Asian Americans Becoming More Visible in Civic Service and Politics

Publication: 
Hyphen Magazine

Were you ever that kid who dreamed of one day becoming the President of the United States? (I bet you were probably really annoying, too, weren’t you.) But did you think it was impossible because you didn’t look like the other Presidents? (To be fair, you probably didn’t want to look like Taft.) Or because you came from an immigrant background?Well, consider your childhood dream a viable possibility. In recent years, a record number of leaders has emerged from the Asian American community.On the east coast, you have people like US Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) of Hawaii and State Rep. William Tong (D) of Connecticut, both of whom are running for Senate seats this year. There’s also New York City Comptroller John Liu, who was elected in 2009. On the west coast, there’s Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, elected in 2010 and who has had something of an embattled tenure. Most recently, San Francisco's mayoral race saw a number of Asian American candidates. Ed Lee eventually prevailed; his win, in particular, was attributed to the record number of the Asian American electorate who turned out to vote for him.

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