Hai người bị bắn trên đường McKee, San Jose
Khuyến cáo nhiệt độ băng giá quanh vùng Vịnh San Francisco
Cẩn thận với trò lừa đảo mua áo lạnh đắt tiền.
Father's Day sentiments
PRESS RELEASE: Genuine CSOs from Vietnam join ASEAN’s largest civil society forum in full force
Letter to President Obama
Tử vi Phương Tây: Thứ Ba của Bạn (01/12)
Tử vi Phương Tây: Thứ Năm của Bạn (26/11)
Tử vi Phương Tây: Thứ Tư của Bạn (25/11)
Một số từ Anh- Việt đối chiếu (Bổ túc)
Tiếng Việt Trong Nước Quá Nhiều Tiếng Lóng và Ngôn Ngữ Chợ Búa
Cách Viết Hoa Trong Tiếng Việt
Con gái mang thai nhờ 'mượn' tử cung của mẹ
Siêu trộm giành vương miện hoa khôi
Bị bắt vì ăn cắp 3.200 lá thư trong hơn một thập kỷ
Chúng ta đang ăn rác thải nhựa hàng ngày?
Tại sao không vứt hết rác xuống núi lửa cho... tiện?
Vì sao con người mê tín?
Sức mạnh của cộng đồng mạng
Phỏng vấn về việc Chính quyền đập phá cơ sở Dòng Mến Thánh Giá Quận 2
Phỏng Vấn Tạ Phong Tần
Liên kết
Cáo Phó - Phân Ưu
Lịch cộng đồng
Thông báo cộng đồng
Rao vặt
Thị trường tài chánh
Thị trường Việt Nam
Thời tiết Hoa Kỳ
Trung Tâm An Hạnh
Đọc chuyện quê nhà

Office contacts -
Toà soạn
Contact us - Liên lạc tòa soạn
Contact for advertising - Liên lạc quảng cáo
About us
Ban biên tập

Ts Nguyễn Hồng Dũng
Thái Quốc Hùng-Trần Lệ Xuân
Ls Nguyễn Tâm
LS Nguyễn H. Duyên
Di trú - Luật pháp
Dân Việt Âu Châu
Tù Khúc
Học Giả Đỗ Thông Minh
Radio Phố Đêm
Vương Vi
Tristan Nguyễn

Có 2 ứng cử viên Châu Á cho chức vụ FIFA
NFL 2014 – 2015, Pick of the Week: TUẦN THỨ 12
Bóng đá Pháp hoạt động trở lại sau 1 tuần có vụ thảm sát

Cập nhật: 14/05/2013 15:37

Election Drama Offers 'Lessons in Diversity' for One Calif. City

On March 5, 2013, in a historic election, Chin Ho Liao was elected to serve on the San Gabriel City Council, but the city council refused to let him take his seat.

