On July 1st, 2011 the San Francisco Examiner published an article entitled “Redistricting worries San Francisco’s gay leaders.” In response to that article, Benjamin Leong & Carlo De La Cruz Co-Chair & Political Awareness Chair of the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance wrote this letter to the editor on July 5th, 2011:
Your story last week regarding the redistricting “conflict” between the LGBT and Asian American SF communities oversimplifies a highly complex process. Among other criteria, redistricting must comply with important factors including the Federal Voting Rights Act, contiguity, and, most importantly, population equality across all the districts.
At its heart, redistricting should be about the enfranchisement of all communities. While the LGBT community and Asian communities are quite different, there are many similarities between the two groups: namely, the constant struggle for fair and accurate representation in the Legislature.
Your framing inaccurately portrays the interests and values of the Asian American community and LGBT community as fundamentally conflicting with one another. It also continues to make invisible the needs of the community that is both gay and LGBT-identified, many of whom reside in both LGBT and Asian American neighborhoods in our City.
We can find a solution that is win-win, but it takes commitment from both sides to make it happen.
Co-Chair, Gay Asian Pacific Alliance
Carlo De La Cruz
Political Awareness Chair, Gay Asian Pacific Alliance