1017503_734953099918056_8766407879462801821_n

Asian Americans for Steve Adler

Posted by

1017503_734953099918056_8766407879462801821_n

The diverse Asian American population of Austin is the fastest growing minority in the city.[1] From 2000-2013, the city’s Asian American community increased by 76 percent. While some sectors of the community report high levels of education and economic security, still others, particularly within refugee communties, report difficulty with transportation, job opportunities and navigating City services with limited English proficiency.[2],[3] Other issues, such as caring for aging parents who are late stage immigrants, rising property taxes, and traffic gridlock are affecting Austin’s Asian Americans across socio-economic lines. I am encouraged by how well the Asian American community of Austin has done on the whole, but we can do more to improve our quality of life and affordability in this city. I am very eager to pursue policies to assist our city’s vibrant Asian American communities and to promote its heritage.

Ensuring Civic Engagement for Austin’s Asian Americans. It is vital that we include Asian Americans in our city government and to provide oppportunities to have input into our city’s public policy decisions. As mayor, I will be the only city official elected at-large who has the direct duty to represent all communities. It will be not only my responsibility, but also my honor, to ensure that appointees to our city’s boards and commissions reflect our demographic realities. This includes appointments from our Asian American community. This obligation for diversity in our city government extends to the municipal workforce, including the mayor’s office, as well.

Support for the Asian American Resource Center, which I was very pleased to see open in 2013 after so many years of negotiations and public involvement. As mayor, I look forward to working with the Asian American community to continue working on this valued facility and its future phases. As the AARC is an indispensible place for celebrating Asian American culture and for providing education and workforce training opportunities, I am eager to ensure that it receives the support and resources it needs.

Fully Embracing the Sister and Friendship Cities Program, which includes Taichung, Taiwan, Oita City, Japan, Xishuangbanna, China, and Gwangmyeong, South Korea.[4] These programs provide valuable educational, artistic and economic development exchanges that benefit our city greatly. As mayor, I fully intend to embrace this program and find opportunities for expanding the exhange programs.

Promoting Greater Community Outreach. All of our citizens’ cultural, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds must receive adequate and equal services from our local government. I have been encouraged by the success of the Austin Police Department’s Asian Outreach Program that has not only provided communications support for non-English speakers, but also facilitates diversity training for cadets. I believe we should expand communications support for as many Asian languages as possible, particuarly languages widely used in Austin, such as Mandarin, Korean, Hindi, Vietnamese, and Bangla, I also support expanding cultural competency training and support programs to other city departments to ensure that all aspects of city government can communicate and provide services to our Asian American community.

General Quality of Life (Affordability, Education, Water). On my website (adlerforaustin.com), I have published policy agenda papers that each address an issue such as affordability and economic development, education, and water resource management. These challenges impact all Austinites living all over our city, and no less the members of the Asian American community. We need to confront, address and solve these challenges for the benefit it will bring to us all and our city as a whole.

We must celebrate and support our diversity of culture, thought, ethnicity, race, experience and background. We will do better as we weave our city from among our diverse population. The Austin of tomorrow is a great 21st century international city and I am excited at that prospect.

 

Citations:

[1] City of Austin, Planning & Development Review Department, Selected Demographic Trends in Austin, June 2014

[2] City of Austin, City of Austin Demographic Profile: 1990 and 2000 and 2010 Census Data (austintexas.gov)

[3] City of Austin, ACS Profile Report 2013 (austintexas.gov)

[4] Sister Cities International, Austin, Texas (sister-cities.org)