The fall of 2018 has been a busy one for AAFE. Before the year slips away, let’s take a look at some of our community and advocacy events in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn in the past several weeks.

In keeping with our longstanding tradition, we hosted pre-Thanksgiving celebrations in both Flushing, Queens and in Manhattan’s Chinatown. We would like to thank residents and other community members for participating. A special thanks goes to the elected officials and AAFE board members who not only took part in our legendary Manhattan turkey carving extravaganza, but who also demonstrate support our work all year long.

In Manhattan we were joined by: City Councilmember Margaret Chin, State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, State Sen. Harvey Epstein and State Sen.-elect John Liu. In Queens, we were joined by: State Assemblymember Ron Kim, State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, State Assemblymember Ed Braunstein and City Councimember Peter Koo. We would also like to thank Metro Plus Health Plan, which generously donated turkeys for our giveaways.

During the fall, young people in our Flushing Youth Program participated in five street cleaning events. We mobilized 51 students for our community service projects. They cleaned up sidewalks, gave trees in high-traffic areas some TLC and led surveys to solicit feedback on the use of public spaces in Flushing. Not only did program participants learn about giving back to their community, but they discussed important issues around environmental justice.

On Nov. 15. community activists, including AAFE tenants and staff, braved a rare fall snowstorm to advocate for universal rent control. The statewide Housing Justice for All Coalition is advocating for closing all loopholes in current rent regulations and for expanding protections for tenants facing eviction. 

In October, AAFE’s Joseph Lin attended a City Council budget briefing hosted by the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families. Along with our nonprofit partners, we advocated for more resources to help the AAPI community. Among the priorities we highlighted: more support for workforce development programs which combine job training with English language instruction and multilingual tenant education programs to provide low-income residents with the skills they need to advocate for themselves.

In September and October, AAFE organized three public engagement sessions around Where We Live, a collaborative planning process the city is overseeing to better understand how challenges like segregation and discrimination impact communities. Feedback gathered in English, Chinese and Spanish will be part of a report and plan to be submitted to the federal government next year.