Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Meng Dynasty?

Besides Senate, Governor and Attorney General, there are actually some other interesting races going on. One that I have been paying attention to is the open assembly seat in the 22nd district. The seat is being vacated by the first term Democrat Jimmy Meng.

Jimmy Meng was elected to the assembly behind the large number of Asians that have moved into the district over the last decade. These new Asian Americans have proved to be heavily Democrat and were the force behind the election of Democrat John Liu to the City Council. Behind these two men the Asians that makeup over 50% of the Flushing community have been rewarded with a relaxed attitude toward the Asian nationalism that has taken place, which can be seen in the ever expanding business up Northern Blvd that include signs in everything but English and the unfortunate defacing of a 100 year old land mark bank by turning it into a Asian mini mall. For the other half of Flushing that is not Asian, it has become an intimidating environment where longtime residents feel secluded and unable to patronize local shops. It’s easy to say that the veteran residents of both Liu and Meng’s district have been purposely forgotten with the ultimate hope being that they too will leave the area for the comforts of Long Island, New Jersey or somewhere down south.

Meng’s departure from the Assembly means that an opening has been created for a more objective official to be elected. One who wants to create a community where new Asian immigrants can still enjoy their culture while respecting that many still live in the district who would still like to feel like they can visit Main St. Flushing like the days of old when they could go into a store knowing what they sold while not feeling like the owners don’t want them there. This person does exist in former councilwoman Julia Harrison who is also running in the primary for Meng’s seat. Realistically Harrison does have a chance if Grace Meng (Jimmy Meng’s daughter) and her two Asian rivals Terence Park and Ellen Young split the Asian vote leaving Harrison to capture the large block of Democrats in the district who are unhappy with its direction. The problem for Harrison will be convincing this block to actually vote. One thing that the Asians in the district must be given credit for is their appreciation of their right to vote. The right to vote is something they all take serious and enforce their right by showing up on Election Day in droves. This is the opposite of the non-Asian section of the district who have taken their right for granted generally choosing to sit home. Another problem for Harrison is her limited exposure on the streets. As stated earlier the majority of businesses have become Asian in the last ten years leaving her no place to hang her signs as their windows are covered with vote for Meng or Park. It appears the only chance she has is to hope that people walk into the booth and choose the only name that’s not Asian.

The opening of Jimmy Meng’s seat will instead most likely see the box out continue as Jimmy Meng’s daughter Grace has decided to run to fill her dad’s seat. Grace already has all the needed contacts in the community from when she was her dads campaign manager not to mention his donors. With the primary basically deciding who will win the assembly seat comes November a victory for Grace will keep the already Asian nationalism high while starting what could become the Kennedy’s of the Asian community. As a registered Republican I can’t vote in the primary but as a 30 year resident I’ll be watching.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home