April , 2019

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New American Leaders Project Releases National Post-Election Immigrant Candidate Scorecard 


New York, NY -The New American Leaders Project (NALP) released a post-election scorecard tallying the election results for Congressional candidates from immigrant communities, celebrating those who successfully won their bids for Congress on November 6, 2012.  The scorecard can be seen on a state-by-state basis here and by immigrant community here.  The election saw 4 Arab Americans (LA-3 will go to run-off), 10 Asian Americans (CA-6 remains too close to call), 1 Caribbean American, and 29 Latinos (CA-36 remains to close to call) win their Congressional races.   Among these victories are four historic first time wins, three by Asian American women:

  • Senator-elect Ted Cruz (R), the first Latino to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate
  • Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard (D) from Hawaii becomes the first American Samoan voting member of Congress.
  • Senator-elect Mazie Hirono (D) from Hawaii will be the first Asian American woman to ever serve in the U.S Senate
  • Congresswoman-elect Grace Meng (D), the first Asian American to represent New York in Congress
  • Congressman Mark Takano (D)of California becomes the first openly gay Asian American in Congress

“We celebrate these important milestones, and laud these leaders for their commitment to public service.  At the same time, we recognize that responsiveness to the needs of immigrant Americans, who include U.S.-born, naturalized citizens and undocumented individuals, is the duty of all elected officials at the city, state and national levels,” said Sayu Bhojwani, Founding Director of The New American Leaders Project.  “It’s our sincere hope that these new faces will have a profound effect in Congress, and therefore the community, starting in 2013.”

This year’s election also marked a historic high for the number of immigrant community leaders that ran for office, however the numbers did not keep up with the number of immigrants in the U.S. population as a whole.  As of November 7, the total number of Asian members in the 113th Congress will increase from from 10 to 11 (or 12, if Dr. Ami Bera wins the California 6th district seat).  At 6% of the U.S. population, Asian Americans should occupy 31 Congressional seats for proportionate representation. Latino Congress members increased to 30 (and may go to 31, if Dr. Raul Ruiz wins California’s 36th district), but given that Latinos represent 16% of the population, the total number of Latinos in Congress should be at 86 to be proportionate.

The composition of the new Congress will be a critical component of success for the agenda President Barack Obama outlined in his acceptance speech on Election Day – “reducing our deficit, reforming our tax code, fixing our immigration system and freeing ourselves from foreign oil.”

 The New American Leaders Project (NALP) is the only national organization specifically focused on preparing first- and second-generation immigrants for civic leadership.  NALP aims to expand the number of immigrants in leadership positions, increase voter participation in immigrant communities and allow immigrant voters more opportunities to engage with leaders who reflect their unique experiences. Visit http://newamericanleaders.org or follow #NewamericanLP for additional information.

The New American Leaders Project has experts available for commentary on immigrant civic engagement. For all media inquires please contact:

Nina Spensley, 917.864.8400, nina@newamericanleaders.org or 

Shalini Matani, 516.458.9495, shalini@newamericanleaders.org.


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