Friday, August 02, 2013

Dr Martha Wong Speaks to Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club

The Hon Martha Wong delivered an informative speech to the weekly meeting of Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club Thursday.  The topic was an update on Asian American outreach efforts through the Republican Party of Texas, which is the newly created Asian American Republican Assembly. Dr. Wong has been doggedly pursuing her vision for Asian American outreach within the Republican Party of Texas for some time now.  Finally the chairman of the state party saw the wisdom of this outreach as some startling numbers came forward.

Here are the numbers, as presented by Dr. Wong:

2000 - 2010  Nationwide Population increases
White:            1.2%  2,264,778
Hispanic:        30%  15,171,776 
Black:             11%    3,738,011
Asian:            42.9%  4,431,955  

2000 - 2010   In Texas
White:             2%         464,032
Hispanic:       41.8%    2,791,255
Black:            22.1%       522,570
Asian:            71.1%       393,981

Asian Americans are the fastest growing demographic in Texas.  

Here are the population projections for 2040 in Texas:
White:            53% to 25%          Decrease
Hispanic:        31% to 57 - 58%   Increase
Black:             11% to  8%          Decrease
Asian:            3.3% to  8.3%       Increase

By 2040, if every white person voted Republican, a Republican still wouldn't be elected president.

The chairman of the Republican Party of Texas saw the writing on the wall.  Not only is the Asian American population growing at such a rapid rate, but this demographic is voting less and less for Republicans.  The "sad news", said Dr. Wong, is that from 1992, when Asian Americans voted 55% GOP to 31% Democratic through 2012, when the numbers were 26% GOP to 73% Democratic, Asian Americans are on voting for Democrats in greater numbers than Republicans.

So, in May 2013, RNC Chairman Reince Prebius came to Austin and RPT Chairman Munisteri brought together minority groups to meet and develop strategy.  Dr. Wong was elected the Chairwoman of the Texas Asian Republican Assembly when the group was formed.

What will the Texas Asian Republican Assembly do?  Bringing together the very best of representation, the group will develop clubs in all major cities so that they reach out to the communities; use major newspapers to keep readers informed and updated; use religious institutions by instructing them on what can be said from the pulpit; partner with existing clubs and get Republican speakers to meetings; and provide a list of every Republican voter in the last election.  All of this will be done here in Harris county as well as across the state.  

One action taken during the last election cycle was placing ads in Asian newspapers with a very simple text: "Vote Republican". 

Dr. Wong reminded the audience that everyone can reach out to neighbors and co-workers.  Get their email addresses and forward them to Dr. Wong so that she can arrange for them to be contacted.  She noted that often Asians are more comfortable talking about subjects like politics with other Asians.  This is perfectly normal and applies to all people in general, not just Asians.

Asians are conservative in nature.  They are known as entrepreneurs.  The message of the Republican party is a natural fit.  

Encourage elected officials in the Republican party to go to Asian events.  May is Asian Heritage month and typically Democrat politicians, like Rep Al Green, take over events while Republicans do not demand notice for themselves at the annual galas. 

It is important to remember that outreach is not a waste of time, nor is it meant to be a political stunt.  Those, such as some of the loud talkers on conservative talk radio, who ridicule coalition building are doing a real disservice to the Republican party.  Potential voters are insulted by the ridicule.  The tone of conversation from the loud talkers is not respectful and it does not speak for the majority of conservatives.  It is mostly entertainment at the expense of others, which is always wrong headed.  

There is much work to be done.  Republicans in Texas are lucky to have such a strong Republican woman as Dr. Martha Wong leading the way for Asian American outreach in our party.  We owe her a debt of gratitude for her persistence and vision. 

I do not often get to attend lunch meetings with the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club and that is unfortunate.  The speakers are always informative, the food is good and the prices are low.  The attendees are a diverse group of party activists and elected officials.  Current President Sophia Mafrige and Vice President Jack Lee are doing a fine job keeping people informed and energized. I encourage you to attend a meeting - they meet weekly at the Spaghetti Warehouse.

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