Asian Americans could play a big role in deciding citywide races this year, as the Asian American population was the fasting growing ethnic community in the city over the last decade, and the Democratic candidates for city comptroller courted their vote this week, with Scott Stringer making his pitch Friday afternoon in Chinatown. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
In the heart of Manhattan's Chinatown Friday afternoon, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer received the endorsement of Asian American community leaders.
He made his pitch to the larger Asian electorate.
"The job of elected officials is to make sure that immigrants in New York get the services to which they're entitled to," Stringer said. "There can be no discrimination."
According to the last census, the Asian American community in New York City grew 30 percent, more than other minority group. Asian Americans now account for roughly 13 percent of the city's population, a sizable voting block in what is shaping up to be a tightly contested race for comptroller.
"Sometimes, we feel as Asian Americans that we have been ignored," said Virginia Kee of the United Democratic Organization. "I know that sometimes in the polling, they don't even bother to poll us. So we are a hidden strength here."
On Tuesday, it was former Governor and Democratic comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer's turn. He also courted community leaders in Chinatown.
"I feel we have a kinship," Spitzer said. "We are the same emotionally in terms of what we want, in terms of what we want government to do, in terms of what we expect from our financial services community."
Spitzer, who resigned the governorship five years ago because of a prostitution scandal, could face challenges in the Asian American community.
"We don't believe that anyone who has resigned in disgrace should be resurrected," Kee said. We may believe in redemption, but we don't think we want them to particularly serve us."
In a statement, the Spitzer campaign said that the former has been a champion for undocumented immigrants and has fought hard to get low-wage workers higher pay. It went on to say that that is the kind of comptroller he will continue to be for the Asian American community.