It looks like New York City is becoming more like the San Francisco Bay Area when it comes to getting more Asian Americans getting involved in local politics. This past week, New York City had its primaries and Asian American candidates made a terrific showing in a city that is approximately 12% Asian American.
“Asian-American candidates won Democratic primaries in three City Council districts on Tuesday. And John C. Liu, a Queens Democrat who was the first Asian-American to be elected to the Council, received the most votes for city comptroller, though not enough to reach the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff… Chinatown itself is likely to be represented by an Asian-American for the first time, with the victory of Margaret S. Chin … a community activist, over Councilman Alan J. Gerson, a two-term incumbent. In Flushing, Queens, Yen S. Chou, a Chinese immigrant who owns a tutoring center, won a closely fought five-way primary, which included three other Asian-American candidates, for the nomination to replace Mr. Liu. And in a traditionally conservative district in northeast Queens, Kevin D. Kim, an aide to Representative Gary L. Ackerman, won the primary for a seat being vacated by Councilman Tony Avella. Mr. Kim — who will face a Republican opponent, Dan Halloran, in November — would become the first Korean-American on the Council if he wins.”
If Margaret Chin wins in the general election in November, she will be — ironically — the first Chinese American to represent New York’s Chinatown, within one year of San Francisco’s David Chiu of being the first Asian American to represent ANY Chinatown in the United States.