MD governor hopeful woos the local Asian American vote

Updated: 2014-04-17 11:21

By Liu Chang in Potomac, Maryland (China Daily USA)

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Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown has reached out to the Asian-American community in Montgomery County in his campaign to become Maryland's governor.

"I cannot govern without you. You are a talented community. Asian Americans make a difference in public service, academia, and economy. Your voices are important," Brown told about 50 people, the majority being Chinese, at a house party organized by the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA), a non-profit organization consisting of Asian-American leaders in the county.

According to the most recent US Census, 15 percent of the approximate 1 million residents in Montgomery County are Asian Americans, with one-third of them of Chinese descent.

Michael Lin, president of AAPA, acknowledged the importance of Brown appealing to the Asian-American community.

He said Brown's campaign appearance on April 12 gave the Asian-American community an opportunity to make its voice heard.

"When top political minds make some decisions, their horizon sometimes is limited, therefore they cannot meet our needs," said Lin who was national president of the Organization of Chinese Americans, established in 1973 to unite Chinese Americans across the US into one representative voice.

Lin pointed out that the Asian-American community has its own needs. For example, when it comes to immigration reform, for Asian Americans, family reunion is very important, more so than the undocumented immigrants issue, according to Lin.

"That is why we need to have opportunities for communication [with politicians]," said Lin, who is a biomedical scientist.

During his visit, Brown stressed the education achievements that he and Governor Martin O'Malley have made.

"We've made more progress to close the income achievement gap than any other state, with Maryland's low-income students posting the greatest gains in the nation," he said. `

"Today, Maryland students are ranked No 3 in the country in fourth grade reading and No 6 in eighth grade reading," said Brown, who promised if he is elected he would provide Marylanders with a universal pre-K program, a central theme of his gubernatorial campaign.

Brown has picked Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his lieutenant governor running mate. The team has met Asian-Americans in the county a couple of times to address issues important to them.

Brown faces Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Heather R. Mizeur in the June 24 Democratic primary to succeed O'Malley, who is term-limited.

 MD governor hopeful woos the local Asian American vote

Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown speaks to members of the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA) in Potomac, Maryland on April 12 to gain support for his gubernatorial campaign. AAPA consists of Asian American leadership in the Montgomery County, Maryland. Cai Chunying / China Daily

(China Daily USA 04/17/2014 page2)