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For the first time in history, an American of Korean descent has been elected to the Los Angeles City Council. But David Ryu, 39, a health center development director, said his victory was about much more.
For the first time in decades, Mexico is no longer the top source of recent immigrants to the United States, having been overtaken by China and India. The historic shift that occurred in 2013, documented in a recent U.S. Census Bureau study, reflects an acceleration of Chinese and Indian immigration over the last decade, and is the latest sign that large-scale Mexican migration to the United States—once taken for granted—appears to be winding down. The new prominence of Asian migration may herald a significant and long-term transition in the demographics of future U.S.
Branding himself as a City Hall outsider, the City Council candidate defeated a rival backed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Council President Herb Wesson and a glut of other local political heavyweights, making history as the first Korean American ever elected to the council. Ryu, 39, a health center executive, cruised to victory in his Sherman Oaks-to-Silver Lake district three years after Koreatown activists lost a bitter battle with Wesson over Asian American political representation during redistricting.
Asian Americans will grow from 4 percent of the electorate to 7 percent in the next 25 years, at a faster pace than the group's overall population growth, according to a new report by the UCLA Study for the Center for Inequality and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies. While the Asian American population is expected to grow by 74 percent, the registered voter growth is expected to rise by 107 percent to 12.2 million people by 2040.
When the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, its main argument was that the law was outdated. Discrimination against minority voters may have been pervasive in the 1960s when the law was passed, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. wrote, but “nearly 50 years later, things have changed dramatically.” In this simplistic account, the law was still punishing states and local governments for sins they supposedly stopped committing years ago.
WASHINGTON, DC — Since January, lawmakers on the state and federal levels have introduced over 180 bills that would change state and federal voting laws. “Three months into 2015, the battle for the 2016 election is already being fought in legislatures across the country,” said Michael Slater, executive director of the voting rights nonprofit Project Vote.
In a stairway just off the floor of the House of Representatives, Rep. Ami Bera walks past a portrait nearly every day of the late Rep. Dalip Singh Saund, a Democrat from California elected in 1956 and the first Asian American to serve on Capitol Hill. He was the first Indian American, as well. And while their ranks on Capitol Hill have not swollen, Indian Americans have been making political inroads, from city councils to state capitols. One is even flirting with running for president.
from his new perch in Washington, Ted Lieu has suffered through an East Coast winter and other confounding indignities of life as a freshman member of the House from the party out of power. No matter, he says; he learned from his predecessor, the 40-year member Henry Waxman, that influence will be marked in years and decades, not the three months Lieu has spent in the capital.
Every eligible Californian would be automatically registered to vote under legislation Secretary of State Alex Padilla is exploring. “If government knows who’s here, who’s 18, who’s a citizen, why go through hoops?” Padilla said in an interview. “Let’s just register folks automatically.”
There is a widespread belief among politicians, pundits, and the media that turnout matters in American elections. That is perhaps why President Obama recently endorsed the idea of mandatory voting. Yet, as widely held as this conventional wisdom may be, it gets little empirical support. Political scientists who have tried to investigate these claims empirically have generally found no consistent link between a skewed electorate and biased outcomes.