- 1 Background
- 2 Politics
- 3 Congress
- 4 Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
- 5 2006, 2008 Assembly race
- 6 Supporting DiNapoli
- 7 Cuomo housing team
- 8 Endorsing Gillibrand
- 9 Endorsed Weprin
- 10 Binghampton forum
- 11 Death of Private Chen
- 12 UN Chinese Friendship Association
- 13 Asian Pacific American Legislative Advocacy Day
- 14 Mayoral candidate endorsements
- 15 APALA endorsement
- 16 Asian American Action Fund supported candidate
- 17 Anti-Fracking legislation endorser
- 18 Asian Americans for Equality
- 18.1 NeighborWorks America event
- 18.2 Flushing Business Retention Loan Program
- 18.3 Supporting John Choe
- 18.4 Support from John Choe
- 18.5 AAFE Community Development Conference
- 18.6 Asian Americans for Equality Award
- 18.7 Lunar New Year, school holiday
- 18.8 Asian American Federation
- 18.9 Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce
- 18.10 “A New Beginning”
- 18.11 Endorsed AAFE 2016 Banquet
- 18.12 $1.55 million initiative
- 18.13 Rally for DACA
- 18.14 Advisory Council
- 19 South Korea, China, Japan trip
- 20 Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
- 21 Korean connection
- 22 Working Families Party
- 23 ARA PAF endorsement, 2014
- 24 Defending accused Chinese spies
- 25 Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation
- 26 SAALT Congressional Briefing on Hate Violence
- 27 CAIR
- 28 External links
- 29 References
Prior to serving in Congress, Grace Meng was a member of the New York State Assembly. While in the Assembly, she was a dedicated bridge builder and a fighter for equality. She passed laws to extend unemployment coverage during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, fought human trafficking, cracked down on those who abuse women and children and protected seniors from rising property taxes.
Born in Corona, Queens and raised in the Bayside section of the borough, Grace Meng graduated from Stuyvesant High School and the University of Michigan. She then earned a law degree from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. Prior to entering public service, she worked as a public interest lawyer.
U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng represents the Sixth Congressional District of New York encompassing the New York City borough of Queens, including west, central and northeast Queens.
Grace is the first Asian-American member of Congress from New York, and the first female Member of Congress from Queens since former Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferarro.
Grace Meng is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. The Foreign Affairs Committee oversees United States foreign policy towards all nations around the world, and has jurisdiction over foreign aid, the State Department and key international organizations such as the United Nations.
Grace also serves on the House Small Business Committee where she sits on two subcommittees: Contracting and Workforce – of which she is the Ranking Member – and Agriculture, Energy and Trade. The Small Business Committee, which was established to protect and assist small business owners, has oversight towards financial aid, regulatory matters and the Small Business Administration (SBA); issues critical to Queens and New York City since small businesses are the economic engine of the region.
A bill Ms. Meng introduced, allowing funds from the $50.4 billion in federal Sandy aid to be allocated to houses of worship, has already passed the House.
During her first two months in office, the Democrat has built bridges with Republican colleagues, joining a new bipartisan freshman caucus and a House Bible-study group. At the recent State of the Union address, she gained notice for helpfully wiping lipstick off President Obama's cheek as he passed by.
"I've heard criticism: 'You're not loud enough, you're not aggressive enough,' " said Ms. Meng. "People have different ways of getting things done."
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
2006, 2008 Assembly race
In the 2006 race, New York State Assembly race, Mr. Jimmy Meng’s daughter, Grace Meng, was one of the candidates, as was Ellen Young, an immigrant from Taiwan who worked as an aide to Councilman John Liu. Ms. Young, who won, challenged Ms. Meng’s residency, and Ms. Meng withdrew before the Board of Elections took any action.
That set the stage for 2008’s hard-fought primary contest, the first between two Asian-American women. It was a campaign that received virtually nonstop coverage in the city’s Chinese-language newspapers. (Ms. Young wa on the November ballot on the lines of the Working Families Party and the Independence Party, but she said that she would not be actively campaigning.)
Democratic heavyweights came out for Tom DiNapoli, October 21, 2010, as he took his re-election campaign for state comptroller to Chinatown.
Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, New York City comptroller John Liu, state senator Daniel Squadron, assembly member Grace Meng, council member Margaret Chin were among supporters at a press conference at the Chinese Consolidated Business Association.
“We’ve all showed up together because that’s how important it is to send a message,” Squadron said.
Cuomo housing team
On Dec. 8, 2010, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo announced his transition team for the areas of human services and housing.
