- A redistricting map set to be released by the New York City Districting Commission later this month has the South Asian community in Queens fearful of losing electoral power over the next 10 years.
- Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park in Queens, which have large numbers of Punjabi, Indo-Caribbean and Bangladeshi residents, will be covered in the revised map.
- Experts and advocates argue that the city’s redistricting process will further separate these populations.
- South Asian immigrants in Queens could be adversely affected by the redistricting.
A new redistricting map set to be released by the New York City Districting Commission later this month has the South Asian community in Queens fearful of losing electoral power over the next 10 years.
The location of district lines determines which voters can vote in each representative race. The U.S. Constitution requires legislative and congressional districts to be redrawn every decade based on new census data.
Year in review: Historic wins for AAPI in local elections, redistricting plans loom over future candidates
- Many Asian Americans have made history in 2021 by gaining seats in local government elections.
- Redistricting plans in many parts of the U.S., however, threaten Asian candidates running in upcoming elections by dividing Asian community voting blocs.
Over the last few months, an unprecedented number of Asian Americans have won positions in local government across the country. At the same time, statewide draft maps have proposed the division of Asian-majority communities, threatening Asians running for elected positions in future elections.Historic wins
Three Asian Americans were elected the first mayor of Asian descent in their cities in November. Bruce Harrell, a 63-year-old former attorney, became the second Black and first Asian mayor in Seattle’s history. Aftab Pureval, a 39-year-old Indian Tibetan lawyer, became the first Asian American mayor of Cincinnati. In Boston, City Councilor Michelle Wu, 36, became the first woman and first person of color to be elected mayor.
‘Dividing areas based on race is indeed racism’: Alderman proposes Chicago remap with 48% Asian American ward
In a letter posted to Twitter, Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson expressed concerns that current proposals to unify Chicago’s Asian communities through current redistricting proposals would come at the expense of splitting other neighborhoods.
Proposal: Some City Council members and minority organizations have proposed that Chicago make its first Asian-majority ward amidst redistricting plans this year, sectioning off areas with higher populations of Asians, include Bridgeport and McKinley Park, centered around Chinatown.
If all goes according to plan, Chicago City Council members will introduce the first Asian-majority ward to the city on Dec. 1.
Discourse over minority redistricting: Chicago’s Black Caucus and Latino Caucus do not agree on the boundaries of the new redistricting maps but have agreed on the necessity of creating the first Asian-majority ward in Chicago.
Texas AAPI communities in Houston counties split into different districts, lessening voting bloc power
The Asian communities in Texas’ Harris County and Fort Bend County have been split up into new districts.
Diversity in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott approved Texas’ redrawn congressional districts in late October, spreading out higher concentrations of Asian votes across more districts
Palo Alto City Council Member Greg Lin Tanaka is one of the many Asian Americans living in California concerned that the state’s plans on redistricting will dilute Asian voter trends.
Breaking up key districts