AAF: New York State Senate and Assembly Districts Highlight the Growth and Diversity of Asian New Yorkers

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PRESS RELEASE

Friday, October 25, 2013
For Immediate Release 
Contact: Jo-Ann Yoo
(212) 344-5878, x217
 
New York State Senate and Assembly Districts Highlight
the Growth and Diversity of Asian New Yorkers
 

New York, NY—Today, the Asian American Federation released briefing papers that detail the Asian population, ethnic breakdowns and the major Asian languages spoken in the State Senate and Assembly districts in New York City based on new lines finalized in May 2012.  The briefing papers examine the 65 Assembly districts and 26 Senate districts in New York City. 
 
According to Asian Americans of the Empire State:  Growing Diversity and Common Needs, published by the Asian American Federation earlier this year, New York State is home to the second largest population of Asian Americans.  “While the fastest population growth and the newest communities are in the upstate region, most Asian American New Yorkers live in the New York City metro area,” said Howard Shih, Census Programs Director at the Federation.  “The Asian American community is culturally and economically diverse. 
 
Some of the key highlights from the briefing papers are:
  1. For the first time, one State Senate district is majority Asian.
  2. Three Assembly Districts are now majority Asian, up from only one in 2002.
  3. Chinese is the most spoken language other than English in 5 Assembly Districts and 3 Senate Districts.  Korean is the most spoken language other than English in one Assembly District (District 26).
  4. The second most commonly spoken Asian language group consists of the languages of the fast-growing South Asian population.
“Asian American communities throughout our city are growing and thriving, adding to the rich cultural diversity that makes New York such a wonderful place,” said State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, whose district includes Manhattan’s Chinatown.  Speaker Silver’s district, historically one of the oldest Asian enclaves in the City, is home to almost 60,000 Asian Americans.  “These profiles are valuable tools that allow elected officials to keep track of the demographics of the constituencies we represent,” added Speaker Silver. 
 
According to the Assembly district briefing paper, District 40 in Flushing has the largest Asian population, followed by District 25 in Northeast Queens.  In District 40, 64% of the population is Asian.  “This briefing paper is a tool for elected leaders because it is so important to know what ethnic groups we are serving in our different Assembly districts, and base our services and communications on the needs of different groups.  As the only Asian American elected to a state office and the prime sponsor of Data Disaggregation bill, data breakdowns like this enable the state leaders to provide better access to the services that our constituents deserve.  I will personally be promoting this tool and sharing it with my colleagues in the New York State Assembly so that we can continue to have stronger connections with our state’s growing Asian American community,” said Assemblymember Ron Kim (D. 40). 
 
“By providing information on the diverse and growing communities across the city and in individual districts, we move one step closer to making state government accessible to everyone it serves. I look forward to working with all the great groups serving the Asian American community to ensure even greater language access to public information,” said Assemblymember Nily Rozic, who represents District 25 which has over 67,000 Asians, or 54% of total population.
 
On the State Senate side, the district with the largest Asian population is District 16 in Flushing Queens, represented by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky.  District 16 has over 176,000 Asians, making the district 55% Asian.  “This paper by the Federation highlights one of the most fascinating parts of my district—our incredible culture of diversity and inclusion.  I am glad that New Yorkers of all backgrounds, from the Chinese population in Flushing to the South Asian population in Jackson Heights and the Korean population in Murray Hill have decided to call Queens home.  I remain committed to ensuring that my constituents have in-language assistance to services, civic participation access, and other opportunities to have a stronger voice in their community.  This insightful research helps me better understand and better serve all of the people of the 16th district,” said Senator Stavisky.
 
District 11 had the second largest Asian population, with over 1 in 3 residents who are Asian.  The third largest Asian population is District 26, which encompasses Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown.  24% of the population in District 26 is Asian.  Upon review of the briefing paper, Senator Daniel Squadron remarked, “As New York’s Asian American population continues to grow, it’s critical that the community has real partners and a real voice in government.  This report only underscores how important that partnership is, on everything from language access in education and government to protecting small businesses.” 
 
“In a few months, the 2014 election cycle for state offices will begin.  We hope these briefing papers are tools for elected leaders to reach out and engage the Asian Americans living in their districts.  Oftentimes, outreach to our community is overlooked, but having tools like these that show the breakdowns of the top languages in New York City’s state assembly and senate districts, as well as the disaggregation by the top 19 Asian languages spoken in each district, will better equip our leaders to engage residents.  In turn, these papers will facilitate community leaders and advocates to show that our civic voice is growing and that we need to better connect with our elected officials to offer our expertise, ask for help and support,” said Cao K. O, executive director of the Federation. 

 

 http://www.aafederation.org/cic/briefs/NYCAssembly2012.pdf

 
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New Council Districts Highlight the Growth and Diversity of Asian New Yorkers

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July 23, 2013

New York, NY— Today, the Asian American Federation released a briefing paper that details the Asian population, ethnic breakdowns and the major Asian languages spoken in each of the 51 Council Districts based on new lines finalized in May 2013.
 
“As discussed in our demographics report in April 2012, the Asian population remains the fastest growing in the City,” said Howard Shih, Census Programs Director at the Federation.  “But to see the Asian American community as monolithic would be erroneous.  The population numbers disguise the diversity of our population.  With the upcoming City elections, term limits, and with many of the Council Districts slated for new representatives, we hope this will be a useful tool for the incoming City Council to better serve our Asian community,” added Shih.
 
Some of the key highlights from the briefing paper are:
  1. In addition to one majority Asian district, eleven other districts had more than one in five residents who were Asian.
  2. Four City Council Districts were home to a very diverse mix of Asian ethnic groups.  Each of these districts had seven or more different Asian groups who each had populations of more than 1,000 people.
  3. The diversity of Asian languages spoken in the city is a particular challenge when reaching out to the community.
 
“This report is an invaluable tool that will serve to help elected officials better understand the growing Asian population in New York City,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm, who represents Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and East Elmhurst.  Dromm’s district, one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the City, saw an increase of over 8,000 Asians in the total district population.  “The data in this document provides key insight into my district that will enable me to better communicate and understand a vital part of my constituency”.
 
As the briefing paper points out, Council District 20, centered in Flushing, remains the district with the largest Asian population at 66% of the population.  “While I represent the largest Asian population, it is important to note that Asians are living throughout the City.  The myth that Asians live in identifiable enclaves [has] long been dispelled.  Our city leaders have to be mindful of the diversity of the Asian community, from languages spoken to the cultural practices,” said Council Member Peter Koo.  “The onus is on us – the elected leaders – to hear their issues, address their concerns, and make room for them to contribute to their neighborhoods,” added Koo.
 
Manhattan’s Chinatown still remains as a district with one of the largest Asian populations.  “My constituency represents one of the largest populations of Asians and Asian Americans in New York City, and this report highlights what we already know:  we must have greater service and resources in these growing communities,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin, who represents the area.  “Cultural understanding, linguistic access, and civic participation are essential keys to ensuring that these voices are heard.”
 
“The briefing paper shows our growing electoral strength.  Asian New Yorkers can play a significant role in determining the next leaders of our city in the upcoming elections,” said Cao K. O, executive director of the Federation.  “And our community must re-cast our importance in the city’s civic matters.  We have to be willing to embrace this opportunity by going to the polls.”

To access the report, please visit:  http://aafederation.org/headlines.asp?hid=141