Local elections add to historic number of Asian American elected officials in IL


CONTACT: Brandon Lee
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Local elections add to historic number of Asian American elected officials in IL

CHICAGO — Four Asian American candidates won local elections on Tuesday, April 4:

1. Aurora Austriaco, Maine Township School Board
2. Jean Ikezoe-Halevi, Lincolnwood trustee
3. Khemarey Khoeun, Skokie Park District
4. Pramod Shah, Skokie Clerk

“Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the United States, and right here in Illinois we are showing that our community’s growth has also resulted in a growth in power,” said Tuyet Le, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago. “The wins achieved in yesterday’s election add to the already historic number of Asian American elected officials representing Illinois from local offices to the U.S. Senate.”

The Asian American community in Illinois has grown significantly over the past decade, with the Chicago suburbs as an increasingly frequent point of entry for new immigrants. The Asian American population in the Chicago metro area grew 39% over the last decade. Between 2008-2012, the number of eligible Asian American and Pacific Islander voters in Illinois grew 15%.

“Building Asian American political power has been a decades-long effort, and the power we have built is showing itself through a wave of community members taking the next step and running for office,” continued Le. “The Asian American community is organized and ready to engage these local officials in support of policies that protect immigrants and refugees, and benefit our communities. We congratulate the members of our community who won elections yesterday, and we look forward to engaging them in the future.”