On March 5, 2013, in a historic election, Chin Ho Liao was elected to serve on the San Gabriel City Council, but the city council refused to let him take his seat. This was unheard of and something no city had ever done before. The council took this unprecedented action because of a single complaint filed by a city resident with close ties to one of the losing incumbents, who contested Liao’s eligibility to run. 
But this is more than a story of local politics gone awry. There are lessons here that increasingly diversifying communities across the country should heed as we embark together on the important task of fortifying the rights of every American to take part in our proud democracy.
On May 7, after two intense months of legal battles and community outrage, Liao was finally permitted to take his oath of office and join the council as its newest member. What happened during these two months tells a story of Liao’s courage, one that began a quarter-century ago. It also highlights how demographic shifts like one that has been taking place in San Gabriel can set off dynamics that present challenges – and opportunities – for communities with rapidly changing populations. 
The city of San Gabriel, one of California’s oldest settlements, is nestled in the San Gabriel Valley, in the eastern part of Los Angeles County. San Gabriel has a population of less than 40,000, and is celebrating its centennial year. In recent decades, the city and the region as a whole have undergone massive demographic changes resulting in a diverse population of Asian Americans and other immigrants. In San Gabriel itself, over 60 percent of the population is Asian American, over three quarters of whom are immigrants. 
Among those who now call the San Gabriel Valley their home is Chin Ho Liao, an immigrant from Taiwan who came to the U.S. to seek out higher education and who then settled in San Gabriel. Since his retirement, he has engaged in one of the most longstanding of American traditions – volunteerism. For the past 24 years, he’s served the community of San Gabriel through his involvement with nonprofit and civic organizations. Then he sought office so he could serve the community as a public servant. 
Prior to the March 5 election, San Gabriel’s five-member city council had no Asian American members, and only two Asian Americans had previously served on the council. The five candidates in the city council race included three incumbents and two Asian American challengers, including Liao. In a result that surprised many, Liao and the other Asian American candidate were the top two vote-getters and won seats on the council. Only one of the three incumbents won re-election. 
Three weeks after the election, when it came time to install the winners of the election, the city council told Liao that he could not take his seat. At that point the council still included the two incumbents who lost. Despite the conflict of interest, and despite the appearance of undermining a historic moment for Asian Americans, the council ignored the plain and clear requirements of state law to seat Liao. 
The council justified its action by pointing to the complaint contesting Liao’s eligibility to serve. However, the proper procedure was to let Liao assume his seat first and then to consider the complaint.
Compounding its error, the council announced that it would conduct its own review of the complaint, rather than refer the matter to a neutral third party such as a court or an administrative hearing officer. The council that was to conduct the review included three of Liao’s political opponents: two incumbents who were not up for re-election in March but who supported the re-elected incumbent and the two losing incumbents, plus the re-elected incumbent who similarly supported the two losing incumbents. These circumstances cast doubt on the integrity of the council’s decision to conduct its own hearing. 
The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) took on Liao’s case because we are a civil rights organization and we believed this to be a civil rights case. It was clear that Liao’s fundamental right to hold office, a right recognized by the courts, had been violated. It was equally clear that the fundamental right to vote of the San Gabriel electorate had been infringed. 
This is because the two rights are inextricably linked – the confidence that voters have in democracy depends on their belief that elections fairly won will not be unjustly taken away from the candidate they supported. And nowhere is this more critical than with newcomers to the American electoral process, including Asian Americans whose burgeoning but fragile political participation was threatened by the council’s ill-founded actions.
In the end, the council defied expectations and ruled in favor of Liao – an issue that was never in doubt in the hearts and minds of the San Gabriel community. Certainly the efforts of our legal team played a part in this outcome, but even more important was the inspiring courage demonstrated by Liao in fighting for his right to represent the people of San Gabriel. Also inspiring was the activism of San Gabriel community members, who formed a multi-racial coalition to voice concerns about the threat posed by the council’s actions to San Gabriel’s democracy. 
As San Gabriel looks ahead to its next 100 years, those who serve the community would do well to embrace the future and welcome the participation of all Americans, including the newcomers who have come to pursue their aspirations. In our rapidly diversifying society we must all be prepared, like the residents of San Gabriel were, to demand that all Americans are afforded their right to take part in the political process.
Stewart Kwoh is the founding President and Executive Director of Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC). Kwoh is a nationally recognized leader and expert in race relations, Asian American studies, nonprofit organizations and philanthropies, civil rights, and legal services. He was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1998, becoming the first Asian American attorney and human rights activist to receive this highly prestigious recognition, often referred to as the “genius grant.”

Tags: Election, Diversit, Lessons

Chúng tôi muốn biết ý kiến của bạn
Họ tên
Nội dung
   Ảnh mới
Mã bảo vệ
Gửi nhận xét

Bài viết liên quan
The Move Toward Democracy: Will Vietnam Be Next?
Salt Lake Buddhist temples: one has Protestant look, one has Mormon roots
Hope, thought, and fear of the Vietnamerican youth
The vanished man (Người biệt tích)
Immigration Reform: Who Could Be Left Out?

Diễn hành Lễ Cựu Chiên Binh Hoa Kỳ năm 2015 tại San Jose. Nhiếp ảnh gia: Dư Quang Nê
Bắt giữ cặp đôi gốc Việt ở Nam California ăn trộm danh tánh
Cập nhật: 30/11/2015 14:55
Biển Đông tại Tòa La Haye: Phi Luật Tân tự tin
Cập nhật: 30/11/2015 12:17
Đi ăn trộm lại chui từ ống khói nên chết thảm
Cập nhật: 30/11/2015 16:41
Quốc Hội Nam Hàn phê chuẩn đồng ý hiệp ước tự do mậu dịch với Trung Quốc
Cập nhật: 30/11/2015 10:28
Cyber Monday – ngày mua sắm trực tuyến lớn nhất trong năm
Cập nhật: 30/11/2015 13:35
Ứng cử viên Ben Carson đi Trung Đông và “bị bất ngờ” ở đây
Cập nhật: 30/11/2015 10:10
Tỉ phú Donald Trump tìm cách vuốt ve dân da đen
Cập nhật: 30/11/2015 16:44
Thế Thiên Hành Đạo
Cập nhật: 30/11/2015 12:33
Tranh cãi quyết liệt về ‘lòng ái quốc’ ở Ấn Độ
Cập nhật: 30/11/2015 16:43
Bài hay cần phải đọc...

Nhân khủng hoảng Nga - Thổ, nhắc lại nhà đại cách mạng Thổ Mustafa Kemal (1881-1938)

Mua Phiếu Mễ
“Con voi” Trung Cộng đối phó thế nào khi bị “nhốt trong phòng”?
Diễn Biến Lớn
Việt Sử Tôi Đâu?

Thăm dò ý kiến
Vấn đề nhập cư người tỵ nạn Syria: TT Obama = Yes, 31 thống đốc tiểu bang = No, vậy ý bạn thế nào?
Bỏ phiếu
Thăm dò ý kiến
Sau khi cộng đồng người Việt lên tếng về cuốn phim Terror in Little Saigon, bạn nghĩ truyền hình PBS nên:
Bỏ phiếu