'If you're not at the table, you're what's for lunch.' Westchester lawmaker describes becoming first Asian American to serve on county Legislature
News 12's Senior Investigative Reporter Tara Rosenblum is profiling an Asian American freshman lawmaker who already secured his spot in the history books.
David Imamura became the first Asian American in history to serve on the Westchester County Legislature after winning a special election a few months ago to replace now-Assemblywoman MaryJane Shimsky.
"Politics is representation, and if you're not at the table you're what's for lunch, and that was something that definitely inspired me going into running for this office," he says.
The Irvington Democrat may be new to elected office, but he previously served as the chair of New York's independent Redistricting Commission, which came under scrutiny after a judge ordered the congressional maps tossed out and redrawn.
Imamura stepped down from the role as chair last year to run for the county board during an election cycle where Asian Americans made history by showing up to the polls in droves and winning key battles nationwide at a time when violence against Asian voters saw a sharp rise.
"Being Asian American, there are issues that are very important to me...issues like safety for Asian Americans that are very real to me in a way that is not true for my colleagues...there's nothing wrong with what my colleagues are doing, it's something that I bring to the table that isn't necessarily true for others," he says.
Asian Americans make up less than 1% of all elected leaders in the country, but Imamura, who is the grandson of Asian American war heroes, hopes that victories like his will inspire others.
"I'm fairly confident that while I may be the first Asian American County legislator, I will not be the last," he says.
For more of Tara Rosenblum's interview, head to the features section of the News12.com and click on the Turn To Tara tab.