"Yang does not really have the best interest of the community at heart"

Over 400 Asian New Yorkers have signed a letter opposing Andrew Yang.

Yang, who entered the race for New York City mayor in January, has by large garnered support from the Asian community. However, some Asians in New York stand fervently against him.

Pauline Park, a Korean American transgender progressive activist, criticized Yang’s signature universal basic income proposal as too “vague” and questioned his “larger vision” for addressing inequality and pursuing social justice.

“I would like Asian Americans in the city to realize that Andrew Yang does not really have the best interest of the community at heart. His pronouncements and policy positions are not ones that will help the (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community if he is elected mayor,” said Park, a member of GAPIMNY, a gay, bisexual, queer and questioning Asian and Pacific Islander men and transgender advocacy group.

“Simply electing an Asian American is not going to change material conditions in which Asians in this city live, just like electing Barack Obama did not change conditions for African Americans, electing Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago didn’t change the material conditions in which Black Chicagoans live.”

Over 400 other progressive Asian and Pacific Islander American community members, organizers, and activists in New York City signed a letter that argued “representation alone is simply not enough.”

Signatories also criticized Yang for playing into “racist, harmful stereotypes,” highlighting his Washington Post op-ed in which he encouraged ASain Americans to “show our American-ness” in the face of backlash against the Asian American community during the pandemic.

On Wednesday, website AsiansAgainstYang.org was launched, which shared the letter that states Yang’s policies “do not uplift marginalized” Asian, Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous, people of color, immigrant and working-class New Yorkers.

Among those who signed the letter are:

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio’s communications adviser and deputy press secretary Angelene Superable, who is the executive vice president of the New York Pan-Asian Democratic Club
  • Senti Sojwal of the Asian American Feminist Collective
  • Vicki Niu of Asians 4 Abolition
  • American City Council candidate Carolyn Tran running in the Queens District 25 race
  • Asian American City Council candidateHailie Kim running in the Queens District 26 race
  • Asian American City Council candidate Shahana Hanif running in the Brooklyn District 39 race.

“In 2022, New York City needs a leader who can truly grapple with the complex racial and economic injustices and the needs of Asian and Pacific Islander American New Yorkers in the pandemic’s aftermath,” the letter reads.

“There are candidates more aligned with social and racial justice values, … whose mayorship would actually benefit our communities, and they are not getting the attention they deserve.”

In other politics news, President Biden has appointed Erika Moritsugu as deputy assistant to the president and Asian American and Pacific Islander senior liaison.