Please join the Asian American Federation, Coalition for Asian Children and Families, and their membership agencies in meeting the top 3 Mayoral candidates.  Because of scheduling challenges, they are scheduling each candidate individually for 1 hour to hear each candidate’s vision for the city, the growing APA population and how he hopes to engage our community. 

The first meeting is Thursday, October 17th  at 2 pm at the Federation office, 120 Wall Street- 9th Floor. 

They are confirming the meeting with Joe Lhota for the following week.  Details will be sent out.

The format for all these meetings will be a roundtable discussion to learn more about his platform and will also give our community an opportunity to ask questions.  

As the leading social justice voices for New York City’s APA community, AAF and CACF encourage you to make the time to join them to hear what each candidate has to say so we can all be informed New Yorkers.  There will also be an opportunity for participants to ask questions of the candidate.  If there are specific issue areas that you have questions about, please send AAF and CACF the topics that you would like to discuss so that they can ensure that they will be able to cover as many diverse issues as possible.

They will be sending out additional information next week, but please RSVP to or as soon as possible.  

New Council Districts Highlight the Growth and Diversity of Asian New Yorkers

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July 23, 2013

New York, NY— Today, the Asian American Federation released a briefing paper that details the Asian population, ethnic breakdowns and the major Asian languages spoken in each of the 51 Council Districts based on new lines finalized in May 2013.
“As discussed in our demographics report in April 2012, the Asian population remains the fastest growing in the City,” said Howard Shih, Census Programs Director at the Federation.  “But to see the Asian American community as monolithic would be erroneous.  The population numbers disguise the diversity of our population.  With the upcoming City elections, term limits, and with many of the Council Districts slated for new representatives, we hope this will be a useful tool for the incoming City Council to better serve our Asian community,” added Shih.
Some of the key highlights from the briefing paper are:
  1. In addition to one majority Asian district, eleven other districts had more than one in five residents who were Asian.
  2. Four City Council Districts were home to a very diverse mix of Asian ethnic groups.  Each of these districts had seven or more different Asian groups who each had populations of more than 1,000 people.
  3. The diversity of Asian languages spoken in the city is a particular challenge when reaching out to the community.
“This report is an invaluable tool that will serve to help elected officials better understand the growing Asian population in New York City,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm, who represents Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and East Elmhurst.  Dromm’s district, one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the City, saw an increase of over 8,000 Asians in the total district population.  “The data in this document provides key insight into my district that will enable me to better communicate and understand a vital part of my constituency”.
As the briefing paper points out, Council District 20, centered in Flushing, remains the district with the largest Asian population at 66% of the population.  “While I represent the largest Asian population, it is important to note that Asians are living throughout the City.  The myth that Asians live in identifiable enclaves [has] long been dispelled.  Our city leaders have to be mindful of the diversity of the Asian community, from languages spoken to the cultural practices,” said Council Member Peter Koo.  “The onus is on us – the elected leaders – to hear their issues, address their concerns, and make room for them to contribute to their neighborhoods,” added Koo.
Manhattan’s Chinatown still remains as a district with one of the largest Asian populations.  “My constituency represents one of the largest populations of Asians and Asian Americans in New York City, and this report highlights what we already know:  we must have greater service and resources in these growing communities,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin, who represents the area.  “Cultural understanding, linguistic access, and civic participation are essential keys to ensuring that these voices are heard.”
“The briefing paper shows our growing electoral strength.  Asian New Yorkers can play a significant role in determining the next leaders of our city in the upcoming elections,” said Cao K. O, executive director of the Federation.  “And our community must re-cast our importance in the city’s civic matters.  We have to be willing to embrace this opportunity by going to the polls.”

To access the report, please visit:

NYC Mayoral Republican Candidates Forum’s Straw Poll Results are In!

