BY NHIEN NGUYEN
The 2005 elections brings new and returning Asian American faces to public office.
Lloyd Hara secured his place in history as the first Asian American Port of Seattle Commissioner, beating opponent Richard Berkowitz. Hara could not be reached for comments.
Cheryl Chow defeated Linda Thompson-Black for Seattle School Board, District 7. One of her first priorities is to bring equity of resources into the 23 schools of her district.
When Chow was elected as a Seattle city councilmember in 1990, Al Sugiyama was the first elected Asian Seattle School Board Director. She worked with Sugiyama on a number of initiatives, such as creating multi-lingual “Parenting Teens” tape for Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Laotian, Spanish and Vietnamese parents. She wants to follow-up on his idea of setting up a scholarship fund for minority students with the business community.
“I am really pleased that I will bring an educator’s experience and voice to the board, especially since this board will be facing difficult budget decisions that can no longer be postponed,” said Chow, former principal for Seattle schools.
As a City of Bellevue Councilmember since 1994, Conrad Lee won his re-election campaign against Vicki Orrico. One of the first things he will do is to set up meetings with Asian American constituents to seek their input on their interests and how they can get involved in their community.
“My agenda for the next four years will be to continue to balance growth and quality of life,” said Lee, who has been a resident of Bellevue since 1967. “I will also work to encourage disenfranchised citizens to be more engaged in the political process by giving them opportunities to find reward and satisfaction in public service, particularly Asian Americans which happen to be the fastest growing population in our city.”
Cindy Ryu had a decided victory against Bonnie Mackey in her second bid for a seat on City of Shoreline Council. As the 32nd Legislative District Democratic Organization’s 2004 Campaigns Coordinator, she saw the “effectiveness of grassroots involvement.” She says what is needed to have Asian Pacific Islanders involved is “everyone’s commitment to follow through.”
Ryu, resident of Shoreline for 11 years, says, “I continue to inspire and encourage API’s within Shoreline to register and vote as well as run for Precinct Committee Officer positions in either party and do their little part that add up and count.”