An Open Letter from Jews for Yuh-Line
As Jewish voters living in New York’s 10th congressional district, we are coming together to express our strong support for Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou’s candidacy, to represent our communities in Congress.
We who live in lower Manhattan and Northwest Brooklyn are presented with a rare opportunity to cast a vote in an open Congressional seat, to be filled following what promises to be a very low turn-out late August Democratic primary. It’s not that often that those of us in deep blue New York get to play such an important role, and at such a critical moment for our democracy.
Yuh-Line Niou is a lifelong Democrat and a powerful progressive leader for low-income, immigrant, and working families. She immigrated to the U.S as an infant, when her parents came from Taiwan with all of their possessions in just six suitcases. A proud CUNY Baruch graduate, Yuh-Line has been fighting for New Yorkers in government and advocacy roles for over a decade, first serving as Chief of Staff to Assembly Member Ron Kim. In 2016, she was elected in a historic landslide victory to represent New York’s 65th Assembly District, becoming the first AAPI woman in the NYS Assembly and the first Asian-American to represent Chinatown in the State Legislature.
Since then, she has built a movement in the State to fight for transparency, accessibility, and accountability in our government. In Albany, Yuh-Line stands up to systemic corruption and negligence and is a powerful voice for tenant protections, affordable housing, consumer protection, long-term pandemic planning, a Green New Deal, and fair taxation of the ultra-wealthy to fund crucial social services.
When COVID first hit, so many electeds didn’t seem to want to accept that the public health crisis would require unprecedented organizing and mutual aid responses as well as policies to keep people safe and fed at home. At the height of the pandemic, Yuh-Line was on the front lines with volunteers, bringing food, masks, and emotional support to people in her district, including delivering kosher meals to Jewish constituents in need. Throughout the ongoing crisis, she’s fought to stop evictions, understanding that they only spread illness and leave people homeless. She’ll be an organizer in Congress who’s never afraid to acknowledge the depth of a crisis we face and take the level of urgent action we need to keep each other safe.
Over the years, we’ve watched Yuh-Line courageously stand up to authoritarian-style leadership from bullies like Andrew Cuomo. Indeed, she was among the first legislators to publicly challenge him over his abusive behavior and corruption, and she never backed down, even in the face of retaliation and threats.
Unlike the other leading candidates in the race for NY-10, Yuh-Line doesn’t accept any donations from real estate, fossil fuels, and other corporate interests. Dan Goldman, by contrast, has taken donations from personal friends of Donald Trump like Stephn Ross, and is prepared to spend $5 million of his own money on this campaign. He has wavered on abortion rights, opposed Medicare For All, and won’t commit to the actual Green New Deal. Carlina Rivera has taken money from corporate developers who are contributing to the lack of affordability in NY-10 and was recently endorsed by a PAC closely aligned with crypto-billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, raising concerns about her position on the dangerous cryptocurrency sector. When it comes to the field in NY-10, Yuh-Line is the only candidate running a truly grassroots campaign.
For Yuh-Line, solidarity with Jews is a very personal issue. When she was a little girl in El Paso Texas, it was the Jewish community that befriended and included her family of Taiwanese immigrants. It was Camp Shamayim that gave her refuge from the bullying she experienced in school. It is the Jewish community in New York City that has shown up in solidarity with her own AAPI community in response to the recent increase in hate violence.
It’s the bravery of these two communities that modeled for Yuh-line what it means to fight. And she’s running in this district because she knows that our country and communities are in crisis and this is a moment that calls for political courage.
Our rights to safety and bodily autonomy are being taken from us, climate change is ravaging communities, mass shootings are proliferating, and our democracy itself is in peril. The person who we send to represent us in Washington, more than anything else, needs to possess courage. And when it comes to courage, no other candidate in the race can hold a candle to Yuh-line.
So vote for Yuh-line! It’s a vote you’ll be proud of.
Elana Levin, Sunset Park
Katie Unger, Gowanus/Boerum Hill
Bradley Alter, Windsor Terrace
Ellie Alter, Lower Manhattan
Matan Arad-Neeman, Prospect Heights
Noa Baron, Park Slope
Sarah Chandler, Park Slope
Barat Ellman, Park Slope
Natania Malin Gazek, Park Slope
Barbara Garson, Greenwich Village
Lydia Green, Park Slope/Gowanus
Sara Gold, Park Slope
Tami Gold, Sunset Park
Rachel Hutchins, Park Slope
Devin Jacob, Cobble Hill
Bill Leavitt, Park Slope
Yonah Lieberman, Central Brooklyn
Carinne Luck, Kensington
Rebecca Lynch, Park Slope
Carol Marsh, Park Slope
Michal Mendelson, Sunset Park
Adele Meyer, Windsor Terrace
HanaKyle Moranz, Crown Heights
Rebecca Park, Park Slope
Blake Pruitt, Lower Manhattan
Evie Rabeck, Windsor Terrace
Gabrielle Rabinowitz, Crown Heights
Elan Rabiner, Flatbush
Sheldon Ranz, Sheepshead Bay
Jessica Roff, Park Slope
Alison Rollman, Prospect Heights
Zachary Schulman, Sunset Park
Joanna Smith, Park Slope
Scott Sommer, Cobble Hill
Paul Sonn, Park Slope
Paula Tartell, Park Slope
Melissa Turoff, Carroll Gardens
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Park Slope
PS: If you have read an article about this race in the Jewish media, you may have noticed a near obsessive focus on one question: what is Yuh-Line’s position on the movement to boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) Israel? Unlike too many Democrats, Yuh-Line is consistent in applying her values to every issue she seeks to address, including Israel/Palestine. That said, she is running for Congress to focus on the solutions she has championed for years, including universal health care, fair pay for home care workers, paid sick leave, a strong safety net for our most vulnerable, and a criminal legal system that addresses real challenges instead of incarcerating the poor. These are also the issues JFREJ and The Jewish Vote have focused on in our work, often in partnership with Yuh-Line, and are the reason we have endorsed her. Your support for Yuh-Line will send a powerful message about the kind of person we want representing us in Congress!