A Message from AAFSC to Our New NYC City Councilmembers

January 21, 2022

The Arab-American Family Support Center congratulates the newly inaugurated NYC Council members and celebrates the launch of a historic year for representation in our city’s government. With the introduction of 35 new members, including Councilmembers Tiffany Caban, Crystal Hudson, Kamillah Hanks, Shekar Krishnan, and Chi Osse this City Council, this body mirrors the diverse communities residing across NYC’s five boroughs, as well as within AAFSC’s service population. This year, we welcome the first woman Councilmember to represent District 39, as well as the first Muslim woman elected to the Council, Shahana Hanif. We welcome the first woman and immigrant to represent District 26, Julie Won. We welcome a record five Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) councilmembers including Sandra Ung of District 20 and a historic six members who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Finally, this year’s woman-majority council chose Adrienne Adams to be council speaker, making her the first Black woman to occupy this role in NYC’s history.  

These historic advances for NYC Council, and their commitments to represent the communities they serve, align with AAFSC’s shared commitment to work through a lens of gender equity, racial justice, immigrant rights, and transformative justice across all aspects of our work. Last year, we testified in favor of Intro 1867, a groundbreaking bill that granted over 900,000 non-citizen New Yorkers the right to vote in municipal elections. As Asian hate crimes rose by almost 400% in 2021, we stood with our fellow AAPI community members in campaigns such as #18%AndGrowing and #InvisibleNoMore, advocating for improved data collection and budget equity for AAPI, AMEMSA, and minority communities. Looking ahead to 2022, AAFSC stands ready to serve NYC’s most vulnerable, and we remain committed to partnering with NYC Councilmembers to advance equity, end xenophobia, address rising AAPI hate crimes, champion immigrant rights, and elevate the voices of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities in government.   

To our Council Members who have departed office, thank you for your tireless efforts serving New York City. To our newest NYC Council, we look forward to working alongside you to advocate for further groundbreaking legislation in our council that prioritizes the needs, challenges, and systematic barriers immigrant communities in New York face to accessing healthy, safe, and affordable resources.