Do you really think voting is enough?
In an ideal world, an elected official would equitably represent all residents in a given district. In reality, money is limited, and the attention of officials is limited as well. Because of these limitations, elected officials usually provide the most return of public funds to the neighborhood from which he/she has obtained the most votes. To be more politically recognized, citizens need to 1) register to vote as either a Democrat or Republican, 2) Vote, 3) Complete the census, 4) Participate in the Districting process.
Registering to vote as either a Democrat or Republican is important. The candidates in our two party system will consider you as their base from the onset during primary elections. Politicians prioritize and cater to their base. Voters who register as Independents are mostly considered as after-thoughts in their minds, and they typically do not receive special treatment.
Voting is important. Our two party system takes very much into account the race, gender and other statistics of its voters. They also cater to the people whom they find important to them. If you don't vote, you don't count - why would elected officials waste their limited resources on you?
Completing the census every ten years is important. Census information may not be used against you in a legal action. Everyone should fill out the census without fail. The information from the census is used for the purposes of drawing district lines in way which keeps intact communities with common interests.
Districting is the process by which the four types of district lines are drawn. Knowing how many people there are, and where, define the lines for each type of district. There are limits to the number of people each district can have. Wherever your residence may be in New York, your residence would be located within four different districts: (1) Congressional District, (2) State Senate District, (3) State Assembly District, (4) City Council District. This means politically, you are represented by your Congress Person, State Senator, State Assembly Person, and City Council Person. If you have a political need, any one or all should help you.
OCA-NY has frequently assisted in voter education and registration drives. During 2012 and 2013, OCA-NY played a major role in the drawing of State Senate, State Assembly, and City Council District lines. OCA-NY advocated for the politically under-represented populations of Asian Americans in the 5 boroughs of New York City by providing testimonies in public hearings, running petition drives, becoming a founding member of the ACCORD coalition, so that large densities of Asian communities of common interest would be preserved. This is to prevent the political voice and voting power of the Asian community of common interest from becoming diluted and divided through district lines. Through OCA-NY's collaborative effort with other coalition members, two State Senate Assembly Districts with large Asian populations were formed for the first time ever in Brooklyn; State Assembly districts 47, and 49. Through OCA-NY's collaborative effort with other coalition members, 2 of the two large Asian communities of common interest in Sunset Park and Bensonhurst were preserved more than in the earlier versions of the City Districting Commission's map. OCA-NY is directly responsible for the preservation of the Asian community of common interest approximately between 60th and 71st Streets, between Sunset Park and Bensonhurst, in City Council District 38. OCA-NY took a lead role, and is directly responsible for greater preservation of the neighborhood of Bensonhurst which had seen a 57% increase in Asian Americans from the 2000 to 2010 census, in City Council District 47.