Asian-American politics

Asian-Americans & Civic Engagement

Introduction to the NAAAP event.

Last night, I went to my first NAAAP-Colorado event about civic engagement and how we Asian-Americans should get involved into politics somehow. One of the speakers, Sam Thomas, told us how we should all rally around a cause that is near and dear to each of us; we don’t have to side with any political party. We just need to reach out and be heard.

Even though the event was held at Katie Mullen’s with lots of distractions around, I got fired up listening to Mr. Thomas. I was reminded at this point how, back in late April, I had a colleague tell me, “You should really lobby the government about job opportunities for foreign nationals.” I had never thought of involving myself in politics until that point. Immediately I imagined myself speaking in front of Congress about my cause–advancing security for foreign nationals who are legally here in the US to work, study, etc.

One thing Mr. Thomas said to us all last night especially hit a chord inside:

“I stay involved in politics because I know those who came before me had to fight to get that seat at the table. Don’t stay silent because you know there were many others who fought to be heard before.”

So, so true. We Asian-Americans cannot sit back and let society take us along for the ride. We must stand up and be vocal, too. We cannot hide behind our model-minority facade. Screw all the stereotypes about Asians being quiet–we are LOUD and PROUD and need to be HEARD!

One thing that strikes my nerves (besides issues for foreign nationals) is the discrimination we get as well. I admit, sometimes I play the race card to try to get things my way. But I hate how, even with the despised “model minority” stereotype set upon us, we are still demonized along with other minorities. How come crime reports with minority suspects have to lump us all together? And make the public think that only “dirty immigrants” will soil the American system?

There will always be good and bad people, no matter the ethnicity. We need to stop with the name-calling, pointing fingers, etc. We need to dig deeper than skin color/ethnicity to see what the real problems are in the world.


The Elections Process: Counting Ballots

Last night was an interesting one.

Official Election Reporting Fax

I got to be an Associated Press stringer for the first time and had to cover the election in Adams County. Part of the night, I sat there and watched the news about the terrible fires blazing around Colorado. Then, we got to see how the whole ballot process worked: quite intricate and still many aspects of the process are done manually.

I had a discussion with one of the other media-people there about why nobody has come up with a more automated process yet. I talked about how a startup could do lots of good for elections with a streamlined process; however, there are issues to tackle in this whole process. The main issue is security: if people vote online, is there a way to verify their signature? Is there a way to keep the whole process secure?

I feel that elections & counting ballots can become a lot more efficient, but perhaps not in this point in time. There are still those who do not own computer access; still so many who want to stay with mail-in ballots. Perhaps 40-50 years from now, we can see the digitized voting process come into effect successfully. Then again, we don’t know what will happen between now and then!

I stayed at the Elections Center in Adams County up until midnight; results were slowly posted, but we got them done. I’m glad I got the opportunity to see the whole process & contribute to the Associated Press. I’m sure the process for the General Election in November will be much more complicated (and stressful!). Will be interesting to see if I can be a Stringer for November.

Hot Dog Days My San Francisco Chronicles politics

Five years since the start of the War in Iraq.

I can’t believe it’s been five years since the war began.

Today in Union Square/downtown area, there were a lot of protesters. A lot of them were dressed in garb doing skits (I couldn’t quite see what kind of skit they were doing, but it was about the war). Then, they all tried going into Macy’s at one point but policemen on motorcycles immediately stopped them. I was standing at my hot dog cart minding my own business and was startled to see the policemen roll their bikes up onto the sidewalk.

The protest processional had to be moved elsewhere (probably down Powell Street). My manager said that Market Street was looking pretty bad at one point due to the protest.

After the commotion in front of the Macy’s, a man was walking by my cart and kind of smiled at me in a funny way. Then, he went on to say, “What the hell, Hot Dog Lady?!”, probably questioning whether I was involved in the protest or what…

Japan politics President

Japan has a city named Obama.

Like I previously stated, I am not one to really talk much about politics, but since it’s been on the news so much lately (due to the Primaries), thought I might share this interesting tidbit:

Apparently, Japan has a city named “Obama”. It makes sense, since “Obama” is a Japanese-sounding name anyway (I also realize it sounds Middle-Eastern, too; in fact, I think that’s the origin of Obama’s surname). Anyway, I read on Yahoo! about how the city in Japan is hoping for Obama to win the U.S. Presidency so they can promote more tourism to their city. Amusing to read that none of the people living in Obama are eligible to vote in the U.S. Presidency (I assume they are all Japanese citizens there).

I guess we shall see if their wishes will come true? I had never heard of this city before, but now I may consider visiting it when I go to Japan next time.

news politics

Unflattering photo of Obama.

(source: NY Times)

An extra entry for today…just wanted to say: this is a horribly unflattering picture of Barack Obama. Looks like he is growing out of the microphones/podium. I wonder if the NY Times photographer meant for this picture to look like this.