LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Asian American and Pacific Islander community is now the third largest racial group in Los Angeles County, but a new report says when it comes to political power the numbers don't show that.
"Until that happens open, we're going to be ignored. And being ignored has a consequence to the people who live in the city and who live in the county," said Bill Fujioka, a former CEO of L.A. County who now chairs the board of trustees at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo.
The Asian population is among the fastest growing racial/ethnic groups in the city of L.A. The report released Tuesday shows the AAPI community is spread out, but even in areas where they are a majority such as Koreatown, district lines were drawn in a way that split the vote.
"By splitting the Asian American population into multiple districts, they're making up a smaller share of each of those different districts, which means that their vote doesn't carry as much power," said Natalie Masuoka, chair of the Asian American Studies department at UCLA.
The study claims the AAPI community can influence elections, but the numbers in any one district are not large enough to win outright.
"On their own, if Asian Americans vote without the support of other racial groups, the way the council districts are drawn, Asian Americans cannot elect their candidate of choice as currently is," said Loyola Marymount professor Nathan Chan.
One possible proposal is to expand the City Council so the districts would be smaller.
Advocates say the biggest challenge is getting people registered to vote. For that, they are reaching out, knocking on doors to let people know how that could change representation in the community.