In a city that is one-third Asian, the majority Chinese Americans, there are few prominent politicians of Chinese descent.No Chinese mayor in San Francisco? Asian households have higher average incomes than Americans, yet the professional complainers like Pak are never satisfied.
Next year, the Chinese American population of San Francisco will mark the 160th anniversary of its presence in the city. Gone are the exclusionary laws that held the populace in check, the policies that curtailed Chinese immigration and citizenship. Gone is the official discrimination that kept many in the ghetto.
Yet such progress has not translated into political power. No Chinese American has held the top office of mayor, and except for a few years in the late 1990s, they have never been proportionately represented in the city`s top political body, the Board of Supervisors.
"I was dying to be working on the election of a Chinese American mayor," said Rose Pak, the Chinatown wheeler-dealer who has spent decades grooming and supporting candidates for office. "But now I ... wonder if I`ll see it." [Asian Americans flex political muscle in wider Bay Area, San Francisco Chronicle, December 2, 2007]
For more southerly diversity news, see the Orange County Register`s positive spin on demographic revolution, Where cultures collide (November 30).
[University Park Elementary], nestled just 2 miles from UC Irvine, is one of five in Irvine Unified that offers magnet classes for new arrivals. The area is also home to many recent immigrants studying at the university or living in large apartment communities that are among the area`s more affordable.There is no mention of the financial cost to taxpayers of all this diversity.
The result: 1 in 3 pupils is an English learner, and 36 languages are spoken at the school, from South Africa`s Afrikaans to Mandarin Chinese to Pakistan`s Urdu.
The pupils have one year of intensive English language instruction in Lui`s class before being placed in mainstream classes. The immersion is immediate and effective.
Also, foreigners continue to prefer the company of their own kind rather than joining the American national community.
Bing-Feng Wang of Taiwan chose to study computer science at UC Irvine because he liked the international flavor, and was comforted by the large Chinese population. He appreciates the many ethnic supermarkets and restaurants, while his two kids enjoy the proximity to Disneyland and Sea World.Can you say "balkanization"? It`s no problema to the MSM on the Left Coast.