Desis Hold Fate Of Statewide Elections
Massachusetts voters this Tuesday will decide
which Democratic candidate will face-off against the Republican, Libertarian and
Green Party candidates for governor this November. The victor will setup a hotly
contested race that will determine how we live, work and raise our families for
the next four years.
(Toby Chaudhuri, a former Clinton Administration political appointee, served as Deputy Press Secretary to Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. Send him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-884-8626.
Paul Cellucci in the last gubernatorial
election eked out a narrow victory against Attorney General Scott Harshbarger.
Voter turnout was one of the lowest in recent history. Thousands of desi voters
could have made a difference.
The 2000 Census shows Asian Americans
are the fastest growing population in Massachusetts – up almost 70% since
1990. But a report released this summer by the Institute of Asian American
Studies at UMass Boston (www.iaas.umb.edu)
shows that this growth has “not been met by high levels of Asian American
electoral participation and political clout.
The study states that increasing
participation and influence is a major challenge to the Asian American community
and that only a quarter of adult Asians are registered to vote, compared to 41%
of Hispanics and 56% of blacks.
In response to this disparity, 150 desi
opinion leaders and organization chairs in Massachusetts received a memorandum
yesterday asking for their support to engage their communities to participate
last September 11th was America’s darkest day, this September 11th can be our
brightest day,” began the missive. “As desis, we hold together with a common
sense of history and anti-colonial mission. Nothing is more basic to your
freedom than the right to vote."
The memo to leaders ramps up a
community based initiative to turnout thousands of Massachusetts
desi voters in this fall’s elections. The campaign is called the "MASS
DESI VOTE" project.
Supporters of the program see politics as an avenue for democratic participation – a means for
average people to get a say in their government or a democratic community’s
efforts to solve its problems.
The desi community’s most civically engaged
voices are advising "MASS
The longest-serving desi elected official in America, Maryland Delegate Kumar
Barve, pledged his support. Minnesota State Senator Satveer Chaudhary, the
highest-ranking desi elected official in the country – who won an overwhelming
victory this week in a tight Primary Election to hold his seat – is doing what
he can too.
The study sets the challenge. This election sets the stage.
MASS DESI VOTE provides an opportunity. Let’s hear the Lok Vani this November
5th at the polls.
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