Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mayor Fenty holds an API issues forum

1) Newly elected Mayor Adrian Fenty (D-Washington DC) recently held the first APIA townhall meeting, and from the photo, it looks packed!

This is pretty exciting because Fenty was the very progressive candidate who swept the 7 person plus field, and knocked out the incumbent Anthony Williams. Williams had presided over certain things like the absolute Disneyfication and gentrification of Chinatown, which caused long-time residents and business owners to be forced out. Really, it created a shell of Chinatown, with Ann Taylor shops advertising women's clothes in Chinese characters, and a skateboard shop with exotic looking lettering.

Hopefully Fenty will listen to what the community wants, and act on it.

2) Asian Americans voted overwhelmingly against Michigan's affirmative action ban, aka Prop 2, which passed last year. According to a survey by AALDEF, Arab Americans voted 75% against, and Asian Americans voted 78% against the measure. Nice to see that my Michigan brothers and sisters aren't easily swayed by the sophistry of Ward Connerly.

3) Lastly, I'm keeping an eye on the election returns for Chicago's 50th Ward - Naisy Dolar's trying to unseat Alderman Bernie Stone, and apparently a rising tide of early voters could make the difference. Apparently 20% of the early ballots in Chicago came from that district. The indicators are good for Naisy - this piqued interest could mean that her supporters are really coming out in force. Naisy's campaign would have a high impetus to do early voting turnout because many of her supporters can't afford to take hours off to vote, since they have small businesses, or work multiple jobs. Additionally, early voting banks voters, as opposed to the struggle that a first time immigrant voter might have at the poll site with poll workers from the machine. On the other hand, early voting is one of the more sophisticated techniques, so first time voters might be intimidated. But I can't really see Bernie Stone's campaign being this savvy.

We'll see, cos this is Chicago where dead men vote and votes count twice. . .

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