Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

I began writing this book at Seton Hall University and ended it at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Both institutions, especially the Department of Public Affairs at Seton Hall and the Department of Public Management at John Jay, are to thank for the support and resources they provided to help with various aspects of the project. At Seton Hall, I also received great assistance from several graduate students: Jarrod Crockett, Noah Ginter, Maria Keen, and Alex Rodas. Michael Soupios provided excellent technical assistance with fielding...

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Introduction: Political Variety and Electoral Efficacy of Immigrant Nonprofit Organizations

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pp. 1-20

Seated in a circle with Chinese-speaking volunteers, Julia Chung, the civic engagement associate from the MinKwon Center for Community Action, trains the group in the art and science of phone-banking. During the two-and-a-half-hour session at the cramped New York City office of the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC), Chung prepares the five volunteers to call hundreds of Chinese Americans, most living in the surrounding blocks in Flushing, Queens. She explains to the volunteers, a mix of Mandarin and Cantonese speakers, that the purpose...

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1. The Precarious Position of Immigrants

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pp. 21-42

Part of what makes elections important to the study of immigrant-serving non-profits is that elections have historically spurred organizational formation and the use of innovative electoral tactics. New organizations and tactics have always been inextricably linked to the demographic characteristics of the time period. In the mid-1800s, organizations across New York tempted Irish immigrants to the polls with lavish picnics and the promise of representation in city politics (Golway 2014). Irish American immigrants soon gained influence over local elections and later political power...

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2. Foundations and Funding

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pp. 43-75

Demographic change and patterns of immigrant political participation in the United States inform the context in which organizations act when making decisions about how best to represent the community in electoral politics. A second, historical context must also be considered.1 Immigrant-serving nonprofits operate in an organizational context that stretches back two hundred years in the United States. This larger historical context can help show how various factors encourage and discourage immigrant-serving nonprofits from participating in politics. Philanthropists and social...

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3. “You Don’t Vote, You Don’t Count”

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pp. 76-97

Demographic change and organizational patrons establish the context in which immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations make operational decisions. Each of these factors pulls some organizations into the center of electoral politics and pushes others to the margins. A growing immigrant community may embolden one organization to begin mobilizing local voters, while the failure to win a grant may dissuade another from devoting staff time to holding a voter registration event. The broadcast of anti-immigrant political advertising may silence an organization in one city, and in another...

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4. A Model of Immigrant-Serving Engagement

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pp. 98-129

The MinKwon Center, introduced at the beginning of the book, was less than thirty years old in 2012, yet its electoral sophistication suggested a much longer legacy and a substantially larger electoral budget. Formed in 1984, the organization has been devoted to providing a variety of social services to the Korean American community in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens. It provided these nonpolitical services for much of its first decade in operation. But it was the Los Angeles riots in 1992 and anti-immigrant animosity in New York City in the early 1990s that, according to Steve Choi, the...

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5. From Mission to Electoral Strategy

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pp. 130-160

“We are a purely ‘cultural’ group, [we] do not involve in politics at ALL,” declared one immigrant-serving nonprofit leader in response to the fall 2012 survey. Another wrote: “We help prepare individuals for citizenship but we don’t take a stand on who they should support. We also don’t actively advocate on political issues, as we are a non-profit, and other than contacting legislatures about questions our clients have or reporting on how state money is spent we keep a low profile.” Others followed with consistent statements about the incongruity of politics and their nonprofit status: “Our agency is a...

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6. Choosing Where to Focus

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pp. 161-180

On August 4, in the midst of the 2012 campaign, Wade Michael Page walked into a Sikh gurdwara (temple) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and shot and killed six worshippers. As tragic and as senseless as these murders were, it appeared that the location and targets were not chosen at random. Estimates of the Sikh American population in the United States range from two hundred thousand to five hundred thousand; a large number of first-generation immigrants from India reside in California and in the New York City area.1 Sikh Americans made up a small but important portion of the suburban Wisconsin...

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Conclusion: Boldly Representing Immigrants in Tough Times

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pp. 181-202

When the counting was done, President Barack Obama was reelected, and the press lauded 2012 as a watershed moment for immigrants and ethnic minority voters. Headlines read: “Obama Win Fueled by Latino Voter Muscle, FOX Exit Polls Show”; “Asian-Americans Backed Obama Overwhelmingly”; “Why American Jews and Muslims Backed Obama by Huge Margins” (Lienas 2012; Schneier 2012; Borchers and Wirzbicki 2012). Demographic change is reshaping the country. Electoral politics is changing as well, and immigrants are slowly finding their voice. This is good for the state...

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Technical Appendix

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pp. 203-212

The population of immigrant-serving nonprofits was established through a multistage process using the Urban Institute database made available by the National Center for Charitable Statistics (see http://nccs.urban.org/). The database contains the universe of nonprofit organizations that file annual taxes with the IRS. Organizations that earn below a threshold of $50,000 do not file the same tax forms and are excluded from this database. I selected all the 501(c)(3) nonprofits in the six states and downloaded organizational information including financial and nonfinancial variables (separate interviews...

Notes

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pp. 213-220

Works Cited

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pp. 221-232

Index

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pp. 233-240