NYC Pol Yuh-Line Niou says she was the first to help Asians

Rep. Yuh-Line Niou, who announced Saturday that she is running for Congress, has repeatedly and falsely claimed that Albany politicians ignored Asian Americans — until she was elected.

Niou, a progressive Democrat who began representing Chinatown, the Lower East Side and lower Manhattan in 2017, has repeated a claim for years that Asian Americans have received no money — or even a mention — in state budgets.

“Until I was elected, Asian American, the word ‘Asian American’ was never in our New York state budget. And that’s incredibly crazy,” she said during an April 6, 2020 podcast.

In May 2021, she claimed, “We passed a budget that included $10 million for our Asian American organizations to fund something at the state level. Before I was elected there was no funding.”

During a 2021 rally, she said, “Until I got elected, there wasn’t a single dollar in our budget actually allocated to Asian Americans in the line.”

However, a review of state budget documents shows that the phrase “Asian American” appeared in most budget bills between 1997 and 2016.

Deputy Yuh-Line Niou
Niou has been repeating a claim for years that Asian Americans have received no money — or even a mention — in government budgets.
William Farington

The nonprofit group Asian Americans for Equality in Manhattan has received regular appropriations from the federal budget from 2014 to 2016, including $100,000 per year. And the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of HIV/AIDS in Manhattan received $44,865 in 2015, budget documents show.

Max Burns, a spokesman for Niou, said she has secured $30 million “for AAPI issues through the Community Equity Budget and anti-hate crime initiatives,” and that it’s “a massive step up from the tiny, individualized ones Crumbs that organizations have received in the past.”

Niou, who has also touted her role in relieving pandemics, decided not to seek re-election to the assembly to challenge incumbent Senator Brian Kavanagh in the June Democratic primary.

But on Saturday, Niou announced that she would forgo that contest in order to seek the Democratic nod to run in the newly drawn 10th congressional district, which includes lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. She said she would provide a “bold and uncompromising progressive voice for our communities.”

Among the candidates she will face is former Mayor Bill de Blasio, who announced on Friday that he would be running in the race. NYC Pol Yuh-Line Niou says she was the first to help Asians


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