Boosting the Filipino community vote and political participation
by Mary Estacion, ABS-CBN News
Part of the political process is voting. The Filipino voting rate was 50% in the last presidential election, compared to the Caucasian population rate of 65%.
Among Asians, 62% of eligible Indian and Japanese voters cast votes.
That apathy in voting has trickled down to lack of interest holding an elected office. There are currently 18 Asians and Pacific Islanders in Congress, but only one of them claims Filipino ancestry. Why the numbers are so unimpressive may have something to do with how well Filipinos have assimilated into the fabric of this country.
Fil-Ams boast unemployment numbers, comparable to Caucasians at 4.8% and a 5% poverty rate, that’s considerably lower than Caucasian families. They may simply not feel the need to vote.
But being apathetic about politics isn’t limited to being absent at the polls.
“We live in a country where we have the right to voice our opinion, to have an opinion and to put it out there… and so if we’re going to be Americans, then let’s act like Americans, and express ourselves and be a part of this political process,” says University of Maryland Professor Gem Daus.