She trained here,studied here, got her footing here in Seattle. The influence of so many longstanding Asian Pacific American mentors within social justice movements has changed the way younger APAs see themselves in positions of influence. Go Yuh-Line! (She was also my neighbor for many years here in Ballard.)
Questions to ask students:
What is an elected representative?
What should an elected representative be like?
How do you choose the right candidate for you?
Here are a few easy and free lesson plans we find useful:
When the 115th Congress convenes on Jan. 3, 2017, it will do so with more Asian-American woman senators than ever before.
Three members of the Senate are projected to be Asian-American women, a new high just four years after Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii became the first Asian-American woman ever to be elected to the Senate in 2012.
Projected to be joining her are Kamala Harris — the current attorney general of California — and Rep. Tammy Duckworth from Illinois, who is projected to defeat incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk.
Below are the election results of other races featuring Asian-American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) candidates or candidates involved in the AAPI community.
“The Asian-American voter pool is remarkably diverse, ranging from Pakistanis and Indians to Chinese and Koreans.” That is the ethnic breakdown in the state of Virginia in anarticle from the Wall Street Journal. In Washington State we would add the populations from the Pacific Islands as well. This means the diversity of the Asian and Pacific American voting public is as varied as any other groups. Outreach by both major political parties will need to contend with this diversity. To the list we can confidently add: Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao, Japanese, Thai, Sri Lankan, Filipino, Hawaiian, Fijian, Maori, Samoan, Tongan and a dozen other ethnicities.
The reality for political campaigns is that there is an assumption that if you reach one of these groups, you’ve reached them all. I very clear terms, that simply is not the effect.
In 2012, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans were a major factor in the elections; some have argued that we collectively were the most significant swing vote in that national and state-level elections.
I pointed this out at the dinner table this past summer. I was happily surprised at how interested my kids were in the topic.
My daughter entered her fourth grade class with the expectation that she would learn everything she needed to know about voting, elections and the Constitution. We are several weeks into the school year and I am trying to manage her expectations a bit. What I am struck by, is that she is committed to this idea of voting. Participation in elections, for her, is as important as her own interests in sports, arts and music. In essence; being a voter is an important part of her identity. She was disappointed that the right to vote wouldn’t be hers until she turned 18, because as she stated, “I’m a citizen now.”
What this triggered was a series of questions of whether the American voter– in particular Asian and Pacific American voters– saw the right to vote as inherent to their identity.
Does the right to vote coincide with the identity of being a citizen?
How do our next generations see themselves within our political process?