I have a confession. Northwest Asian Weekly, in comparison to other ethnic media, has done miraculously well with political advertising.
The number one factor is that many Asian leaders are behind the Weekly. It makes a world of difference when community puts pressure on the candidate to pay attention to minority media. The only way to educate candidates about minority media is by telling them. Political mentor Ruth Woo has always told candidates to put ads in ethnic publications.
Often times, candidates give excuses that they haven’t raised enough money. So community leaders, including Al Sugiyama, Cindy Shiota, Dolores Sibonga, and Woo, raised separate funds for advertisements in ethnic papers aside from donating money to their campaigns. Lion Dance Team Captain Tony Au did it differently. He would organize fundraising events for candidates in Chinatown and designate an amount from the proceeds for advertisements in community newspapers.
In the late 1980s, June Chen was the first to tell former King County Assessor Ruthe Ridder and Chris Gregoire, who was then running for attorney general, to use their campaign contributions for advertisements in the Northwest Asian Weekly. Lately, Uwajimaya chairman Tomio Moriguchi has sponsored advertisements in different community newspapers for mayoral, county executive, and senatorial candidates.
If telling candidates didn’t produce action, Moriguchi did it himself. Last year, he e-mailed ads to us, and he paid for them. Ads will reach more voters than just a flat contribution for a candidate. That’s what a supporter wants, isn’t it? It instantly manifests the notion that the candidate has real connections in the Asian community and that the candidate cares about Asian votes. Plus, it helps the survival of an ethnic community newspaper. ♦