On Thursday, August 28th, Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) and the Chinese Americans Voters Association (CAVA) co-sponsored a candidate forum for New York’s 16th state senate district which encompasses the Queens neighborhoods of Woodside, Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Flushing, Murray Hill, Bayside, and Pomonok. State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D) and senate candidate S.J. Jung (D) participated in the civic discourse. Senate candidate John Liu (D), running for New York’s 11th senate district, also attended the candidate forum and participated in a separate discussion. The 11th district encompasses the Queens neighborhoods of College Point, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Murray Hill, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Glen Oaks, Bellrose, Floral Park, Hollis Hills and Little Neck. Incumbent State Senator Tony Avella, who represents the 11th District, did not attend the event.

The 11th and 16th state senate districts have seen significant growth and a shift in their resident bases in recent years with more new immigrants and Asian Americans calling these areas of northeast Queens home. Each candidate was given three minutes to publically address each topic presented at the forum. The topics discussed included the candidate’s positions on an array of topics of importance to the northeast Queens districts: access to services for the immigrant community, affordable housing, education, how to improve government services, and ways to support small businesses. Christopher Kui, AAFE’s Executive Director, said: “AAFE is embarking on a civic engagement campaign for this 2014 election cycle; this forum is a part of that. We have built the capacity to work with community partners and promote civic engagement in the neighborhoods we serve year-round.”

AAFE reminders all voters registered with a political party to vote during the primary elections on Tuesday September 9th. The general elections for all voters will be Tuesday November 4th.  If you are not registered to vote, the deadline for voter registration in this year’s election is October 10, and you can come to AAFE’s office for assistance with the voter registration process.

Photo via worldjournal.com