Political power of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders highlights key study

asian american photoA Special Report for TheFILAMLA

Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) are becoming citizens in greater numbers.

They are registering to vote and going to polls in increasing numbers in the West, according to Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA).

In a report issued today by Advancing Justice based on a Pew Research Center Study, Kwoh stated “as our communities have grown, more Asian Americans and NHPI are becoming citizens, registering to vote and casting ballots”.

The report also stated there are more than 8 million Asian Americans living in the West. This means one out of every ten people in the West is Asian American. There are 870,000 NHPI living in the West. NHPI comprise 1 percent of the West’s population.

Kwoh exhorted elected officials need to pay attention and be responsive to the growing needs and concerns of two of the fastest growing constituencies in the West.

In certain jurisdictions, Asian Americans and NHPIs have already had or will soon have the ability to produce the margin of victory to impact the outcomes of elections.

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan American think tank based in Washington, D.C., that provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world.

The report comes on the heels of the Pew Research Center showing the rapid growth of the Asian American population as fueled, in large part, by immigration following passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1965.

In addition to highlighting the disparities that exist between specific Asian ethnicities, the report illustrates Asian American business and economic contributions and underscores the future political power of the demographic in the Western United States.

Advocates from Pilipino Workers' Center rally for more governmental support for community programs.

Advocates from Pilipino Workers’ Center rally for more governmental support for community programs.

A representative from Advancing Justice cautioned however, that it is important for social planners to recognize that “when we talk about the growing Asian American community in the United States, it’s crucial to recognize that Asian Americans are extremely diverse.”

Mee Moua, president and executive director of Advancing Justice – AAJC said while some are doing well, others are struggling.

Based on the study, some Asian Americans and NHPIs in the West have achieved economic success, however, others still struggle to make ends meet. “The reality is Asian Americans and NHPIs in the West are more likely to live in poverty, be low income, make less money and be less likely to own homes than Whites”.

“We must celebrate the communities’ successes, but also realize that the success of certain ethnic groups often mask the difficulties faced by others that fall under the Asian American and NHPI umbrella. We are able to showcase our contributions and needs by using disaggregated data in our demographic reports,” Moua underlined.

This new report about the growing Asian Americanpopulations in the Western United States, including Arizona, Hawai’i, Oregon, and the Las Vegas and Seattle metropolitan areas, “ A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in West”, is part of a series by Advancing Justice, which includes a national report providing a nationwide snapshot of Asian American communities. This was released today.
was released today.

Some key facts from the West report include:

• Asian Americans and NHPIs continue to own businesses and employ millions of people. Asian American and NHPIs buying power continues to grow in all major regions in the West.

• While some Asian Americans and NHPIs have no trouble speaking English and accessing educational opportunities and health care, many still need language assistance to access critical services, and have difficulty graduating high school.

burog original

Leave a Reply