Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Register Now if You are One in a Million

Register Now if You Are One in a Million
Oct 13, 2006

To disprove a revolutionary Chinese maxim, Asian Pacific American political power comes not from a barrel of a gun, but through the ballot box of the democratic process. In this issue, AsianWeek and the Asian Pacific Democratic Club have teamed together to distribute in this issue over 40,000 voter registration cards in San Francisco.
It’s our contribution to registering 1 million additional Asian American Californians. Accomplishing that, we bolster a potential force to over two million Asian American voters. With that type of clout, we can anoint the next president of the United States and give birth to future waves of Asian American elected leaders in California.
This November’s election for Controller and Board of Equalization, for example, represents that new wave, or “GenerASIAN Next.” If elected, candidates John Chiang, Betty Yee, Michelle Park Steel and Judy Chu will have a major voice on the state tax policies affecting billions in funding of education and billions from taxes on consumers and owners of small businesses and homes.
Not only could more Asian Americans be elected, but this powerful force of two million voters will influence the political calculus of major national figures.
The Bay Area is not only the capital of Asian Pacific America, but also a great national hub of political influence where House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman and Democratic National Committee vice chairman Mike Honda, U.S. senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are from.
So, if Asian Americans of the Bay Area register and vote, their potential for greater political influence exceeds that of many American citizens on major issues like the war on terrorism, the economy, immigration and ethics in government.
With this clout, Asian Americans have made strides. Four decades since the passage of the voting rights and immigration reforms, more Asian Americans have become citizens and voters. More APAs are seeking and holding office.
It was only as recently as 1999 that Cabinet Secretary of Commerce Norman Mineta was the highest Asian American to be entrusted as eleventh in the line of presidential succession. It’s no longer how far we are, but how close we are to one day occupying the White House when we register and vote before Oct. 23.