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3.20.2012

congressional candidate grace meng receives endorsement from queens democratic leaders

It's on. In New York, State Assemblywoman Grace Meng is running for Congress, and she's got herself some serious support: Queens Democratic Leaders Back Meng For Congress.

Yesterday, Democratic leaders in Queens announced that they are fully backing Meng in the race to replace retiring Congressman Gary Ackerman.

If elected, Meng would become New York's first-ever Asian American member of Congress, and would represent a newly redrawn district that would be almost forty percent Asian American.

Here are the remarks the Assemblywoman gave yesterday at the Queens Democratic Party Meeting:
Thank you all for the guidance and leadership you've provided these past few days.

Thank you for taking and returning my calls. Thank you for advice that encouraged me during this important process. Thank you for the trust, confidence and faith you place in me with this nomination to be the next Congresswoman from Queens.

Most of all, thanks to Chairman Joe Crowley. Congressman Crowley continues to be an inspiration, a mentor, a model for an inclusive process that doesn't get enough credit, and a champion for making diversity a strength to be nurtured, celebrated and elevated. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for your leadership, your friendship and your trust. I said much of these same words at my inaugural swearing in for the State Assembly. I meant them then, I mean them now.

For 30 years Congressman Gary Ackerman has been a leader of unparalleled decency, a model of intellectual bravery and, let's be honest, incredible style. I am honored beyond words can adequately express by this nomination to continue Gary's legacy. He has been a steady friend, a mentor, and the pride of our communities. G-d bless you Gary, and thank you for everything. And don't you dare make any vacation plans - other than for Passover - between now and late June.

Special thanks to my colleagues in the State Assembly, pretty much all of whom called this weekend to offer their support and encouragement.

Our greatest strength has always been our diversity. Queens is famous throughout the world for diversity and tolerance. But really it's what we have in common that makes our neighborhoods work, our students succeed, and our families able to care for children and grandparents as they can.

But times are tough and families are stressed. Too many are unemployed or underemployed, schools are being closed and teachers are being unfairly vilified. Our seniors are being squeezed by out-of-control medical care costs and increased costs of living that seem to specifically target them. Families need help. Seniors need help. Students need help. Our most vulnerable neighbors and our young families need help.

Our campaign for Congress to continue Gary Ackerman's legacy will be run the same way we tackle these problems, how leaders like Congressman Crowley tackle problems... together.

Our campaign for Congress will resist any efforts to divide our communities. We will not tolerate any attempt - overt or coded - to play one community off another.

We are all New Yorkers, all Queens neighbors, and all proud Democrats committed to solving problems together, celebrating our neighborhoods together, campaigning together, and winning together. I come from a family of proud Democrats and I know how excited and happy they are for this most recent showing of the American dream that has nurtured all of our communities for generations.

And I have to add... as a big believer - as Chairman Crowley is - in the importance of women-in-government, this nomination is important for all us but especially for our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts and grandmothers. Queens has a proud history of supporting exceptional women, many who have encouraged and supported me for years. To them - and you know who you all are - thank you.

Thank you all so, so much for this nomination. I will make you and our communities proud.
The primary election takes place on June 26. While she's got critical support from party leaders, Meng also faces Democratic opposition from Assemblyman Rory Lancman and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley. More here: Queens Democrats in 3-for-all for district seat.