Despite its large Asian American population, the city of Los Angeles in its entire history has only elected one candidate from the Asian American community, reports the Mercury News.
This has taken place despite the growing political influence of the Asian American community in both the state and the region surrounding Los Angeles.
“It’s a decent, significant showing” for Asian-American candidates this election season, said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles. “It’s not the end of the discussion, but things are moving decently in Sacramento, in a decent direction for Congress, but what sticks out like a sore thumb is L.A. city for the absence” of Asian American representation.
This November, several Asian American will have a chance to be elected to state wide offices. They are State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrence) who hopes to replace retiring Democrat Henry Waxman in Beverly Hills in Congress, Board of Equalization member Betty Yee who’s running for State Controller, and termed out State Controller John Chiang is running for State Treasurer.
Also in Los Angeles County, former undersheriff Paul Tanaka is running for sheriff.
In the city of Los Angeles, its a different matter.
“It really stands out,” Sonenshein said. “Over 400,000 Asian Americans in L.A., no City Council members, no citywide elected officials and only one in the history of the entire city…. It’s phenomenal trying to figure out.”
You can read about some of the reasons behind this in the Mercury News.