Dignitaries such as U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Comptroller John Liu, State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Council member Margaret Chin came to Chinatown last week to help Asian Americans for Equality celebrate its 38th anniversary. A fundraiser for more than one-thousand supporters was held at the Jing Fong restaurant on Elizabeth Street. The non-profit organization is focused on affordable housing and advocacy on behalf of immigrant communities.
AAFE honored San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who was elected last November as that city’s first Asian-American mayor. Other honorees included: Luis Garden Acosta (El Puente), Eileen Fitgerald (NeighborWorks America), Errol Louis (NY1) and Chanchanit Martorell (Thai Community Development Center).
The following evening, a separate fundraiser was held benefiting Mayor Lee’s campaign at the Nom Wah Tea Parlor on Doyers Street. This event was not sponsored by AAFE but many people with close ties to the organization were in attendance. Margaret Chin, the first Chinese-American to represent Manhattan’s Chinatown on the City Council, called Lee an inspiration. Lee said Asian-American politicians are now moving beyond representation of their own communities and recognizing that they must “serve every neighborhood” in their respective cities.