Lisa James Goldsberry (518) 437-4989
ALBANY, N.Y. (May 16, 2003) -- Large-scale
immigration has profoundly impacted demographics and created
a political “representation gap” in large urban areas such
as New York and Los Angeles, according to a new report issued
John Logan, director of the University at
Albany’s Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional
and John Mollenkopf, executive director of CUNY’s
Center for Urban Research, address the immigration issue in the new study, People & Politics
in America’s Big Cities: The Challenges to Urban Democracy.
The report describes
the “emergence of new immigrant minority groups - changing the competition
for urban power from one that pits native minorities against
whites to one that pits new immigrants not only against whites, but also against
native minorities,” said Logan.
The most recent mayoral and city council
elections in both cities revealed a strain in multiracial
according to Mollenkopf. “The changing
of the populations and electorates of New York and Los Angeles created difficulties
for the coalition of blacks, Latinos, and liberal whites that previously elected
black mayors in the two cities.”
The result, according to the report, is
“an increased tendency among white Democrats in New York
away from Democratic nominees supported by minority
in favor of a white alternative, even one nominated by Republicans.”
in Los Angeles, in the 2001 primary elections, white voters
in both cities did not support the first Latino candidate
perceived to have a good
chance of winning the mayoralty and “exposing a potential white-Latino divide,”
to the report.
The report concludes that cities need to
“negotiate this new stage of urban politics,” a key factor
in the future prosperity
of our cities since it will
to develop broadly embraced solutions to their most pressing problems.
York and Los Angeles may provide helpful lessons about how
to make this transition,” said Logan. “New York and Los Angeles
are laboratories of the
great changes under way in our largest cities. Together, they are home to two-fifths
of the immigrants in America who have joined African Americans and earlier
immigrants in forging a new kind of urban society.”
The joint UAlbany-CUNY
report, People & Politics in America’s Big Cities:
The Challenges to Urban Democracy, can be downloaded at http://mumford2.dyndns.org/report.html.
About the Lewis Mumford Center
for Comparative Urban and Regional Research
as one of the great urbanists of the 20th century, Lewis
Mumford endorsed the creation of the Lewis Mumford
Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research in 1988.
Under the leadership of Director John Logan, the Center currently
focuses on four key initiatives: 1) Global Neighborhoods,
2) the Urban Historical Initiative, 3) the China Urban Research
Network; and 4) the Hudson-Mohawk Regional Workshop. Each
of these projects examines the impact of global changes on
the U.S. metropolis and civil society, probes the 19th and
early 20th Century roots of present-day cities and suburbs,
and addresses urban change in other parts of the world, mostly
notably China. Visit the Mumford Center at www.albany.edu/mumford.