The 15 committee members include Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigrant Coalition; City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has been a staunch defender of rent regulations; and Chuck Bell, program director of Citizens Union and a national advocate for health care and environmental protection.
The three assemblymembers on the panel have all been sympathetic to tenants' rights: Karim Camara of Brooklyn; Grace Meng of Queens; and Carl Heastie, head of the Bronx delegation and part of the anticorruption faction in that borough. Union and nonprofit members are Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; Christopher Kui, executive director of Asian Americans for Equality, which provides housing, social, and citizenship services in Chinatown and Flushing, Ross Levi, legislative director of New York State Pride Agenda, a leading gay and lesbian advocacy group; and Susan Hagar, president of United Way. Also on the panel is Rossana Rosado, publisher of the Spanish-language newspaper El Diario, whose editorials have not shared the antitenant bias of New York's major English-language dailies, the Times, the Daily News, and the Post.
The committee also includes the CEO of the New York State Association of Realtors.
City Comptroller John Liu and Assemblymember Grace Meng (D-Flushing) formally endorsed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) for the U.S. Senate March 20, 2010,
Gillibrand was appointed junior U,S, Senator from New York by Governor David Paterson after Senator Hillary Clinton was named Secretary of State by President Barack Obama and will run for election to the seat in November.
Joined by Asian-American community leaders, Liu and Meng led Gillibrand on a walking tour of Downtown Flushing’s business section along Main Street through narrow sidewalks crowded by locals shopping and going about their daily routine. The tour began at the Flushing Library at 41st Avenue and Main Street and ended at 37th Avenue and Main Street. Along the way, the trio stopped at Ou Jiang Supermarket underneath the Long Island Rail Road overpass, where Gillibrand ate a handmade dumpling and then sipped bubble tea at Taipan Bakery. Gillibrand also paid a visit to the Xinhua Bookstore the source of thousands of books in various Asian dialects.
“Our relationship with China is extraordinarily complicated, and when you do understand the culture better, having that appreciation means you can hopefully find compromises,” Gillibrand said.
“The Senator’s knowledge of our culture makes her more sympathetic to our needs and goals,” Grace Meng said. 
Liu, a former Democratic Councilman from Flushing, as well as Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), and Councilwoman Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) all endorsed Weprin, a Democrat, that day.
"As chair of the Finance Committee on the City Council, David balanced eight budgets in eight years — on time without cutting critical services," Liu said in a prepared statement. "His experience in balancing budgets gives h im the know-how we need in Washington to protect vital programs like Medicare and Social Security while helping get our nation back on a path toward fiscal sustainability."
Weprin is running against Republican Bob Turner for the 9th Congressional District in the Sept. 13 special election.
Meng said she expects Weprin to help support the mom and pop shops that dot main streets in Flushing, and other areas of her district.
In 2009, Binghampton alumnus John Liu '88 was elected New York City comptroller, the first Asian American to win citywide office. On May 5, 2011, at the SUNY Global Center in New York City, Binghamton University's Asian and Asian American Alumni Council (AAAAC) assembled a panel to explore whether his election was an anomaly or a milestone that signaled a rising Asian-American political voice.
The panelists were Margaret Chin, the first Asian American elected to Manhattan's District 1; Grace Meng, the only Asian American in the New York State Assembly; Chung Seto, who ran John Liu's successful comptroller campaign and is now his advisor; Kevin Kim, candidate for New York City Council from Queens; and Professor Lisa Yun, professor in the departments of English, General Literature and Rhetoric and of Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University.
Death of Private Chen
Army Private Danny Chen, a 19-year old Lower East Side resident, was found dead at a military base in Afghanistan October 3rd, 2011. Chen had been shot in the head. Army officials have admitted he was the victim of bullying, but many other details remain shrouded in secrecy.
In December 2011, elected officials including U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, City Councilmember Margaret Chin, representatives of the Organization of Chinese Americansand other community advocates met with officials at the Pentagon.
During OCA-New York’s annual meeting in Chinatown Saturday, Velazquez said, “we are demanding assurances from the Army that they are conducting a swift, thorough investigation.”
If there’s wrongdoing, Velazquex added, those responsible should be brought to justice.” During the meeting, OCA-New York President Elizabeth OuYang said there’s great concern about the investigation, given the Army’s history of covering up information reagarding non-combat deaths. She announced that the well-known forensic expert, Dr. Henry Lee (who became famous during the OJ Simpson murder trial) has agreed to help evaluate the Army’s findings.
