The other exciting thing is that I finally got to see our ELECTION ISSUE!, which the rest of the staff insists on calling our "politics issue." Whatever. The good news: It's gorgeous! The always a big bummer: the news just keeps coming, even though our final copy comes in a month before we get the magazine into our hands. So we lost a few interesting stories that way, such as:
Microcosmicomics - this year's Hurricane Ivan delayed a city council runoff election in Bayou La Batre, Alabama , a third of whose 2000-some residents are Asian American. The election drew the attention of the DOJ after incumbent Jackie Ladnier's campaign challenged the votes of a group of mainly Asian American voters, and was accused of racism. The runoff on Tuesday was quiet and resulted in challenger Phuong Tan Huynh defeating Ladnier in the only county race in which the incumbent wasn't returned.
Hiroshima Mon Amour - Japanese American A-bomb survivor advocate Kanji Kuramoto died early this month in Oakland. Kuramoto, a Nisei who returned to Japan for his education and remained there throughout the war, lost his father to the bomb in Hiroshima and went on to become an advocate for the small but significant number of Japanese Americans exposed to the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki who were not eligible for Japanese assistance to A-bomb survivors and also unable to gain support from the US government.
"It's just Chinatown, Jake." - Absolutely no perceptions were challenged last month when Chinese immigrant Zack Zeng, whose heroic self-sacrifice on 9/11 was caught on a Fox video camera and therefore apparently demanded acknowledgement, had a street in New York Chinatown named after him . One wonders why Zeng, a civilian whom no one called upon to sacrifice his life but went and did so anyway, saving two women in the process, can only be a role model for immigrants and Asians, and not the rest of New York City.
Cali, represent! - The first Asian American in the California State Legislature died last week at 84. Alfred H. Song , a World War II veteran and celebrated lawyer, entered politics in 1960 and spent 12 years on the state senate. He withstood a corruption inquiry in 1977 but, largely as a result of the corruption charges, lost his seat to Joseph B. Montoya in 1978. Ironically, Montoya, who defeated Song by running as a "good government" candidate, did NOT withstand later corruption charges and spent 6.5 years in prison. Song is survived by three children, eleven grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.