Asian Americans and residents of the Pacific Islands are “extremely” under-represented in elected positions across the country, according to a new report of the Reflective Democracy campaign.
As the AAPI people reconcile about 6% of the United States population, they represented a meager 0.9% of federal, state and local elected officials in 2020, according to the report.
Looking at the current makeup of Congress, only two of the 100 senators are Asian or Pacific Islander Americans – Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) – and 15 of the 435 representatives in the Room are AAPI. . This is only 3.2% of Congress.
With the departure from the Senate in January of Kamala Harris, who is now the country’s First Vice President of Asian descent, there are no black female senators.
“Our nation is made stronger when its government is more like the people it represents,” Duckworth said in a press release, adding that the report “helps demonstrate AAPI’s dismal lack of representation in government. “.
“I will continue to work to ensure that everyone in our country has a place at the table,” added the senator.
Even though the AAPI community is one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the United States, it is the least represented in elected positions, according to the report. Asian Americans are under-represented among political leaders by a factor of -85% of their population. In comparison, white Americans are overrepresented in elected office by a factor of + 46%.
The report comes out amid a rise in anti-Asian racism and violence over the past year.
Last month President Joe Biden appointed Erika Moritsugu as senior liaison Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to direct the administration’s outreach to these communities.
The high-level appointment came after Duckworth and Hirono criticized the lack of Asian Americans in senior positions in the Biden administration, threatening to block Biden’s candidates. They then backed down after receiving assurances from the White House.
Harris and the United States Sales representative Katherine Tai are currently the only Asian Americans in Biden’s cabinet.
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