Also held was a march and vigil for Danny Chen. It startat the Army recruiting center at 143 Chambers Street and ends in Columbus Park in Chinatown. Many elected officials took part, including Velasquez and Chin, and New York City Comptroller John Liu and Assemblymember Grace Meng.
UN Chinese Friendship Association
- Ms. Grace Meng highly evaluated UN Chinese Friendship Association and decided to cooperate with Charles Lee, Secretary-General of UN Chinese Friendship Association, and called on all of the Chinese in US to consolidate.
Asian Pacific American Legislative Advocacy Day
On May 7, 2012, over 60 policy advocates, social service providers, community health workers, researchers, and community members joined Assemblywoman Grace Meng for New York State's 2012 Asian Pacific American Legislative Advocacy Day to advocate for landmark legislation (A9792) to demand that New York State collect, analyze, and disseminate disaggregated data on the diverse Asian Pacific American community. 2012 Asian Pacific American Legislative Advocacy Day was sponsored by Assemblywoman Grace Meng, AT&T, and AARP. 
Mayoral candidate endorsements
Assemblywoman Grace Meng, who is running for Congress in a crowded race, secured the endorsement Apr. 16 2012 of four politicians who hope to be the next mayor of New York City.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and former comptroller Bill Thompson stood on the steps of City Hall to endorse Meng, who is the candidate of choice of the Queens Democratic Party and who would be New York's first Asian-American member of Congress if elected. 
The New York chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance "enthusiastically endorsed" Assemblywoman Grace Meng for Congress in the newly drawn 6th Congressional District at their May 2012 general meeting. Assemblywoman Meng also has the endorsement of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor.
Alex Hing, Secretary of APALA’s New York chapter, stated: “The APALA New York chapter enthusiastically endorses Assemblywoman Grace Meng for Congress. Grace is a strong supporter of organized labor and a fighter for immigrant rights. If elected, she will be the first Asian American congressperson from the East Coast. In Washington, Grace can be trusted to advance a progressive, inclusive agenda for the entire community.
- The New York chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) enthusiastically endorsed then Assemblywoman Grace Meng for Congress in the newly drawn 6th Congressional District. They were active in her campaign and helped bring her to victory, becoming New York’s first Asian American Congresswoman.
- I am proud and honored to receive the endorsement of APALA. The members of APALA work hard each and every day to provide for their families. During these difficult economic times, where the needs and concerns of working families and the middle-class have been shoved aside, the men and women of APALA continue to persevere in hope of achieving the American Dream. I very much look forward to serving as an outspoken advocate on their behalf a s a member of Congress.”
– Rep. Grace Meng (NY-6)
Asian American Action Fund supported candidate
Anti-Fracking legislation endorser
On March 14, 2013, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) have introduced the Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effect (BREATHE) Act, and the Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydraulic Environmental Regulation (FRESHER) Act, in order to ensure that the hydraulic fracking industry follows the same rules that other industries do in preserving our natural resources. This legislation is focused on ensuring the safety and the health of the communities where the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process is already taking place.
The BREATHE Act would ensure that we close the oil and gas industry’s loophole to the Clean Air Act’s aggregation provision, in addition to adding hydrogen sulfide—a chemical associated with nausea, vomiting, headaches, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat—to the Clean Air Act’s federal list of hazardous air pollutants.
The BREATHE Act has the following original co-sponsors including: Reps. Rush Holt, Jr., Raul Grijalva, John Sarbanes, James Moran, Michael Quigley, Earl Blumenauer, Gerry Connolly, Zoe Lofgren, Michael Honda, Paul Tonko, Barbara Lee, David Price, Carolyn Maloney, Michael Capuano, Mark Pocan, Jim McDermott, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alcee Hastings, Keith Ellison, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Adam Smith, Jim Langevin, Chellie Pingree, Judy Chu, Louise Slaughter, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Meng, Jan Schakowsky, Nita Lowey, Jared Huffman, Gary Peters and Alan Lowenthal.
The following organizations have endorsed this legislation and are actively working to garner support within Congress and throughout the country: Physicians for Social Responsibility, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Sierra Club, Earthworks, Breast Cancer Action, Clean Water Action, Environment America, Greenpeace, Nature Abounds, Oil Change International, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Citizens for Huerfano County, Clean Water Action Colorado, Erie Rising, Grassroots Energy Activist Network, Holy Terror Farm, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, SOS Foundation, Western Colorado Congress of Mesa County, Western Slope Conservation Center and Wilderness Workshop.
Asian Americans for Equality
Grace Meng has a close relationship with Asian Americans for Equality.
