Westchester Democrats of Asian American Descent Officially Organize
By Barrett Seaman–
Drawn together of late by the spate of physical attacks on members of their community but also cognizant of their growing influence in American politics, Asian Americans are organizing and asserting their clout. This week in Westchester, the formation of Westchester Asian American Democrats (WAAD) was announced and welcomed by the county’s Democratic Party organization.
The group’s stated mission is to increase visibility, representation and political engagement of Asian Americans, the fastest growing ethnic group in America.”
Among the leadership of the new party committee is Irvington’s David Imamura, co-chair of the village’s Democrats and a litigator with the New York firm of Debevoise Plimpton LLP. He was named second vice chair under WAAD chair Lisa Do Hofflich of Mt. Vernon, an experienced political operative who has worked for Senator Kristen Gillibrand and for State Assembly members Amy Paulin and Sandy Galef.
According to the group’s press release, there are some 60,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Westchester, more than a third of whom are registered voters, with nearly 48% of them registered as Democrats. “We are the margin of victory for Democrats,” said Do Hofflich, “so the time is now to empower our vote and raise our presence in the electoral process.”
Suzanne Berger, county Democratic chair, indicated that once the paperwork is done. WAAD will be recognized as an official party committee. “It makes a lot of sense for there to be a Westchester Asian American Democrats committee in our diverse county at this time,” said Berger.
The group has already made inroads into local politicis. As Marjorie Hsu, chairperson of the Asian American Federation, co-chair (with David Imamura) of the Westchester County Asian American Advisory Board and chair of Sleepy Hollow’s Planning Board observed in a letter to The Hudson Independent, “This year we have David Vinjamuri running for County Board of Legislature, David Kim for Tarrytown trustee and Vikas Agrawal for Ardsley school board.”
The committee plans to meet every second Tuesday of the month via Zoom, with the next meeting scheduled for May 11th. Those interested in joining can sign up at bit.ly/WAADmembership.