Poll finds Asian Americans “strong environmentalists”

In Culture, NEWSPRINT on May 15, 2009 at 4:12 pm
Giant coreopsis

Recent Asian American immigrants strongly support environmental protection and legislation. How do the environmental attitudes of U.S. born and/or raised Asian Americans compare? Photo by Debbie Chong.

An article by Ngoc Nguyen in today’s New America Media website reports that “among California’s Asian Americans, 83 percent describe themselves as ‘environmentalists,’ compared to just 52 percent of all California voters, according to a first-ever poll on the environmental attitudes of Asian-American voters.”

The groundbreaking multilingual poll surveyed 1,002 Asian-American voters on their views about environmental issues and compared results to a poll of 564 state voters. Interviews were conducted with Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese and Asian Indian voters…

Eighty percent of Asian Pacific Islander (API) voters polled said they would vote for a candidate who has a strong environmental record, and 85 percent said they would support a ballot measure to protect the environment.

According to the article, most respondents were recent immigrants rather than U.S.-born, and their environmental concerns encompassed both local and global scales.

As one can see, outreach to Asian American immigrant voters will be key to gaining votes for environmentally-friendly political candidates and legislation.  This  survey refutes the stereotype that Asian immigrants are more concerned with money than the environment.

Now what I would like to see is a survey among 1.5-generation and U.S.-born Asian Americans.  What are the environmental attitudes of Asian Americans who were raised in the U.S.?  What are important issues for us?  Do we live, vote, and promote green?  How are we similar or different from our parents and grandparents?

What do you think?  Leave your comments below!

— posted by Debbie Chong


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