Fair Districting Builds an Inclusive Democracy

Building on new Census data, Asian Americans Advancing Justice empowers communities to increase Asian American and Pacific Islander political representation
For Immediate Release
Contact
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144 mboykins@advancingjustice-aajc.org
Mary Tablante 202-296-2300, ext. 0114 mtablante@advancingjustice-aajc.org

Washington, DC – The U.S. Census Bureau released data that will significantly impact the way our communities are represented in electoral districts across the country. This includes city councils, school boards, state legislatures, and congressional districts. Every ten years, through redistricting after the decennial census, local communities have an opportunity to make sure district lines are drawn fairly to reflect the populations within these boundaries. By participating in redistricting, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities can ensure our needs are heard, that we benefit from the $1.5 trillion in federal funding, and that each district’s lines are drawn fairly and reflect the entire community within its population. 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice issues the following statement: 

“Public engagement in the redistricting process is important so that line-drawers know exactly how the community defines itself and that lines should not be drawn to divide that community. Throughout the years, the national Advancing Justice affiliation and other partners around the country have fought for districts that provide fair representation for our communities. 

A combination of 24 million Asian Americans responded to the census, affirming our communities as the fastest-growing ethnic group in the country and attesting to the outstanding efforts of civil rights and community organizations in getting out the count. The U.S. population is being driven primarily by communities of color and immigrant communities, making it even more important that diverse voices are represented at the ballot box and in elected offices. 

According to the Census legacy data released, the Asian American population has grown by 38.6% since 2010 and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders by 29.5%. 

  • Every state saw a growth in their Asian American population, with the three fastest-growing states being Nebraska, North and South Dakota. 
  • North Carolina and Texas are the fifth and seventh fastest-growing states with Asian American populations this decade fastest whereas they were the third and tenth respectively in the last decade.
  • In six states Asian Americans comprise more than 10% of their population (HI, CA, WA, NV, NJ, NY) and an additional four states are higher than the national figure of 7.2% (VA, Alaska, MA, MD).  
  • California, which is 17.8% Asian American, has 17 counties with populations of more than 10% Asian American. Virginia has 10 counties with over 10% Asian American population while the community makes up 8.8% in the entire state.

When community members participate in the redistricting process, they have the ability to influence how district lines are ultimately drawn. When one group can make up a large percentage of one district or when similar communities are drawn together, they have a greater opportunity to elect candidates who can address their community needs and interests. 

We intend to review the census data released today and analyze how it will affect AAPI communities, but one thing is very clear: A collective voice is the strongest voice. We encourage community members to get involved in their districts or neighborhoods.” 

Access our redistricting factsheet, which provides an overview of why redistricting matters and how local AAPI communities can participate in redistricting and increase our political representation.   

Asian Americans Advancing Justice will provide translations in at least 13 Asian languages: Tagalog, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Bengali, Karen, Khmer, and Hmong.