Special Photo The Asian American Legal Advocacy Center (AALAC) of Georgia recently unveiled a billboard visible on Interstate 85 north between Beaver Ruin Road and Steve Reynolds Parkway. The billboard encourages the county's Asian American residents to vote. The group will also hold a voter registration drive Saturday.
A statewide advocacy group has honed in on Gwinnett to drive voter registration among Asian Americans.
About two weeks ago, the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia (AALAC) unveiled a billboard along Interstate 85 in Gwinnett, encouraging Asian American residents to "vote for our future" in several languages. On Saturday, volunteers will canvas the Suwanee, Duluth and Norcross areas for a voter registration drive.
Gwinnett is nearly 11 percent Asian, but is "disproportionately underrepresented" in the local and state governments, AALAC Executive Director Helen Ho said.
"Asian Americans are teachers, corporate executives, business owners and students," Ho said. "We are major drivers of the economic and social growth in Gwinnett County. AALAC wants to remind our community members to take greater ownership of where they live by exercising their right to vote."
The roughly 90,000 Asian American residents in Gwinnett make up about 28 percent of the entire state's Asian American population.
The AALAC's billboard between Beaver Ruin Road and Steve Reynolds Boulevard was unveiled Sept. 24. It will be visible to I-85 northbound traffic for approximately two weeks before flipping sides and being seen by southbound traffic for two more.
With three young children splayed across it, the sign encourages people to vote in seven different languages. The advocacy group said the billboard was "the only one we know of in the country."
The push for more voters will continue today, when an estimated 30 volunteers will canvass Gwinnett areas with heavy Asian populations.
Volunteers will do some door-to-door work, officials said, but also be present at a number of establishments throughout the day. Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., workers will be registering voters at ASSI locations in Suwanee and Duluth, Great Wall Supermarket in Duluth and Hong Kong Supermarket and Nam Dae Moon in Norcross.
They will also be at the Gwinnett Place Mall across from Mega Mart from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"We are calling our 2012 voter engagement campaign 'Vote for Our Future' to remind parents and others that their vote will determine the future of their children, and the collective future of everyone in our state," ho said. "We also want to encourage first-generation immigrant citizens to be role models for their children by voting."