Asian Americans push for representation via redistricting – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-11-09 17:45:00 –

Carson City, Nevada >> From Hamtramck, Michigan to Las Vegas, Nevada, activists have made the growing Asian-American and Pacific Islands communities equally represented by the government in the once-in-a-decade constituency change process. Promoting the state to.

Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in the United States and currently make up more than 10% of the population of Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Washington, and Nevada.

Demographic groups are politically, linguistically, and economically diverse, but they are strong voting blocks in these states and other regions. Republicans made a profit in 2020, but Asian American and Pacific Islander voters have largely supported the Democratic presidential candidate since 2000.

According to activists and scholars, the anti-Asia discrimination and violence caused by the pandemic has been politically involved and united in the community for almost two years.

Historically, the Asian-American community was not large or unified enough to challenge political maps in court. However, data showing political cohesion between different subsets of demographic groups has amplified the call to see it as a community interested in subdivision.

Eric Jen of the Asian Community Development Council in Nevada said, “If we all recognize ourselves as an ethnic group, we can negotiate, build power, and take the lead. Not enough. ” “Our community shares concerns about immigration, medical care, and education. And when anti-Asian hatred was growing, they weren’t asking where you came from. Asians. People who looked like were attacked. “

According to census data, Nevada has more than 400,000 inhabitants identified as Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, or Native Hawaiians. The majority live in the Las Vegas area and are of Filipino, Chinese, Japanese or Vietnamese descendants.

The population has increased by 47.3% over the last decade. This is more than three times the total population and is increasing primarily in areas such as Spring Valley and southwestern Las Vegas.

But this growth is also an example of the competing interests that arise during the redrawing of parliamentary and state legislative districts.

Questions about whether to prioritize drawing a compact district, protecting incumbents, or drawing a majority of Asian-American state capitol are inevitable when meeting to make a constituency change. It will force a difficult decision on the Nevada Democratic-controlled parliament.

At least four Nevada lawmakers have identified them as Asian-Americans, but no one represents the most populous southwestern region of Las Vegas.

In Congress, Chair Jason Flyerson, Chair Whip Sandra Jauregi, and Acting Chair Steve Yeager represent neighboring areas of 28% to 30% of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, or Pacific Islanders. I am.

In the state legislature, the adjacent districts of Democrats Dallas Harris and Melanie Shyble are 31% and 27% Asian-American, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

Groups such as the Asian Community Development Council and the American Civil Liberties Union in Nevada have drawn AAPI majority districts to the Democratic-controlled state legislature to encourage political participation and dilute or gerrymander demographic voting rights. I hope it won’t be done.

Jen said that non-Asian politicians representing Asian-American populated areas often enjoy broad support and advocacy issues that are important to the community, but Asian-American candidates run. He said he wanted to draw the district in a way that wouldn’t interfere with it.

“The community is more involved when people who look like them represent them. Mentioning Michelle Wu and Afterb Pureval’s victory in the mayoral elections in Boston and Cincinnati last week, Jen said. rice field.

According to Professor Janelle Wong of the University of Maryland, the communities under AAPI (short for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) are diverse, but survey data show that the group is relatively on a particular political issue. We are united.

“There is a great deal of debate about the diversity of Asian Americans,” said Wong, who is also co-director of AAPI Data. “But one of the most important and amazing features of the Asian-American community is that, despite this tremendous diversity, there is actually an amazing level of consensus on a particular issue.”

Asian-American Republicans are more likely than other Republicans to support the Affordable Care Act, and are likely to support tax increases for the wealthy as well, across income groups, at 250,000 a year. Those who earn more than a dollar are almost as supportive as those who earn less. , Wong said.

The American Civil Liberties Union in Nevada is urging lawmakers to depict at least one district where the majority of the population is Asian-American or Pacific Islanders so that the voting rights of growing groups are not diminished.

“I’m afraid that if the state legislature were to follow a relatively similar map as it is today, it would dilute the voting rights of Nevada’s growing AAPI community, which continues to be severely undervalued throughout the state. “Athar said. Haseebullah, executive director of the group, told lawmakers at a committee hearing in October.

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