Asian New Yorkers Top One Million, Seek Political Representation

Red bean buns are quickly becoming as ubiquitous to Bensonhurst as cannolis

According to the 2010 census figures published in April, there are currently over one million people of Asian descent residing in New York City.

The number, which is equal to around 13% of the city’s population, is double the population of Asians living in Los Angeles and San Francisco combined.

During the same period the city’s Asian inhabitants saw a 32% increase, the population of New York’s whites diminished by 3%, while the number of black residents declined 5%.

New York’s Hispanic makeup also grew during the past decade, though not nearly as much, by 8%.

The Asian community in New York, which includes South Asians such as Indians, is extremely diverse. And that extensive range of voices has the potential of hindering the group’s aspirations to unify and assert itself under a single political banner.

From the New York Times:

Yet that diversity, Asian-American leaders say, has diluted their clout.  “While the numbers have been going up, they somehow feel that  politically and otherwise, Asians are not visible,” said Madhulika S.  Khandelwal, 54, director of the Asian/American Center at Queens College  and an Indian immigrant.
Asians in New York City still remain underrepresented in elected office,  community leaders say, with only one Asian-American in the State  Legislature, two on the City Council and one in a citywide post, the  comptroller, John C. Liu. Advocates contend that public and private  money for their community service organizations does not match the  population’s size or need.

New York Times: Asian New Yorkers Surpass a Million, and Band Together