U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) has backed Andrew Yang in his bid to become mayor of New York City.
At a press conference on Monday, Meng described the former Democratic presidential candidate as a coalition builder capable of making the crisis-laden city “come back stronger than ever.”
Why this endorsement matters: Meng, who represents New York’s 6th Congressional District, is currently the highest-ranking Asian American official in the state. She is also its first Asian American Member of Congress.
- Meng said she decided to support Yang after hearing from her constituents in Queens, who were reportedly excited about his campaign. “They really feel like he’s someone who gives them hope,” she said, according to The New York Times.
- At Monday’s conference, Meng said Yang would strengthen the presence of the Asian American community, which has been “too invisible” for “way too long” in the city and the country at large.
- Meng leads Congress in pushing for legislation against COVID-19 hate crimes, which has greatly affected Asian Americans. Meanwhile, Yang has expressed support for the New York police, which continues to battle a surge in such crimes.
- Meng also praised Yang’s “creative ideas” in his platform, from building affordable housing (spending $32 billion on 250,000 units) to cutting red tape for small businesses (establishing a one-stop agency), New York Daily News noted.
Grace Meng Endorses Andrew Yang https://t.co/BSc7XlVDD5
— Andrew Yang🧢🗽🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) May 10, 2021
Where Yang currently stands: Yang had led polls since announcing his candidacy in January until Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams edged him out for the first time in a new survey.
- The latest poll, conducted by Washington, D.C.-based firm GQR, showed 21% of 500 likely Democratic voters picking Adams, Politico reported.
- Yang came second at 18%, followed by City Comptroller Scott Stringer (15%), Shaun Donovan (8%) and Ray McGuire (6%).
- Last month, a group of Asian American New Yorkers opposed Yang’s campaign in an open letter, arguing that “representation alone is simply not enough.” The move has gathered nearly 800 signatures as of this writing.
- Despite critical opinion, Yang has secured endorsements from other key leaders in the Asian American community. These include Ron Kim, a prominent assemblyman in Queens, and Margaret Chin, a city councilwoman representing Lower Manhattan, according to the NY Times.
Yang accepted Meng’s endorsement in front of a Flushing elementary school, which felt “very, very close to home.” This is because his wife, Evelyn, grew up in Bayside, according to Patch.
Featured Image Screenshots via Andrew Yang (@andrewyang)