Wow! And we thought that this year’s elections would pale in comparison to last year’s exciting presidential race.
Tuesday, we saw Dow Constantine’s beaming face as he addressed a huge crowd of supporters, celebrating his victory over opponent Susan Hutchison for King County Executive. We saw Japanese American Lloyd Hara emerge significantly ahead of his opponents for King County Assessor in spite of the recent controversy surrounding the remodel of his home — he didn’t apply for a city permit for the project.
One upset for us is the Shoreline City Council Position No. 5 race. Mayor Cindy Ryu has been so active in her community, but as of press time, she is trailing opponent Shari Tracey. We sincerely hope this election does not put a stop to her continued involvement in the community.
Though the race for Tacoma mayor is tight, and the outcome is not yet definite, we’d like to congratulate Marilyn Strickland for her current lead over opponent Jim Merritt. Hopefully, Strickland will become our second female Korean American mayor.
Perhaps the race that has us on the edge of our seats is the one for Seattle City Mayor. At press time on Wednesday, Nov. 4, Mike McGinn had a narrow lead over his opponent Joe Mallahan. With only 29.29 percent of the votes counted, we will not likely know the outcome of this race for a while.
With this year’s election, as with any, there have been both upsets and triumphs for us in the Asian community, as well as for all voters. Even though some of your chosen candidates have not won, let’s all move forward and work toward our common goal of bettering our communities, cities, and state.
We have friends on both sides of the Seattle mayor race. Whoever wins, we are ready to work with that person. During NWAW’s candidates’ forum, both Mallahan and McGinn demonstrated that they are both very willing to work with Asian Americans and agree that having Asian Americans on staff would be valuable.
We are happy that Asian Americans have vigorously campaigned for both of the candidates. As soon as the results are final, we will be ready to communicate with and educate the new mayor of Seattle on the needs of the Asian community, though we suspect each candidate may already have an idea, as each has met with Asian Americans leaders in private already. We thank them for hitting the ground running.
From Lloyd Hara and Betty Patu, who have served their communities for decades, we have learned that name familiarity counts. So if you have not run for office before, the lesson is that it’s a good idea to build your name in the community.
Start working now. Start volunteering in political campaigns, and don’t just rely on stuffing the envelopes or ringing doorbells. Join a committee, and start getting your name out there. Don’t wait until it’s too late. ♦