February 4, 2012 | NAAO-PAC
The Network of Asian American Organizations – Political Action Committee (NAAO-PAC), created in 2011, will hold a candidate forum for city council elections on Sunday, February 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. at West Bank Library, 1309 West Bank Drive, Austin TX 78746.
This is a critical time for our community with a city charter commission recommending how we elect city council members (at-large or single member districts or both). Additionally, the Asian American Resource Center is in need of continued support from the city council.
So, this is the only opportunity for you to meet the candidates and express your opinions on the above issues and others that you may consider important. Make your presence felt by attending this event. Your presence is critical.
The NAAO-PAC has given the candidates a questionnaire pertinent to our community, questions below. Also, it will be an open forum for you to ask the candidates your questions.
City Council Election / Re-election Questions:
1. The latest census shows that the Asian American population has grown 60% in the last 10 years and is just under 7% of the overall population in Austin. Given this growth and that Asian Americans are currently under-represented on boards and commissions, do you commit to nominating Asian Americans to serve in boards and commissions?
2. Austin, as a city, has a goal of reflecting the ethnic diversity of the community it serves. However, less than 1% percent of city executives are Asian American:
- Do you commit to asking the city manager to increase hiring, training (Leadership Academy by the GACC) and promotion of qualified Asian Americans in city (or county) government to maintain and promote this diversity?
- Will you regularly follow up on Asian American employment numbers in the diversity report in your 1:1 meeting with the City Manager and in council meetings?
- Will you question if cultural differences, inconsistencies or unfairness are a factor in negative discipline of Asian American employees?
- Will you ask the city manager to actively recruit for an Asian American Assistant City Manager?
3. Asian Americans are eager to ensure topics of mutual interest are addressed to the benefit all of Austin’s citizens, so do you commit to ensuring regular (quarterly?) communications with the NAAO?
4. Asian Americans applaud the support of city leaders for the Asian American Resource Center which will serve both as a focal point for Asian American activities and which can also be shared with all the citizens of Austin to enrich the ethnic and cultural diversity, and educational and economic vibrancy of Austin. AARC continues to make steady progress towards reality, so looking ahead, would you support sufficient funding to ensure successful construction and operation of the AARC?
5.The rapidly growing Asian American Community in Austin represents many nationalities and even more languages. As many of our community are recent immigrants who have come to invest their money, intellect, talents and labor to the economy, culture and social causes of Austin and require assistance in understanding the services provided by the City as well as emergency alerts and directions, are you in favor of appointing a dedicated City staff member to assist them (as cities such as the District of Columbia, New York City, Salt Lake City and even Quincy, Massachusetts already do)?