Alain Jua voted easily and quickly: he scanned the names on the ballot and chose Asian-sounding names.
This was before 2020.
The Chinese-American mother of two daughters, ages 3 and 5, who lives in West San Francisco, said something caught fire during the show. During the outbreak, Xu witnessed violent hate crimes against Asian Americans that created fear in the community without an adequate response from local law enforcement or prosecutors. As school closings continue across California, Joe warns that local school boards are making progressive policy decisions, such as changing schools, before students are back in the classroom.
Xu, a self-described Democrat in general, remembers anger at local liberal politicians.
"People who live in cities and don't want to be safe, they want their children to get a good education, they care about politics," he said. "They have forgotten the basic problems of ordinary people. I wanted to try and change and do something to bring that energy back. What I became was fear and despair, great despair.
His involvement began by filling out testimonial posts against the district attorney and several school board members, then appearing in an ad for a moderate Democrat in Chinese for city superintendent.
It was a political awakening repeated on many levels by other Asian Americans in San Francisco, where a middle-class white man overthrew a progressive Chinese official in America's most progressive city, sparking a series of political riots. Most Asian Americans in Sunset County
California advocates warned that the San Francisco policy change, while a sign of longtime progressives, is a sign that national Democrats need a course correction by 2024 for America's fastest-growing racial group. Originating in the United States. .
"I see that frustration in the leadership of the party," said Charles Young, a local Bay Area attorney and civil rights activist. "Asian American Democrats focus on reality and believe in secularism. If Democrats don't increase their efforts to focus on Democratic issues, they will lose people of color over time.
Supervisor Joel Ingaridio, a married gay liberal according to most states, describes himself as a moderate in San Francisco. And he quickly criticizes the word "progressive".
"Progress to me means moving forward, moving forward and building a better city," Ngardio said from his office at San Francisco City Hall. "For a long time, we didn't follow that definition of progressiveness. Progressa is a city that works, works and progresses.
Joel Ingaridio is the first executive to represent San Francisco's predominantly Asian-American Sunset County in more than 20 years. – Kyung La/CNN
Last year, Ngardio fired a Chinese-American executive, becoming the first non-Asian executive to represent a majority Asian-American district in more than 20 years. He campaigned to eliminate road closures for small businesses, increase the number of police officers on the street, and use quality standards for public schools. Closer to surveillance work, he argues, it sends a broader political signal about the limits of liberal ideals.
We should all appreciate the claim that "San Francisco is the most liberal place in America." We need safe roads. We need good schools. Everyone should be told this: Be careful," said Ingardio.
CNN's national polling output shows the pendulum has swung among Asian-American voters in recent elections. This year in 2018, during the presidency of Donald Trump, Asian Americans overwhelmingly supported the Democrats (77%) over the Republicans (23%). This year in 2022, Asian Americans continued to favor Democrats, but voter turnout dropped to 58%, compared to 40% for Republicans.
Jung warns that this is a big change. "You see a significant double-digit decline in support for Asian Americans between now and 2018. And by the way, it's not just about Asian Americans, you see it among Hispanic voters as well," he said. "I think that if Democrats don't step up their efforts to focus on core Democratic issues, they're going to lose people of color over time."
While Asian Americans may be considered Democratic voters, Jung notes that recent history shows that this is not always the case.
CNN's historical polls of congressional elections show that in the 1990s Asian-American voters were strongly divided or tilted Republican, but since 1998, they have favored the Democratic Party by large margins.
Kanishk Cheng of the NGO Mas says the erosion among Asian and Latino voters means Democrats are forgetting the core values of immigrant communities.
Kanishk Cheng is the founder of Together SF and Together SF Action, which aims to address crime, homelessness and high housing costs in San Francisco's urban transformation. – Jason Krawarik/CNN
"It's very difficult for Democrats to talk about public education and public safety," Cheng said. "The common denominator between the Asian and Hispanic communities is that we are a community of immigrants. We came to America looking for stability and opportunity. Public safety and public education is what gives us stability and opportunity. We need education and we need to feel safe. .
Ngardio said the message was loud and clear as he knocked on 14,000 doors while speaking to voters. My advice is to talk about what they need and really listen. "
Listening to Asian American voters is Forrest Liu's ongoing task in the Sunset District as 2024 approaches. A former Gulf financier, Liu retired from the business world to become an advocate for the Asian community, fighting anti-Asian hate crimes. .
Liu spends days conducting exit interviews to understand political shifts among Asian voters in San Francisco, which Liu believes can predict what will happen in the next national election. "I want to understand why they made the decisions they made last year and what they want in the future. And what we stand for," said Liu.
According to him, society has learned by now that politicians are smarter than they think.
"Let me take a picture with the Asians." There are politicians visiting Chinatown, shaking hands with some leaders of the Asian community, and that's it. I have an Asian voice," Liu said. "No. You have to adapt to what this demographic wants.
Liu said the cry of "stop Asian hatred" has subsided, but the political grievances that led to Ngardio's victory remain.
"Why do I feel insecure?" This sums up the feelings of the people I interviewed. They still feel confident."
"I can't live in a town like this."
Three languages are spoken in Joe's home: English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Her 5-year-old daughter, Eloise, is a kindergartner fluent in Cantonese, although she also speaks Mandarin. Three-year-old Lucille practices Chinese with her parents. Due to the multilingual public schools of San Francisco, Tu switched from one language to another.
“I was in public school from kindergarten through college,” she said. "I have a common story with my main group: immigrant children who go to public schools."
What Xu and his generation wanted was to work hard, strive for academic excellence, and build a safe community.
The impact of the pandemic has begun to erode all these basic values. In San Francisco, assaults against Asian Americans increased 567 percent between 2019 and 2021.
Courtesy of Allen Xu.
"I am Asian, my family is Asian. If I have to worry about my business, I think it's a big problem and I can't live in such a city, he says.
Among those concerns, Zhou said the school board voted in 2021 to name 44 schools after former presidents like Abraham Lincoln, which he said "led to the enslavement and enslavement of people/or the oppression of women." "
The school district has not yet shared a public plan to reopen schools at that time.
Juggling a career in technology and raising preschoolers, Juh is on edge.
Zhou was one of three Asian-American members of a San Francisco school board that fired three members after retiring. Juh then helped oust San Francisco District Attorney Cheza Boudin, supported by the majority of the West Side's Asian community.
Last November, Xu filed to run in the nearby supervisor race, and Ingaridio successfully challenged the Sunset district supervisor. He appeared in two commercials in Mandarin and Cantonese.
Like other political changes, the sunset mood is driven by frustration, Zhu said. And Zooey says that while the complaints are being felt across the city, they're not limited to San Francisco.
The self-described social-liberal-conservative fiscal, while a Democrat, said he had problems with the current state of the party heading into 2024. "I still don't think they've learned the basics of crime and education. "I know people who voted Democrat and now vote Republican because they don't feel like they're representing the Democratic Party," Terrace said.
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