sian American Pacific Islanders are represented now more than ever in Illinois politics. Our success in representation comes with tough challenges. How unified is our voice? Are we represented enough? What’s our future locally and nationally? Meet history making Asian American Pacific Islander Democrats from Illinois and learn their thoughts on these and other issues.

Raja Krishnamoorthi is the Democratic nominee for the U.S Congress for the Eighth District of Illinois.

What is the Asian American voice?
Asian Americans increasingly have a voice at the highest levels of government and that’s a good thing.

The more Congressional and higher levels of government reflect the diversity of America, the better. 

I look forward to representing all the people in the Eighth Congressional District of Illinois, a very vibrant dynamic place with a large concentration of Asian Americans. 

Do you see the Asian American voice as being unified?
Over time it will be. Right now, the Asian American community is very diverse. You have Chinese, Filipino, Indian, and other people who each have an unique identity, an unique story. There are certain (shared) values that Asian Americans bring to the table such as strongly prizing public school education and making sure we are compassionate towards the least of us in society.

We also prize entrepreneurship and small business, and taking care of the elderly.

I strongly support protecting Social Security and Medicare for current and future generations, because that’s what the middle class needs that to sustain itself and our seniors. 

Are there Asian American issues that you’re passionate about?
I’m passionate about making sure small businesses and entrepreneurs always have an opportunity to start and grow their businesses in America, successfully. 

I’m a small business owner myself, so I believe small businesses are the engine of growth for our economy. Another issue I’m passionate about is how we grow and strengthen the middle class.

The middle class is what sustains our country. It’s the backbone of our economy and whatever we can do to strengthen that backbone, the better.

What is the future of Asian Americans in politics?
I think the future is bright. Tammy Duckworth is our current Congresswoman in the Eighth Congressional district, she’s running for U.S. Senate. I think she’s going to win and that’ll be a big milestone for the community within Illinois. And there are others doing well. Theresa Mah is going to be our first Asian American elected State Representative. Josina Morita is going to be the first county wide elected official. So we’re making strides. 

Asian Americans are like any other community, they’re becoming more and more assimilated into the fabric of America and as they do, they will increasingly take up their rightful positions as every other community has in the history of our country. 

So, we’ll see more and more (of their) faces and voices.

Aug 24, 2016

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