US Rep Grace Meng (D-Queens) today endorsed Andrew Yang for mayor outside of P.S. 20Q John Bowne Elementary School in Flushing, close to where Yang’s wife Evelyn grew up.
“This is a really serious decision,” said Meng. “I’ve spent a lot of time trying to talk to constituents on the ground here throughout Queens, trying to talk to everyday community leaders who represent different constituencies. Different leaders, different community members like different people in this race, but of all of them I have heard the most frequent and positive feedback that they want Andrew to be the next Mayor of this city.”
Meng has been a powerhouse for Asian American and Pacific Islander rights, pushing legislation to protect against hate crimes, attacks, and the sharp rise of anti-Asian sentiments since last year with the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act.
Her endorsement of Yang’s campaign is a major move for the Asian American community and, she said, a chance to increase Asian visibility and voter turnout while also reaching out to other marginalized communities.
“I endorse Andrew not just because he will help strengthen the presence of the Asian American community, but even more importantly, to strengthen and build upon the coalitions that are so necessary right now,” said Meng.
Meng said that she over identifies with being an “unconventional” candidate in regards to her race. She said people had wondered if she would only be able to “get Asian American votes” in her run for Congress and how that thinking is too narrow to make an impact.
Meng said that mobilizing all communities and communities of color to solve the inequities witnessed during the pandemic last year will help the city recover.
Yang is also being endorsed by U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) and Martin Luther King III.
“This is a very diverse coalition,” said Yang about his supporters. “As Grace described, we are drawing voters from every part of the city, every community, and I’m excited to say every part of the political spectrum. I think that New Yorkers are not that ideological when it comes down to it, they just want our city to work better.”
Both Yang and Grace also emphasized the importance of focusing on the “outer boroughs.” Yang said that he wants to be an administration that bolsters every neighborhood and community, and not just “let’s say one borough that starts with an ‘M’.”