Don’t let your cynical friends sway you. Making New Year’s resolutions is always a good idea. We like to jump on any chance we get to work on self-improvement.
We saw quite a boon for retail businesses at the end of 2011. We hope that this momentum continues throughout 2012, that as it continues climbing, it will jump-start additional economic recovery. There are already lots of things to be optimistic about. Employment, for one, has been up. Hopefully, that will be a continuing trend for our community, so that the consumers who frequent our businesses can receive the best service and best products, and the business owners in the area can hire more employees.
Currently, there are a lot of empty spaces in Chinatown — about 30 percent of Chinatown business spaces are vacant. We hope that in 2012, people from other areas will continue realizing what a retail and foodie hotspot this area is and will consider the International District often for their shopping.
This is a viable community, with lots of inexpensive housing (relative to the rest of Seattle). The more residents that live in this neighborhood, the more business will come to it, and the more it will flourish. Tell your friends!
Even though our community is small, a lot of people have a lot of positive things to say about it. Our greater Asian community, comprising Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, and Indian communities, has the distinction of being rather unified compared to other Asian ethnic communities in the United States, according to Susan Au Allen, the U.S. Pan Asian Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation CEO, who looked at six Asian American business groups around the country. She said we are the only group that intermingles between ethnicities. Other focus groups were basically just one ethnic group, she said. Allen was very impressed with our community because we work together.
Also, at the end of this year, don’t forget to vote. We have the presidential race and gubernatorial races coming up. It’s going to be an exciting election year.
We urge you to participate and meet the candidates in the meantime. A lot of immigrants vote on the basis of who their peers are voting for. That’s not good because we need to learn about the candidates and all the issues that they stand for or stand against. It’s hard and overly simplistic to sum up a candidate based solely on his or her political party.
So don’t worry about what your peers will say. Besides, no one knows who you are voting for when you fill out your ballot. You might not feel like you can go against your friends, but you must do whatever your heart tells you on election day.
We advise you to go and participate in forums and read newspapers. Also, at the very least, vote!
Statistics indicate that politicians believe the immigrants’ voice is not a strong one. This is a bad reputation for the Asian community to have.
But if you vote, it will change everyone’s idea of what the Asian American community is capable of.
Our voice is powerful because we vote. (end)