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Monday, April 9, 2001
CONTACT:    Parag Khandhar
(212) 344-5878 x18

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  Asian American Federation Hosts Policy Breakfast
with NYC Mayoral Candidate Fernando Ferrer

Bronx Borough President engages in dialogue with Asian American leaders in first of breakfast meeting series with Mayoral candidates

Monday, April 9th, New York: The Asian American Federation of New York hosted a policy breakfast meeting today with Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, Democratic candidate for Mayor in this year’s election. Over 40 civic and business leaders from the Asian American communities of New York attended the event, the first in a series of meetings between the Asian American Federation and New York City mayoral candidates. The series was initiated by the Federation to ensure that Mayoral hopefuls significantly address Asian American community concerns this year. A transcript of each breakfast meeting will be available on the Federation website.

"Today’s meeting was an important first step in the forging of a new political landscape of New York City - one with an inclusive vision that includes all of the City’s diverse communities," said Cao K. O, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation. "We look forward to engaging in an open dialogue with each of the Mayoral candidates about issues that are of interest to Asian American and immigrant communities in New York."

Moderated by Nora Chang Wang, former Commissioner of the Department of Employment under Mayor Giuliani, the meeting began with opening remarks from the Bronx Borough President. "The Mayor’s most important job is giving all kinds of New Yorkers hope. There has to be commitment to inclusion and participation." In response to the Federation’s question concerning political appointments of Asian Americans in senior management positions in his administration, the Borough President responded "a government should look like the people it represents."

A panel of experts then asked for responses to questions concerning issues of significant concern to the Asian American communities, including education, housing, community economic development, services for immigrant children & families, support for senior citizens, health care, and race relations. Panelists included: Ms. Sayu Bhojwani, Executive Director of South Asian Youth Action; Ms. Jessica Lee, Executive Director of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families; Mr. Christopher Kui, Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality; Ms. Therese Rodriguez, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition Against HIV/AIDS, and Mr. Myong Juch, former president of the Korean American Grocers’ Association.

Parag Khandhar, Policy Associate at the Federation, stated, "Based on Federation analysis of unadjusted Census 2000 data, Asian Americans now represent over 11% of the population of New York City." The Census 2000 result represents a growth of more than 55% in the NYC Asian American communities since 1990 when Asian Americans consisted 7% of the population. Khandhar added, "We predict that there will be a noticeable increase in Asian American political participation this year. In a closely contested Mayoral race, a higher turn-out of Asian Americans could make the difference."

The Asian American Federation of New York is a not-for-profit leadership organization with 36 member agencies that serve the city’s diverse Asian American communities. In addition to extensive community capacity-building initiatives, the Federation manages the Asian American Community Fund and represents the diverse Asian American community in the public policy arena by connecting community concerns with substantive policy analysis and action. For more information, please visit our website:




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