Asian Political Power, Apathetic Asian-Americans?

Asian-Americans are under-represented in politics – even in California – where we are the 2nd largest minority group behind Latinos. It’s nice to read in The New York Times the article about “Asians Flex Muscles in California Politics” :

“There are now nine Asian-Americans in the State Legislature, compared with one 10 years ago. In November, a Chinese-American, John Chiang, was elected state controller. Three of the five members of the Board of Equalization, which administers the state’s tax policies, are Asian-American, including Mr. Chiang.”

I know John Chiang! – John is the HIGEST ranking elected Asian-American in California. He is my friend’s friend’s husband and I have met John several times. He’s a really down-to-earth guy and truly a public servant. I am proud to say that I was a support for his campaign effort.

However, given Asian-Americans’ representation in voting is *still* under-represented:

“According to a study by S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside, only 37 percent of Asian-Americans in California voted in the 2004 elections, compared with 68 percent of blacks and 73 percent of whites. Latino turnout, at 32 percent, was even lower. The disparity can partly be explained by lower rates of citizenship: only 67 percent of Asians and 59 percent of Latinos living in California at the time were citizens. But even those who were citizens had much lower rates of voter registration than other ethnic groups.”

What ever happened to The Model Minority? Obviously, the “Model Minority” is NOT the “Model U.S. Citizen.”

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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