Three Asian Americans Elected to Office in NYC


NEW YORK — In New York City’s Nov. 3 election, Councilman John C. Liu was elected city comptroller, making him the first Asian American to be elected to a citywide office.

As a city councilman, the Taiwan-native represented Flushing, Queens.

According to the New York Times, this victory “could quickly make [Liu] a strong contender for mayor in 2013.”

Two Asian Americans, Margaret Chin and Peter Koo, were also elected to the City Council. Chin’s victory marks the first time that Chinatown will be represented by an Asian American.

Chin, a community activist, and Koo, a pharmacist who won against Democratic opponent Yen Chou, are both originally from Hong Kong.

Koo will be filling Liu’s vacated position on the 51-member council, which, for the first time, will have a non-white majority.

Kevin Kim, who lost to Dan Hallorman, would have been the first Korean American on the city council.

Asian Americans, who make up about 12 percent of the population, are New York City’s fastest growing minority.

After the election preliminaries, the Times declared this election a “watershed moment for Asian New Yorkers … and their involvement in municipal politics.

On Nov. 4, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) conducted an exit poll of more than 2000 Asian American voters at 13 poll sites throughout the three boroughs.

AALDEF found that 62 percent of Asians American voters polled were in favor of Republican Michael Bloomberg, who won his bid for re-election by 51 percent to 46 percent.

Democrat Liu won the comptroller race with 90 percent of the Asian American vote – 94 percent of Chinese Americans, 92 percent of Korean Americans and 73 percent of South Asian Americans.

Jobs and the economy (54 percent) were the top concern of those polled, followed by health care (48 percent), public safety (33 percent) and education (30 percent).

Polls were conducted in six languages, English, Chinese, Korean, Bengali, Punjabi and Urdu.

Ninety percent of those polled were foreign-born, naturalized citizens.

Chinese represented almost half of that group.

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