NeighborWorks America event
November 25, 2009, at a press conference in Chinatown, Asian Americans for Equality, announced it has become a charter member of NeighborWorks America. A non-profit created by Congress. NeighborWorks provides financial support and training for community-driven revitalization projects. As a start, AAFE was presented with a check for nearly a a quarter of a million dollars. On hand to celebrate the occasion, a wide range of elected officials. Among them: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Assembly member Grace Meng and City Councilmember Rosie Mendez. Margaret Chin, District 1's new City councilmember and a former AAFE executive was there, as well. 
Flushing Business Retention Loan Program
In June 2011, Renaissance launched the Downtown Flushing Business Retention Loan Program to provide financial assistance to small businesses impacted by the planned mixed use development of a Downtown Flushing, Queens municipal parking lot. The program provides small business loans of up to $50,000 at an interest rate of 3% for terms of up to 5 years.
Since launching the program, Renaissance has made ten loans for over $270,000, with additional applications pending.
To spread the good news about this program to the community, Renaissance hosted a press conference to launch the program, which was attended by various Korean, Chinese, and English media and by representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Ronald Goldstein and Man-Li Kuo Lin, as well as Grace Ku of New York State Assembly Member Grace Meng’s office. Also in attendance were City Council Member Peter Koo, and Christopher Kui and Kevin Kong, Renaissance’s Chair and Managing Director, respectively, as well as Richard Lee from Asian Americans for Equality.
Supporting John Choe
With the goal of planting the seeds for a strong, diverse and sustainable community by empowering small business owners, a new project called the One Flushing Community Economic Development Center opened its doors, December 15, 2012, marking the occasion with an open house on Friday.
As part of its goals, One Flushing, as the project is known, has set out to gather economic data on the small business community, leverage more resources, organize a hiring campaign and build community education and outreach.
The project’s executive director, John Choe, said his role “is to bring people together and connect people to existing resources.”
Choe acknowledged that small business owners are too often in the dark about the training, counseling and low-interest loans that are available to them. He aims to make people aware of the help they can receive to “build Flushing as one community. We live next to each other, but we don’t always communicate.”
In August, he abandoned his career in government, which included a stint as chief of staff for then-city council member John Liu of Flushing, and began working in conjunction with Asian Americans for Equality, a nonprofit organization, on the creation of One Flushing, which has become Choe’s full-time job.
He said he will count on AAFE to help him identify private foundations and government agencies that could provide One Flushing with much-needed resources.
A lucky break came from Simon Gerson, a partner in Gerson Properties, which has offered One Flushing a six-month rent-free lease at 39-01 Main St.
Several elected officials and community leaders attended the open house, including Christopher Kui, executive director of AAFE, who said, “We want to push Flushing forward. Small business is a key” to help the area become a major economic center.
Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing) said, “This is a logical place to help small business people with their problems. They can come to seek help. I hope this office will help business people to solve their problems.”
Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) called One Flushing a “very important project. I’m proud to join all of you.”
Support from John Choe
Queens congressional candidate Assemblywoman Grace Meng used a North Korea sympathizer to help out with her upcoming primary race.
John Choe, who gathered 20 signatures on a Meng petition dated April 2,2012 is notorious for telling a 2006 “Global Struggle for Socialism” conference that Kim Jung-un-led North Korea was “at the front line of the liberation struggles against imperialism.”
Choe left Comptroller John Liu’s campaign in 2009 after his remarks became public, and resigned as a senior aide in the Comptroller’s Office last September.
“Apparently John Choe — who is not a part of our campaign staff — was one of over 100 volunteers who collected 4,300 Democratic signatures. Assemblywoman Meng completely disagrees with Mr. Choe’s politics concerning North Korea,” said Meng campaign spokesman Michael Tobman.
AAFE Community Development Conference
In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Asian Americans for Equality convened its 5th Community Development Conference on May 17, 2012 in New York to examine the socio-economic contributions of New York’s growing Asian Pacific American community. This day-long summit brought together over 300 leaders from housing and community organizations, corporations, foundations, government agencies, academic institutions, as well as local, state, and national elected offices.
Keynote speakers included: City Council member Margaret Chin, State Assembly person Grace Meng, U.S. Dept. of Labor Official Patricia Shiu, HUD official Francey Lim Youngberg and Hyeok Kim, representing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Plenary: Mobilizing Our Community from the Margins to the Center,
- This plenary will be an important opportunity for policymakers and community leaders to discuss the changing dynamics of the Asian American community as we move from the margins to the center. Political frameworks and organizing strategies that were effective during times when our communities were geographically and economically isolated may need to be re-evaluated as populations disperse into new neighborhoods and suburban communities. Practitioners from the political, labor, human services, and community development fields will explore both the challenges and opportunities of this changing dynamic and what it will mean for Asian Americans as well as U.S. society in general.
- Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress
- Mee Moua, Asian American Justice Center
- Grace Meng, New York State Assembly (Invited)
- Moderator: Bill Chong, NYC Department for the Aging
Asian Americans for Equality Award
Asian Americans for Equality’s 39th Annual Lunar New Year Banquet was scheduled for March 21, 2013, at the Jing Fong Restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown. At every banquet, AAFE presents the “Dream of Equality Award” to several honorees.
2013 honorees were Congressmembers Joseph Crowley and Grace Meng, State Assembly member Ron Kim, Sheena Wright, President and CEO of the United Way of NYC, David Garza, Executive Director of Henry Street Settlement.
- Last year, Grace Meng became the first Asian American member of Congress from New York. Representing the 6th Congressional District, including west, central and northeast Queens. Rep. Meng has dedicated herself to fighting for New York’s hard-working families, protecting Medicare and Social Security, focusing on economic growth and job creation, advocating for equal access to quality education and championing critical infrastructure projects. Before winning election to the U.S Congress, Meng served in the New York State Assembly. She passed laws extending unemployment coverage during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, fought human trafficking, cracked down on those who abuse women and children and protected seniors from rising property taxes.
Lunar New Year, school holiday
Grace Meng has worked many years, with Asian Americans for Equality affiliates, to promote legislation making Chinese Lunar New Year, a school holiday in New York.
On January 31, 2013, a press conference was held outside P.S. 20 in Flushing. State Senators Daniel Squadron (D-Chinatown) and Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing), Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Flushing), and Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Queens) urged the City to make the Asian Lunar New Year a school holiday so that New York City's growing number of Asian American students can celebrate with their families without missing class.
Legislation (S160/A276) sponsored by Senator Squadron and Assemblyman Kim, and co-sponsored by Senator Stavisky, would establish the day of the Asian Lunar New Year as a school holiday in municipalities with significant Asian American populations of at least 7.5 percent.
For years, now-Congresswoman Meng carried the legislation in the Assembly, along with Squadron in the Senate.
"We pride ourselves on being one of the most diverse and welcoming cities in the world,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “It's time for our school calendar to reflect the huge number of kids whose families observe Lunar New Year. One of every six New York City public school students is Asian American -- and they're forced to choose between spending their most important holiday with their family or going to school. From Chinatown to Flushing and throughout our city, a school holiday would allow students to celebrate Lunar New Year without missing class."
“When I served in the state legislature, I led the effort to make the Lunar New Year a public school holiday, and worked with Speaker Sheldon Silver to pass the bill in the Assembly,” said Grace Meng. “I am glad that my successor Ron Kim will now be taking up the cause. Making the Lunar New Year a school holiday would recognize the important customs and culture of Asian Americans, and it would highlight the vital role that the Asian American community plays in our city. I am happy to continue my support for this important measure.”
“Designating the Asian Lunar New Year as an official school holiday is long overdue,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “This year, all across New York City, Asian children and families with celebrate the Year of the Snake. It is important to ensure that students who choose to spent this important holiday with their families are not penalized for doing so. I want thank Senator Squadron for leading the charge on this issue, and Senator Toby Stavisky and Assembly member Ron Kim for their support.”
"Lunar New Year is a time of coming together and renewal for the nearly 1 million Asian New Yorkers of different ethnicities who celebrate the holiday,” said Christopher Kui, Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality. “It is not the same if someone cannot be home to celebrate with the family and the community. Children whose families celebrate Lunar New Year should not have to miss a day of school, and passing this legislation brings an opportunity to raise cultural awareness about Asian heritage and traditions within the school system."
Asian American Federation
As part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Asian American Federation hosted a citywide Asian Pacific American policy roundtable at the Queens Public Library in Flushing on May 30 2014. The discussion highlighted ways Asian-Pacific Americans could leverage their purchasing power to educate and influence corporations and discussed programs that work with entrepreneurs to launch new businesses, the challenges of owning a small business and what elected leaders can do to help small businesses overcome economic downturns in order to flourish and thrive.
The panel began with a welcome by Jo-Ann Yoo, the federation's interim executive director, and keynote remarks by Chinese-American US Congresswoman Grace Meng. New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim and Chinese-American New York City council member Peter Koo also addressed the audience.
