Colton, Abbate, Ortiz Laud Asian Pacific American Task Force

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The three Brooklyn assembly members representing the largest swath of Asian Pacific Americans in the borough last week lauded the naming of the first executive director of the relatively new State Asian Pacific Americans Task Force.

Assembly Member William Colton
Assemblyman Peter Abbate Jr.
Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assembly members Peter Abbate Jr. (D-Borough Park, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst), Bill Colton (D-Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Dyker Heights, Midwood) and Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) said the naming of Christopher Kui as the task force’s first executive director was a good pick for the wealth of experience he brings to the table as past executive director of the Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE).

Assemblymembers Ron Kim (D-Queens) and Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan)  are the co-chairs of the task force, formed in 2017 to advocate for Asian Pacific Americans throughout the State of New York. It is the first legislative body to focus exclusively on advancing an agenda for Asian Americans statewide. Kui will focus on advocating for the major issues affecting New York’s large and diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander community. ”

I am proud to introduce my long-time colleague, Christopher Kui, as the first Executive Director of our Assembly’s newly formed Asian Pacific American Legislative Task Force. He has devoted his entire career serving our communities and will have an essential role in the future development of our task force. Christopher has consistently championed the issues that strike at the heart of the Asian Pacific American community, and I know he will continue to do so in this new position,” said Kim.

Kui recently retired after 25 years as the Executive Director for the AAFE, where he developed a holistic approach to fair housing, tenant and landlord counseling, home ownership programs and small business growth. In addition, Mr. Kui spearheaded programs aimed at improving the quality of life of immigrant communities and increased access to social services for families across our city.

Kui is also the founder of the National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans for Community Development (National CAPACD), a leading advocacy organization.

“I have known Christopher Kui for many years. He’s a well qualified, excellent choice to carry the role of executive director. I welcome his appointment,” said Ortiz.

“I look forward to working with the new Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Legislative Task Force, Christopher Kui, and to his continuing the important work and advocacy for the Asian American community in our state. His experience and expertise will be an excellent addition,” said Abbate, Jr.

“I congratulate Christopher Kui on his appointment as Executive Director of the NYS Asian Pacific American Task Force and look forward to working together with him on issues of concern,” said Colton.

The appointment and task force comes as Brooklyn’s Asian Pacififc American community continues to have very little political self-empowerment, and has no elected legislative representatives from the borough despite have a sizable and growing population, particularly in Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Sunset Park and Bath Beach.

The only elected official that is Asian Pacific American is Democratic District Leader Nancy Tong, who works for Colton.

Among the recent issues affecting the Asian Pacific Americans in Brooklyn was the de Blasio Administration’s efforts to do away with entrance exams at the city’s elite academic high schools to allow more blacks and Hispanics to gain entrance.

Currently, these schools have a very large percentage of Asian Pacific Americans, whose culture places very high value on education. This demographic argues the entrance exams are non-bias, and should the new policy be put in place it will allow entrance bases on patronage and will bring down the academic standings of these nationally known schools.

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