Asian American Federation Congratulates Newly Appointed DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong and Encourages Mayor de Blasio to make more APA appointments

Happy New Year!

As we ushered in 2014 last Wednesday, most New Yorkers were spellbound by the inauguration of our new Mayor, Comptroller and Public Advocate, and hopeful of the opportunities to build a stronger city.

Asian Pacific American New Yorkers are the fastest growing population in our city.  Our presence and influences are well-documented.  But, despite our contributions, we have not always been asked to share our talents and insights at the decision makers’ table, including at City Hall. 

This afternoon, Mayor de Blasio appointed Bill Chong to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), an important city agency to those serving the most vulnerable residents of our city.  We send our congratulations to Commissioner Chong on the appointment, and to our new Mayor for recognizing the abilities of a respected APA leader.

The APA community is able to contribute our expertise in so many arenas, including social services, housing, small business, immigrant communities, youth and education, elderly programs, arts, community building, and many more.  We have leaders and thinkers who create innovative programs for the benefit of neighborhoods and boroughs.  We are also skilled problem solvers who add a unique perspective of engaging newcomers and native-born alike to create a community.

Most of us serving the APA community in the human services and social justice arenas share the Mayor’s concerns of the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, and the appointment of Commissioner Chong, with his expertise, passion and knowledge, is a positive first step to closing those gaps. 

As more Mayoral appointments are announced, the Asian American Federation and our member agencies encourage Mayor de Blasio to continue his search among the APA leaders, and to make room for those voices previously left out from City Hall.