The Panelists were Betty Lo, vice-president of community alliances and consumer engagement at Nielson; John Choe, One Flushing director and founder; Agha Muhammad Saleh,founder of the Asian American Merchants and Neighborhood Alliance; and moderator Howard Shih of the Asian American Federation.
"Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to enrich our nation and make tremendous contributions to virtually every facet of our society. But as we celebrate the accomplishments, we must also address the ongoing needs and concerns of the AAPI community," Meng said.
By improving education, immigration reform, assisting small businesses, providing opportunities for economic success and tackling quality of life matters and other important issues, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community can be further strengthened, Meng said.
Council member Koo echoed similar ideas. "We need to put our buying power to use to ensure that those who wish to succeed commercially in our community do so by being respectful to our culture and our linguistic diversity," he said.
Koo described his personal experiences coming to America. "Forty years ago I came to the US to study pharmacy," said Koo. "I went to the pharmacy and said 'Where are our people?' "
Koo also expressed the need for Asian Americans to have equal entitlement in education, work, and business. One-sixth of Asian Americans live below the poverty line, he said. "Just because we are doctors, lawyers, engineers they think we are model citizens and don't need the help of the government, but we share the same burden of disease and poverty," he said.
Choe said up to 30 percent of Asian Americans who live in Queens are poor and suffer from lack of housing and food. "Stereotypes and perceptions portrayed on TV of Asians are not accurate," he said. "We have to get new information out." Ten percent of Asian Americans are jobless and Flushing has one of the greatest concentrations of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese businessmen, according to Choe . "We need to provide services to help them become even more confident business owners and be able to express themselves linguistically," said Choe, stressing that One Flushing was ready to help develop better narratives for Asian Americans to the American public.
Choe also talked about how Queens is currently celebrating the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the World's Fair in Queens, but in the commemoration there was no mention of Asian Americans. "We need to better brand and package our community," said Choe.
Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce
In 2014 John Choe was named executive director of the newly formed Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. Two years in the making, "the chamber will serve as a resource for economic guidance and technical assistance for small businesses in Flushing".
The chamber was formally announced at a launch event on Dec. 11 at Flushing Town Hall. Area politicians and community leaders attended and recruited small business owners in the area.
Choe's One Flushing was expected to continue to work with the new chamber.
The previous chamber of commerce closed in 2012. Choe and his associates have spent the past two years organizing, admittedly longer than he expected. But he’s optimistic and excited about the new chamber.
Choe said that most chambers merely serve as networking tools for businesses, but the new Flushing one will offer tech support and other services.
Choe named Peter Tu from the Flushing Chinese Business Association, Ikhwam Rim from the Union Street Small Business Association, Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality Christopher Kui, and Managing Principal at Gerson Properties LLC Simon Gerson as other major players.
According to Choe, several officials including Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing), Assemblymembers Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) and Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) are backing the chamber of commerce. 
“A New Beginning”
According to CEO John Choe — Community leaders announced that, “A New Beginning,” the first anniversary celebration of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce will take place Thursday, October 29 2015, 6–9pm, at historic Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing NY 11354.
The Chamber’s anniversary celebration is led by an honorary host committee of community leaders, including Borough President Melinda Katz, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblyman Ron Kim, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, Councilman Peter Koo, the Reverend Richard McEachern, Simon Gerson, Christopher Kui, Don Capalbi, Mike Cheng, Taehoon Kim, Ellen Kodadek, Michael Lam, Alfred Rankins, Maureen Regan, Leo Zhang, Al Harris, Perka Chan, Carmen M. Colon, Alice Lee, Edna Rutledge, Haide Chen, Alfonso Quiroz, Regina Im, Lloyd Cambridge, and John Choe.
The Flushing Chamber is a multicultural membership association of entrepreneurs, business owners, and civic leaders representing the most diverse community in New York.
"We've had an amazing year of community service and invite you to come celebrate our achievements as well as honor those who have provided leadership in bringing us together," stated Simon Gerson, President of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce. "A united community is the only way we can fulfill our potential as the center of small business growth in New York. With thousands of entrepreneurs from around the world, we are the new face of America."
The Flushing Chamber represents the fastest growing and most dynamic business community in the United States. Attracting firms from around the world – two dozen languages are spoken here – we are already an international trade hub and the fourth largest commercial district in New York. As the center of small business activity in the metropolitan region – 90% of our 6,000 firms have less than 10 workers – we are also the new face of American entrepreneurship.
