[LA Times] Asian Americans make new push for L.A. council seats

December 16, 2014


[left] David Ryu, candidate for Los Angeles City Council District 4 (The Korea Times file) [right] Grace Yoo, District 10 candidate for Los Angeles City Council

David Ryu, left, candidate for Los Angeles City Council District 4 and Grace Yoo, District 10 candidate for Los Angeles City Council (Korea Times file)

[THE LOS ANGELES TIMES]Nearly 30 years ago, legislative aide Mike Woo shattered a barrier, becoming the first Asian American to win a seat on the Los Angeles City Council.The milestone was hailed as a sign that Asian Americans had finally come into their own on the local political scene. But after losing a bid for mayor in 1993, he left office and became a historical figure in a different way, serving as the last — and therefore only — Asian American to hold office at City Hall.That could change next year. Two Korean American candidates are running for council seats in the March 3 election, and they are offering strikingly different messages. One has been discussing the need to give Asian American voters a greater voice. The other is downplaying that notion in favor of broader themes.

Last week, Koreatown attorney Grace Yoo announced what is expected to be a long-shot bid to unseat Council President Herb Wesson, a veteran campaigner and one of the city’s most powerful politicians. Yoo, 43, cut her political teeth helping Woo and other Asian American candidates across the country run for political office. At a news conference discussing her candidacy, she called for greater progress by Asian Americans in city contests.


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