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Flushing Lawyer Announces Bid for City Council Seat

Sandra Ung (Sandra for New York)

July 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A Flushing lawyer and staffer at Congresswoman Grace Meng’s office announced her bid for City Council last week.

Sandra Ung, 45, announced that she is running to represent the 20th Council District, which covers downtown Flushing and Murray Hill. The seat is currently held by Council Member Peter Koo, who is term limited.

Ung hopes to be the first Asian American woman to represent Flushing in the City Council.

She has raised more than $40,000 from January through July, according to campaign filings — a big number compared to other candidates who are running for council seats in Queens.

Ung has spent her career working for various elected officials across New York and advocating for survivors of domestic violence.

She graduated from law school at Columbia University in 2001 and worked at Sanctuary for Families, a nonprofit that provides free services to victims of domestic violence.

She also worked as the chief of staff to former New York State Assemblymember Jimmy Meng, and worked as a legislative assistant for City Comptrollers Bill Thompson and John Liu. She has been the special assistant to Meng for the past eight years performing community outreach.

“I became an attorney and have worked in government to serve this community, and I vow to advocate for all in the City Council,” Ung said in a statement.

The long-time Flushing resident said she is looking forward to talking to residents about their concerns.

“I want to spend the next year talking with my neighbors, hearing their concerns and creating a campaign that is responsive to the needs of this community.”

Ung will focus on helping seniors, small business owners and women facing domestic violence as a council member.

“Our district needs better services for our diverse seniors, and our small businesses need direct assistance as they prepare to re-open,” she said. “I will work specifically to assist the silent survivors of domestic violence- an issue that has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ung was born in Cambodia and lived in Taiwan until she moved to the United States at the age of 7. Her family settled in Flushing and Ung attended public school in the area. She graduated from Hunter College before going on to study at Columbia.

In a campaign video, Ung said she wants to help others achieve the American dream.

Council Member Koo was elected to the seat in 2009 and will step down at the end of 2021 due to term limits.

Hailing Chen is also vying for the council seat, according to campaign filings.

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