Rep. Lou Lang, Other Lawmakers Form Asian American Legislative Caucus
(Skokie) – May 4, 2012. Despite the absence of an Asian-American their ranks, Illinois state legislators have established an Illinois Legislative Asian American Caucus in Springfield, which includes House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie).
A bipartisan group of 14 legislators have launched the legislative group.
In addition to Lang, other lawmakers include State Rep. Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago), State Senators Antonio Muñoz (D-Chicago) and Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), who represent the districts with the largest number of Asian Americans in Illinois.
“It’s an important moment for Illinois to recognize the Asian American community as a distinct population with its own concerns and political voice,” said Lang.
According to the 2010 Census the Asian American population increased over 40% from 2000, and is now one of the fastest growing populations in Illinois at over 670,000 people.
“Community advocacy is the cornerstone of our work, so to see legislators rally around the Caucus is a marker of how far we have come in Illinois,” said Asian American Institute Executive Director Tuyet Le. “We are really flexing our political will.”
The new caucus will provide a forum for elected state leaders to dialogue with the Asian American community about the specific challenges it faces and to develop sound policy solutions, according to Tuyet.
According to a poll conducted by Lake Research Partners and released by the institute and other groups, only a third of the 1,100 surveyed had been contacted by either party in the last two years. However, 83% said they were likely to vote in 2012.
The caucus is “an important opportunity to meet with our Asian American constituents, and make sure their agenda is heard,” said Acevedo.