For the Californians – you have only a day left to apply for the Citizens Redistricting Commission. You don’t remember? We voted on this change to legislation with Prop 11 in the Nov. ’08 elections. Instead of state government deciding on our district lines, it is now in citizen hands.
February 16 is the last day for applications to California’s new Citizens Redistricting Commission–a body that will have sweeping powers over the way state legislative and Board of Equalization district lines are drawn for the next 10 years. In other words, this commission of 14 ordinary Californians–5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 independents or voters from other parties–will shape California’s political future.
What’s the big deal? Well…here’s what’s at stake. The district lines that are drawn could significantly affect election results for the next 10 years. In the past, states like Texas have redrawn the lines so that a majority of the residents in a single district hail from one party. As a result, in those districts there is no real competition in elections–which ultimately decreases the power of individual voters. [nam]
I’m posting this up at Sepia Mutiny because according to the latest figures a low amount of AAPIs and women have applied and I would like to encourage our Californian readers to apply today. Though the data for South Asian Americans that have applied is not disaggregated, we do know that 4.47% of the applicant pool are Asian American and 31% are women. In comparison to California’s state wide population according to 2000 census, 13% are Asian American and of that, about 10% are South Asian*.This isn’t just about parity of the applicant pool. At Sepia Mutiny, we’ve talked in the past about the power of the voting block and potential power that our community as South Asian Americans can have by voting together. In LA and OC (according to 2006 data), Asian Indian voters are the ones most likely to identify as Democratic (compared to the other Asian American ethnic groups), thus more likely to be looked at as voting bloc.
Spatially, this voting power can be driven in communities where Desis all live in the same community and in the same voting districts. This can be seen in neighborhoods like Artesia, Koreatown, Yuba City, or counties like Madera, Santa Clara and Alameda*. Arguments have been made that electing a South Asian American congress person like California’s Dilip Singh Saund are more likely to happen if the voting districts do not divide ethnic communities (though, I have some skepticism with this school of thought). Though the population numbers are based on the 2000 Census, one can only expect a dramatic increase in the population after the March Census 2010 count. But who’s to say that the people put into the redistricting commission will know or have access to where these communities are? This is where you come in.
If this is something that interests you, apply today. It’s really simple – you just have to be a voting resident of California and not too involved in party politics for the past 10 years. Go to We Draw the Lines and apply before 5pm PST Feb 16th.
- Data in this blog pulled from various reports released by the Asian & Pacific American Legal Center.
13% are Asian American and of that, about 10% are South Asian*.
just to be clear, i assume you mean 10% of 13%, so 1.3%. if someone read quickly they might just assume 10% of the total….
If South Asians vote as a “bloc” they’ll be taken for granted. It’s swing voters who have leverage.
Desis are far too diverse and heterogeneous for identity politics to apply. Political activism may help our various individual interests, and getting better US policy towards South Asian countries may matter to some of us, but I don’t see what sort of benefit South Asians in general derive from political activism.
Desis are far too diverse and heterogeneous for identity politics to apply. Political activism may help our various individual interests, and getting better US policy towards South Asian countries may matter to some of us, but I don’t see what sort of benefit South Asians in general derive from political activism
the data i’ve seen is that american-born brown are standard issue liberals. so no, i don’t think politically we’re too diverse or heterogeneous (i say this as a brown non-liberal). SALT or whatever has surveys on this; i think they oversample from areas where brownz are really liberal, but the direction of the findings are pretty indisputable. OTOH, i don’t see that many brown americans are super-motivated by south asian issues specifically. south asia is messed up (terrorism, communalism, cretinism), but not in a way like israel or cuba where the USA is stuck in the middle or has made it a specifically american issue. the only caveat here is that only a small minority of american jews are israel-only voters, but they have a disproportionate weight in measuring the “jewish vote” (because other jews are just standard issue liberals, by and large). so i guess you could have a “indian vote” which is actually the collective action of a small minority of american brown voters.
as for electing south asians, etc., or mobilizing brownz in a broad based way like you’d mobilize labor or feminists, it seems amusingly bizarre to me. how many people here are super jazzed up by bobby jindal or nikki haley? if you’re conservative you are, but otherwise you’d probably prefer a liberal, race no bar.
The South Asian American vote is not static. A lot of those “liberal browns” don’t support redistribution. They don’t like deficits. Their voting patterns might change. I am not sure about whether South Asians will change their identification with the Democratic Party. But Asians, like they did in Virginia with the governor’s race, will swing republican for a few years until the Democratic Party becomes sane.
Jindal has become too identified with the Christian Right and no lay South Asian American (unless you count extreme political junkies) has heard of Nikki Haley. Have a half brown guy who is agnostic/atheist but a strong fiscal con and you might see some South Asian American interest.
Ah yes, the republican party, clearly the party of the sane. I’m always impressed by the sanity and feasibility of the tea party folks. Down with medicare and social security! (Oh wait, the vast majority of americans love those things).
There’s another explanation here as well, http://www.gallup.com/poll/125423/Americans-Postgraduate-Education-Back-Obama.aspx
58% of Americans with postgraduate degrees approve of Obama, this was true earlier during election season as well: http://www.gallup.com/poll/106381/obama-education-gap-extends-general-election.aspx
40% of Indian-Americans have postgraduate degrees — that’s five times the national average. So, not counting the whole evangelical pro-christian element of the republicans, education alone can explain the tilt. Obama remains the choice of a majority of educated folks because, well, he doesn’t pander to stupidity all the time like the opposition.
They won’t let minors sign up. And from the email I received, they won’t let anyone who hadn’t registered to vote by Nov. 2005 sign up, so that basically means you have to be at least 23. Oh, the plight of high school students and college students who want to be a bit more politically active.
Aww, sorry kid. Know how you feel. They won’t let me run for President. Yet.
Have a half brown guy who is agnostic/atheist but a strong fiscal con and you might see some South Asian American interest.
why not talk about a half-martian half-brown guy? no open agnostic/atheist can be open about their lack of belief in the USA and expect to get more than local political office starting out (pete stark of california is an atheist, but he’s been in congress for a long time, and only came out a few years ago).
as for brown people being more than overwhelming liberal democrats, i’d be happy for a change. but i would also bet money it isn’t going to happen soon. the republicans are currently the white party, the early 90s flirtation of asian americans with the repubs was not robusdt.
I don’t assume that South Asians are going to identify with Republicans. I am just saying that for now, they might identify with the Dems but vote Republican for a few cycles. Yes, you are right, an agnostic might as well be a martian. He will never get elected. But I was just making a point that a lot of “browns” are fiscal cons and they might vote for the Republican if he/she didn’t advertise his social conservatism, approved of diversity and was not identified with the Christian Right.