% Asian). I’ve actually met Sam Yoon a few years ago at a Democratic National Committee Asian-American conference in San Jose, so it was nice to read that he got re-elected. In any case, there are not nearly as large congregations of Asian-Americans in Massachusetts cities as there are in California, so I imagine many of these candidates who got elected are breaking new ground.
When following some November election news, I did come across a Boston Globe’s article on Lisa Wong, 28, winning the Fitchburg mayoral race “Wong romps for mayor in Fitchburg” with over 75% of the vote, becoming the first minority mayor of Fitchburg ever in its 243-year history, defeating a four-term city councilor.