Asian-Americans Ask For Unified State Assembly District

Steven Choi, executive director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action (Jeanne Noonan for Daily News)

The Daily News did some very timely reporting this morning on Asian-American groups that are currently seeking a unified political district to call their own in Southwestern Brooklyn.

Proponents say this would enable Asian-Americans to have a larger political voice that’s reflective of their growing population.

According to the News, while the number of eligible voters has grown 46%, the bulk of their community is divided into four different state Assembly districts.

From the News:

“Not a single Asian-American has ever won an election in the borough of Brooklyn,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action. “We have seen our … communities sliced and diced. Why? Simply for the interests of politicians, so they can get elected again and again and again.
“We demand our seat at the political table,” he said.
State pols are working on drawing new lines for Assembly, Senate and congressional districts, part of a once-a-decade redistricting process that follows the Census. The commission that will draw the maps heard hours of testimony from Brooklynites at Borough Hall yesterday.

Local activists are proposing a majority-Asian Assembly district, which would include residents from Sunset Park to Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights.

The piece also includes a quote from Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause – a voter advocacy group – who agreed with Choi that district lines should be re-drawn, giving neighborhood demographics priority over the careers of incumbent politicians.

Paul Mak, president of the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association, may have summed up the new, more ambitious outlook and increasing political confidence of Asian Brooklynites best when he spoke of the low expectations of decades past.

“When we started 15 years ago, having an elected official come and visit us for five minutes, we’d be happy,” he told reporters.