Poli 103A California Politics Incorporation of Minority Groups Incorporation of Minority Groups Barriers to Minority Participation Barriers to Representation and Incorporation •Alternate forms of participation •Taking nativist arguments seriously •The importance of geography Why does the Sleeping Giant Sleep? California Voter Turnout, by Ethnicity (CPS, 2000) 80 70 67.2 % Registered 62.5 60.4 60 52.5 50 % Voting 40 33.2 29.5 30 28 24.5 20 10 0 White Latino Black Asian Alternate Forms of Participation “Political participation” is any action that individuals take with the goal of affecting politics and policy. • Voting is the most common, but not the only, form of political participation. • Minority groups that cannot exert much influence at the polls often engage in other important forms of participation. Alternate Forms of Participation Don Nakanishi notes that API communities in California have also fulfilled political and policy goals by: • Engaging in labor organization • Mounting legal challenges (Fred Korematsu) • Movements and justice campaigns • Contributing $$ (Al Gore at the buddhist temple) Barriers to Representation and Incorporation Minority representation occurs when members of minority groups have the ability to elect a representative of their choosing. Minority incorporation comes when “a minority group’s interests are reflected in the development of policy and the allocation of resources.” (Saito, p. 45). Taking Nativist Arguments Seriously Society and politics argument: •Some nativists have asserted the right to a homogenous society, arguing that those who share a value system, common history, and language will agree on political decisions. Diversity will lead to divisiveness. Taking Nativist Arguments Seriously Economic argument: •Immigration, whether it is legal or illegal, can take away high-wage (H1B) and low-wage jobs, and increase the demand for services. This puts an especially large fiscal burden on state and local governments. Citrin and Campbell cover this debate on p. 278-284. The Importance of Geography For a group to elect a representative of its choosing, that group must be sufficiently populous and concentrated to exert influence in a political district. • Racial gerrymandering, which was especially prevalent prior to the civil rights era, often forcibly split minority communities to dilute their voting power The Importance of Geography Residential patterns can also fragment a group’s political power. •Under a proportional representation system, 6% of population would get a voting block 6% of seats. •Under our district-based system, API voters spread out across the state aren’t guaranteed 6% of seats. The Importance of Geography Chinese-Americans in San Francisco Filipino-Americans in San Francisco The Importance of Geography African-Americans in San Francisco Discussion Section Questions What is La Montana? How did Tom Jackson hang on to power in Huntington Park for so long? How is political activism in Barrio Logan different from participation in Ocean Beach?