This is slightly late, but a belated congratulations to former City Council Member John C. Liu, who was recently sworn in as New York City Comptroller. Liu was previously the first elected Asian American City Council member in New York, and now is the first Asian American elected to citywide office: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/02/nyregion/02liu.html.
This honor is not the only reason why this victory is so momentous; Liu’s victory was made possible by the political mobilization of New York City’s Asian American community, who came to the polls in unprecedented numbers. According to a poll by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, 90% of surveyed Asian voters voted for Liu, including the overwhelming majority of Chinese, South Asian, and Korean voters.
This is of course an excellent indication of the Asian American community’s growing political power on BOTH the East and West Coasts; note that in the above article, Korean community leader John Y. Park lauds Liu as a “model for new immigrants,” noting the formerly politically insular nature of the Korean community. Nonetheless, given the administration’s recent history of neglect towards the Asian community’s needs (such as the ongoing sale and gentrification of Chinatown, Sunset Park, and other Asian American enclaves) and the fact that even the campaign for this historic election was marred by racial harassment (see http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/queens/item_j5MUYWkKXvRolfkW1ZTXUL), it is important to keep Liu accountable to his community, especially given his influential position. We voted for Liu in confidence that he would continue working as an advocate for Asian American interests and not become a racial mouthpiece for policies detrimental to our community, as tends to happen. Nonetheless, given Liu’s history of service, I’m quite sure he’ll do a great job.
Anyways, congratulations, Comptroller Liu. It’s good to be home.