Christopher Bae, a prominent member of AABANY’s leadership team, is running for City Council District 19. Christopher entered AABANY’s Membership Committee early on in his career as an Assistant District Attorney at the Queen’s District Attorney’s Office. Since then, he has been involved in the organization’s leadership, serving on the Board as Secretary from 2021 to 2022 and currently as Membership Director of AABANY since 2022.
Christopher has greatly enjoyed his work with AABANY and doing so has allowed him to keep a pulse on the concerns of the AAPI community, empowering him to support initiatives he finds important on a personal level, outside of his work as a prosecutor. Furthermore, he is proud to have been part of AABANY’s leadership at a time when membership grew to greater heights than ever before. “When we are all fighting for representation, people want to know just how large your organization and reach is, and AABANY has definitely grown in great strides in that area,” he states.
During his years as an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) at the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, Christopher was responsible for the prosecution of violent felony offenses. Prior to that, he was involved in appellate work, and the prosecution of misdemeanor cases. Overall, Christopher’s ADA work has exposed him to a valuable range of experiences. Christopher elaborates: “In terms of advocacy, there’s always a back and forth between victims’ rights and the rights of the accused. Having had this experience at a time right now, where all fifty-one current City Council members never had prosecutorial experience, I think that puts me in a very unique situation where I can add more value to the City Council.”
Christopher recalls from his upbringing that his parents stressed the importance of both education and public service. “It’s because my parents trusted the importance of investing in myself and my education that I’m here with the opportunities to run for office that I have now,” he notes with gratitude. Growing up in Queens, Christopher witnessed the transformation of the borough from within, as a flurry of diverse cultures trickled into his classrooms. Inspired by the historic number of women and AAPI Council Members elected in 2021, Christopher hopes to help push the makeup of Queens’ leadership to reflect the diversity of its communities. City Council District 19 covers neighborhoods in Northeast Queens including College Point, Whitestone, North Flushing, Bayside, Douglaston, and Little Neck.
Though District 19 has a nearly 39% Asian population, if Christopher is elected, he will be the first AAPI Council Member representing that district, creating a new milestone in AAPI representation. “To that end, I do think that the more that people see diversity in elected positions, the better it is for our community members to build trust with government and become more civically engaged. Diversity can really only help, not hurt,” says Christpher. If elected, Christopher hopes to focus on initiatives supporting public safety, public education and housing affordability. He voices his support for State Senator John Liu, who is fighting for legislation that would require teaching AAPI history and experiences in classrooms. “This is the type of leadership we need— in the end, this is what representation really means. I’m really proud that Senator John Liu has endorsed me and my campaign,” he states.
Looking back on his campaign, it is hard for Christopher to stop and enjoy the fruits of his labor, amidst the whirlwind of 14-hour work days. However, the interactions between him and his community— when someone stops him on the street and affirms his desire for change— have made all of his work feel ultimately worthwhile. “To that end, I am completely enjoying the process; it is full on pedal to the metal, sprint to the finish line, and I am very happy with where we are at right now,” says Christopher.
As the end of primary elections draws closer, ending on June 27th, Christopher emphasizes the importance of AAPI political engagement. “Asian Americans historically don’t vote, and are not civically engaged— but that’s to the detriment of all of us and our communities. We only have power if we have a seat at the table, and that requires voting and being very purposeful about who represents us and our interests at both the city and state levels,” he states. Ultimately, Christopher urges all community members, regardless of their district, to get involved with their local races, vote, and support AAPI visibility in politics.
To other AAPI individuals who are considering running for public office, Christopher encourages them to join a campaign, even if it’s just on a voluntary basis. “In the end, all you have to do is provide your time, volunteer your hours, and see where it goes from there,” says Christopher.
This member profile has been published for informational purposes only and does not constitute and should not be construed as a campaign endorsement.