May 19, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang cross-endorsed a pair of city council candidates Monday running in separate districts in northeast Queens.
Yang voiced his support for Richard Lee of District 19 and Sandra Ung of District 20, calling them “two rising AAPI leaders” in New York.
“As hate crimes continue to devastate our neighborhoods, and as we work to rebuild our communities in the wake of the pandemic, increasing AAPI representation in government is going to be critical to ensuring a fair recovery,” Yang said.
“I am determined to do everything in my power as Mayor to put AAPI New Yorkers front and center in our recovery plans,” Yang said.
Lee, who aims to replace the term-limited Paul Vallone, said that Yang’s presidential run last year was inspiring for Asian Americans.
“It was clear to me then that Andrew was running for office to truly help people, and this has only become more evident as we’ve gotten to know each other over the past few months,” said Lee, who previously worked in the budget office for the Queens Borough President as well as in the budget office for State Sen. Leroy Comrie.
“The pandemic has brought to light many long-standing issues that were hidden under the auspices of a good economy, and we need leaders who are both people oriented and forward thinking to rebuild New York,” Lee said.
Ung, whose district includes the Asian-American enclave of downtown Flushing, is running to replace the term-limited Peter Koo. Like Yang, she is a graduate of Columbia Law School.
“[Yang] has paid attention to our needs and placed them at the center of his campaign. I look forward to working with Andrew to place bold and innovative solutions to our most pressing problems at the center of city government,” said Ung, who has worked for the offices of Congresswoman Grace Meng and former State Assemblymember Jimmy Meng.
Yang, a Taiwanese-American businessman, would be the first mayor of Asian descent in the city’s history if elected.
He’s been among the frontrunners in the race, though he slipped to second place in the latest Emerson College/PIX11 poll. He is tied with City Comptroller Scott Stringer at 15 percent, and trailing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams at 18 percent.
Yang has scored significant endorsements from several Asian American elected representatives, including Meng and State Assemblymember Ron Kim.