By Shirley Ming
Nancy Brumback, director and legislative chair of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, spoke to a group of voters on how they can effectively communicate with legislators on August 29 at the Bellows Farm Clubhouse in Acton. Brumback addressed a room of more than 40 attendees on the legislative process and ways to effectively lobby legislators. The session was interactive and featured questions from the audience. Audience members felt the meeting was informative.
More first-generation Asian Americans taking up political activism, in response to bill H.3361 “An Act Requiring State Agencies to Collect Asian American Aggregate Data” pending in the Massachusetts legislature. The bill would require state agencies to subcategorize the five largest ethnic groups of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) residing in the state. As a single group, AAPIs represent roughly 6 percent of the Massachusetts population, compared to 83.2 percent white, 10.5 percent Hispanic and 8.1 percent black.
The meeting did not feature much debate on H.3361. However, audience participation indicated the bill brought many Asian Americans into the political process. Some members of the Asian American community felt unfairly singled out and were concerned about the unintended consequences of targeted data collection. To help to promote further discussion and dialogue on the issue, members of the Acton-Boxborough Regional High School debate team compiled handouts, which were distributed to all meeting attendees with arguments and research on both sides of the issue. Regardless of where on the political spectrum people are, Asian American engagement in the political process is a positive step forward.
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