The Chamber will be honoring: Dr. Felix V. Matos Rodriguez of Queens College, Phil Andrews of the African American Chamber, James Chen of FlushingFood.com, and Dr. Uma Mysorekar of the Hindu Temple Society of North America. The keynote speaker will be Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York City’s Chief Financial Officer.
Endorsed AAFE 2016 Banquet
Grace Meng endorsed the 2016 Asian Americans for Equality Annual Banquet.
$1.55 million initiative
Asian Americans for Equality kicked off a new $1.55 million initiative March 31, 2017 to support small businesses in Flushing, Queens. The project is being made possible through a Neighborhood 360° grant from New York City’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS). AAFE is the coordinating organization, partnering with the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce (GFCC) and the Flushing Business Improvement District (Flushing BID)
As part of this important initiative, AAFE also announced the formation of a local steering committee made up of community leaders, businesses, local stakeholders, cultural institutions and city agencies. Its purpose if to develop a plan for promoting and supporting Flushing’s vibrant business and cultural community.
AAFE Executive Director Christopher Kui said, “Local small businesses have transformed Flushing into a vibrant economic hub for New York City, providing a retail economy of well over a billion dollars a year. Now is the time to re-invest in Flushing and support the small business owners that have worked so hard to get us here. I’m excited to work with our neighborhood partners—the Chamber and the BID—and SBS to give businesses the necessary tools to succeed and thrive in this exciting new time for Flushing.”
Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District said, “The Flushing BID is a nonprofit that works for the small businesses within the Downtown Flushing area, and we truly understand our immigrant community’s needs. We believe that the Neighborhood 360° grant will have the ability to make a direct impact on small businesses’ bottom line.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng said, “It is essential that we do all we can to help small businesses grow and thrive, and this ambitious initiative will go a long way towards promoting the many vibrant businesses in Flushing. As the daughter of small business owners, I know firsthand the important role that small businesses play in driving our economy, and this plan will help ensure that Flushing entrepreneurs have the help and support they need to succeed.”
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said, “A program like the Neighborhood 360º Program is important – it will support the local area and help it keep pace with the many new developments and investments that are growing up around us. Special thanks to Asian American for Equality, Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, Flushing Business Improvement District and NYC Small Business Services for working to strengthen and revitalize the community through the infusion of $1.55 million and the implementation of this program.”
Rally for DACA
New York City: October 5, 2017, the Asian American Federation held a rally at Trump Tower with our member agencies and leading immigrant advocacy groups to speak out in support of Asian American Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, who are being impacted by the dissolution of the DACA program under the Trump administration. Twenty-three organizations and nearly 200 New Yorkers, including Congresswoman Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation, Grace Meng, Council Member Margaret Chin, Assemblymember Yuh-line Niou, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Comptroller Scott Stringer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Mayor Bill de Blasio Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Assemblyman Ron Kim, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Member Daniel Dromm, Council Member Rory Lancman, Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, Margaret Fung, executive director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Christopher Kui, executive director of Asian Americans for Equality, Annetta Seecharran, executive director of Chhaya Community Development Corporation, Mae Lee, executive director of the Chinese Progressive Association (New York), Wayne Ho, executive director of the Chinese-American Planning Council, Kavita Mehra, executive director of Sakhi for South Asian Women, Robina Niaz, executive director of Turning Point for Women and Families, joined hands with the Federation to defend the future of our DREAMers.
Rally Co-Sponsors: Adhikaar, Alliance of South Asian American Labor, Arab American Association of New York, Asian American Arts Alliance, Asian American Bar Association of New York, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian Americans for Equality, Chhaya Community Development Corporation, Chinese-American Planning Council, Chinese Progressive Association (New York), Council of People’s Organization, Desis Rising Up and Moving, Japanese American Association of New York, Japanese American Social Services, Inc., Korean American Family Service Center, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, MinKwon Center for Community Action, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, New York Immigration Coalition, OCA-NY, Sakhi for South Asian Women, Turning Point for Women and Families, University Settlement.
Said Meng "DACA has allowed approximately 800,000 DREAMers to come out of the shadows and contribute to our country. The President’s decision to end the program is inhumane and openly abandons American values. I will keep up the fight in Congress to pass legislation that would allow DREAMers to remain in the United States, and I continue to stand with all these hard-working young people who know America as their only home." 
In January 2018 Grace Meng served on the Advisory Council of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.
South Korea, China, Japan trip
"All of them are symbolic figures in the 113th Congress in terms of representing minority groups," a source said. "Also, they have a good understanding on Korea."