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The Asian American Federation’s Republican Mayoral Candidates Forum was held on April 2nd at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Many thanks for Adolfo Carrión, Jr.John Catsimatidis, and George McDonald who graciously shared two hours of their evening with our community leaders.
Our discussion panelists, S. Mitra Kalita from Quartz;Kwang S. Kim from the Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (KCS); Luna Liu from the World Journal, and Vivian Lee from NY1, asked questions that related to the candidates’ leadership vision, focusing on the areas of education, health and social services, small business, and community development. 

Many thanks to them, and our moderator Ti-Hua Chang at Fox 5 News, for initiating some lively discussions.
At the end of the evening, audience members were asked to participate in a straw poll, selected the candidate that would get their vote based on the forum.  The results are: 

  • Adolfo Carrión, Jr. – 44%
  • John Catsimatidis – 29%
  • George McDonald – 27%
With many more months of campaigning left to go, we hope the candidates will have many more opportunities to engage our City’s Asian American community.
The Democratic Mayoral Candidates Forum will be held next Tuesday, April 9, 2013 from 6-8 pm at theTime Warner Center.  Please RSVP to:



Statement from the Asian American Federation on the Pew Research Center Study on Asian Americans

June 25, 2012

The Asian American Federation appreciates the significant investment of the Pew Research Center in producing a major report, The Rise of Asian Americans.  While we acknowledge the merits of this extensive report and its contribution to the public discourse on Asian Americans, we would like to express our disappointment and to point out the report’s serious shortcomings.

The portrait of Asian Americans as presented in the Pew report is glaringly incomplete and implicitly misleading.  The Asian American experiences are much more complex, diverse, and of contrasts than what the report presents.  Here are some cases in point:

·       Both demographic studies of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice (A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americas in the United States in 2011) and the Asian American Federation (Asian Americans in New York City: A Decade of Dynamic Change 2000 – 2010) point to tremendous social and economic diversity among Asian Americans nationally and in New York City.

·       Bangladeshi and Pakistani, two of the fastest growing Asian subgroups, as well as Cambodian and Hmong, who share similar immigration experiences as Vietnamese, do not fit the report’s portrait of Asian Americans.  Nationally, the poverty rates of these subgroups range from 15% for Pakistani to 26% for Hmong.  In New York City, two Asian subgroups have higher poverty rates than that of the overall city population of 19%: Bangladeshi (30%) and Pakistani (26%).

·       Both nationally and in New York City, there has been a growing concern about poverty among Asian American seniors.  Nationally, seniors of seven Asian subgroups experience significant poverty, and they are Korean (21%), Hmong (20%), Laotian (19%), Cambodian (19%), Chinese (17%), Vietnamese (16%), and Bangladeshi (16%).  In New York City, the Asian subgroups with seniors having higher poverty rates than that of the overall elderly population citywide were Korean (30%) and Chinese (30%). 

·       According to recent studies of the Economic Policy Institute, despite having higher educational levels, Asian Americans had the highest share of unemployed workers who were out of work for more than half a year when compared with white, black and Hispanic workers during and after the Great Recession (2007 – 2011).  In addition, highly educated Asian Americans continued to have a higher overall unemployment rate than similarly educated whites.

·       The Pew report states that “for the most part, today’s Asian Americans do not feel the sting of racial discrimination or the burden of culturally imposed ‘otherness’ that was so much a part of the experience of their predecessors who came in the 19th and early 20th centuries”.  This statement is totally contrary to the well-documented racial profiling and discrimination that South Asian Americans, nationally and in New York City, have continued to feel and experience since the September 11th tragedy.  In general, Asian Americans have continued to experience bias and discrimination in different forms, from being called “chinks” to mockery on television, to bullying in school, and to hazing in the military.

As an organization dedicated to the advancement of Asian Americans, we at the Asian American Federation certainly recognize many successes that Asian Americans have made as discussed in the Pew report.  However, we also believe that a comprehensive narrative of the Asian American experiences should reflect certain critical challenges that the community still has to confront.  Therefore, we hope that Pew will seek the insight of researchers and thought leaders with greater knowledge of Asian American experiences for any future studies.