Community leaders and elected officials gathered on the steps of the Queens Library in Flushing on January 24 in support of recognizing the Asian Lunar New Year as a major legal holiday. Councilmembers Paul Vallone and Peter Koo were joined by the Speaker of the City Council Melissa Mark- Viverito, Congressmember Grace Meng, state Senators Daniel Squadron and Toby Ann Stavisky, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Assemblymembers
Ron Kim, Ed Braunstein, Nily Rozic, and David Weprin and Councilmembers Mark Weprin and Karen Koslowitz. There has been growing support for recognizing the Lunar New Year with the bill’s introduction at the city, state and federal level.
“It is an honor to stand here today to call for the recognition of Asian Lunar New Year as a major legal holiday. The support and unity this cause has garnered from our elected officials and community leaders will be the driving force in ensuring that meaningful legislation is passed that recognizes and respects the culture of over one million of our fellow New Yorkers. I am proud to be a part of that voice and I applaud my colleagues, from all levels of government, who have introduced and sponsored legislation for this cause, for paving the way,” said Vallone.
The Lunar New Year is one of, if not the most important and festive holiday for bringing families together in the Asian community. Local businesses thrive with a flurry of shoppers eagerly searching for gifts, new clothes and foods. Elected officials and the Asian community feel that recognition of this momentous day as a legal holiday is long overdue.
Koo stated, “According to the latest Census, the number of Asian Americans in New York City has reached one million, which is approximately 13 percent of the city’s population. Asian Americans are also New York state’s fastest growing minority group. For too long, parents have had to decide whether to allow their children to take part in Lunar New Year festivities, which would ultimately lead to children having to stay at home on official school days.”
See full article at Queens Gazette.