Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Asian-American community aims to demonstrate political power

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Nine Asian American organizations are partnering for a rally in downtown L.A. Saturday that is intended to demonstrate the community's growing political influence.

Clarissa Woo, Director of Policy Advocacy for the American Civil Liberties Union, says the purpose of the rally is “to highlight the importance of Asian American and Pacific Islanders to get out and vote.”  

Woo notes the AAPI community will play an important role this year's election.

“The AAPI community is the fastest growing community group in California," she says. "Asian-American voters have jumped over 33 percent since 2000, and APIs make up over 15 percent of the state’s population. The AAPI population, therefore, is a key voting bloc that remains largely untapped in terms of political power."

However, Woo also says that turnout rates among the AAPI community are lower than the average voting population. “I think that there is a strong need for bilingual cultural access for the community. Things are a bit daunting so it’s just overcoming all of that information,” Woo says. She adds that the ballot propositions may be difficult for those with language barriers to understand.

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Gov. Brown rallying students to vote for Prop. 30 tax proposal at UCLA

Gov. Jerry Brown

Sharon McNary/KPCC

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks in support of Prop. 30 at a rally of UCLA students on campus, Oct. 16, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown kicked off a planned tour of state campuses Tuesday to boost student support for his measure to tax sales and incomes and pump billions of dollars into state government. He started wth a rally at UCLA.

He told a few hundred students gathered at the central plaza that after years of recession-caused cuts, it was time for California to re-invest in the state and in education.

"Proposition 30 is an opportunity for the people themselves not only to fix California, but to send a message to the rest of the country that we as a people can invest together in our schools, in our community colleges and in the great University of California," Brown said.

There is a lot at stake for University of California and California State University students in Proposition 30.

Prop. 30 would provide UC students each a $250 refund on part of the tuition increases they've paid this year, and keep tuition the same next term. If it doesn't pass, UC will raise tuition about 20 percent, to nearly $16,000 a year.

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