HomePolitics4 Asian Americans could be seated on LA City Council

4 Asian Americans could be seated on LA City Council

A record number of Asian Americans could be elected to the Los Angeles City Council this fall, reports LAist.

Currently there are three – Kevin de León, Nithya Raman and John Lee.

John Lee won the primary with well over 60 percent of the vote and will be headed to another term.

Grace Yoo is on track to challenge incumbent Heather Hutt in a runoff in the District 10 race. Yoo, if victorious, would be the first Korean American woman to ever win a council seat.

DeLeon is facing a tough challenge to hold on to his seat in the 14th district. He faces tenant rights lawyer Ysabel Jurado. Jurado is Filipino American. DeLeon identifies as Latino and Chinese American.

Raman who was born in Kerala, India will face Ethan Weaver in a runoff in the District 4 race.

Despite being the third largest racial group in Los Angeles County, a 2023 report from the UCLA Asian American Center found Asian Americans are underrepresented in the political landscape.

The report concluded Asian Americans are divided among multiple districts, diluting their voting power and hampering the community’s ability to elect candidates that represent them.

“By splitting the Asian American population into multiple districts, they’re making up a smaller share of each of those different districts, which means that their vote doesn’t carry as much power,” said Natalie Masuoka, chair of the Asian American Studies department at UCLA said to ABC7.

Advocates say until the districts are realigned, Asian Americans will not be heard.

“Being ignored has a consequence to the people who live in the city and who live in the county,” said Bill Fujioka who chairs the board of the Japanese American National Museum.

According to the LAist, the Asian Americans currently on the council come from a diverse point of view and don’t vote as a bloc. Raman is described as progressive while Lee has supported a crackdown on homeless encampments.

“For a long time, our Asian American and Pacific Islander community has been seen as one monolith,” said Nancy Yap of the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment. “Just how these two council members carry themselves is already very different from one another.”

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