Gillibrand is said to have potential to become a political star like Hillary Clinton, one of her close associates.
Hirono, a Buddhist born in Japan, is the first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
Meng, a Chinese-American, is the first Asian-American from New York to be elected to Congress.
Sewell is the first black woman elected to Congress from Alabama.
Before continuing to Asia, the delegation will stop today in Alaska to host a roundtable on military sexual assaults with Senator Mark Begich (D-AK). The roundtable will feature military officials and survivors of sexual assaults.
Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections
On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.
The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.
“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.
Signatories included Rep. Grace Meng..
Grace Meng is close to the Korean "progressive" movement.
Korean Americans for Political Advancement
In 2010 Grace Meng served the Korean Americans for Political Advancement steering committee. In 2012 she was endorsed by that organization, plus the Bangladeshi American Community Council, and the Alliances of South Asian American Labor.
The Unity Statement Signed by Those Arrested was signed by 56 activists arrested in New York City, in front of 26 Federal Plaza June 1 2010, the "third in a series of civil disobedience actions in New York aimed at highlighting the growing human tragedy and unsustainable moral crisis caused by a broken U.S. immigration system badly in need of reform".
Signatories included Grace Meng Korean Americans for Political Advancement steering committee.
Hosting Angie Kim
February 2017 Angie Kim saw President Trump live at the joint congressional session .
Kim, a community organizing fellow at the MinKwon Center for Community Action in Flushing, New York, was the guest of Congresswoman Grace Meng.
Brought to the U.S. at age nine by her parents from South Korea, Kim qualified for President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012.
It gave her the right to get a work permit and stay in the U.S.
Working Families Party
ARA PAF endorsement, 2014
Defending accused Chinese spies
November 17, 2015, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and CAPAC Members Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), and Rep. Michael Honda (CA-17) held a press conference to call on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the recent cases against Chinese American scientists who were wrongfully suspected of economic espionage. They were joined by Sherry Chen, a U.S. citizen and employee of the National Weather Service in Ohio, as well as Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, a U.S. citizen and Interim Chair of the Physics Department at Temple University. Both Ms. Chen and Dr. Xi were arrested and indicted for various charges and suspected of economic espionage, only to have all charges against them later dropped. The press conference comes one day before a CAPAC meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation
On December 17, 2015, Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. introduced legislation condemning "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States." The legislation is based on unsourced claims that there is a "rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance," and a "disproportionate targeting" of "Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing...because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances." The resolution, H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States 
The legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Michael Honda, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Brad Ashford, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Michael Quigley, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Michael Doyle, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. David Price, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. John Carney, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. John B. Larson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Matt Cartwright.
SAALT Congressional Briefing on Hate Violence
March 23, 2017, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national South Asian civil rights organization, held a Congressional briefing to address the uptick in hate violence nationwide and highlight recommendations for change, as outlined in our recent report, “Power, Pain, Potential.” SAALT was joined by eight members of Congressional leadership and community partners in an urgent discussion on combatting the surge in hate violence aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern Americans across the country.
“As President Trump continues to test fire Muslim bans, this administration appears intent on intensifying efforts to ignore and provoke hate violence,” stated Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT. “The President has a sworn duty to protect the rights and safety of all Americans. Today’s briefing with Congressional leaders is an important step in making sure President Trump doesn’t escape his responsibilities.”
Our communities have experienced devastating violence in recent months, including deadly shootings in Kansas and Washington State, numerous arson attacks and vandalism of mosques, businesses, and homes nationwide, and mounting fear by our communities across the country.
“SAALT stands ready to work with Congressional leaders to fight hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric impacting our communities across the country,” stated Ms. Raghunathan. “South Asian Americans are the most rapidly growing demographic group, and we are committed to policies at all levels that reinforce the place our communities have in our nation now and as we continue to grow.”
Member Co-Sponsors of the briefing included: Congressmembers Keith Ellison, Andre Carson; Raul Grijalva; Ami Bera; Grace Meng; Mark Takano; Pramila Jayapal; Raja Krishnamoorthi; Ro Khanna. Judy Chu also attended.
“I am pleased to recognize CAIR’s unwavering commitment to provide advocacy, education and outreach in order to address prejudice and improve the lives of American Muslims throughout our country.”
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) (October 2017).
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- A boost for small business owners CHOE TO HEAD UP NEWLY FORMED CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN FLUSHING by Matthew Ern, Chronicle Contributor | Posted: Thursday, October 30, 2014
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- , Posted on March 23, 2017 by SAALTSAALT Organizes Congressional Briefing on Hate Violence