Historic election for Asian Americans in Illinois

CONTACT: Brandon Lee
773-259-5288 (call or text)

Historic day for Asian Americans in Illinois

Advancing Justice | Chicago looks forward to working with newly elected Asian American officials

In 2017, for the first time ever, there will be Asian American elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels at the same time in Illinois:

  • Tammy Duckworth in the Senate (first Asian American Senator from Illinois)
  • Raja Krishnamoorthi in the U.S. House
  • Theresa Mah in the Illinois House of Representatives (First Asian American in the Illinois General Assembly)
  • Josina Morita on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (First Asian American non-judicial officeholder on the county level, first Asian American on MWRD)

“The data will show in the coming days that this year is historic for Asian American turnout, but we can see today that it’s historic for Asian American elected officials here in Illinois,” said Tuyet Le, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “We congratulate and look forward to re-engaging these newly elected community members in supporting policies at all levels of government that benefit the Asian American and immigrant communities.”

The Asian American community has grown significantly over the past decade, and showed its power on Election Day. Today, there are 756,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in Illinois, an increase of 56% from the year 2000. According to AAPI Data, the number of eligible Asian American and Pacific Islander voters in Illinois grew 15% between 2008 and 2012. (Compared to 2.6% growth for all eligible voters statewide)

“There are many ways to measure a community’s power, including getting out to vote, the ability to organize, the ability to win an issue, and having elected officials from your community,” said Le. “If we measured solely by the number of elected officials, it would have taken a very long time for us to say we had any power. We have reached this point today through the decades of organizing, educating, and empowering of our community to take the lead in civic life.”