Vote Yuh-Line on 6/23

About Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou

I immigrated to the United States when I was only 6 months old. My family came with $1000 and 6 suitcases and like many immigrants kids, my parents were seeking education and job opportunities. They moved us around to many different states such as Idaho, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, so I grew up seeing different communities and different ways that government looked and felt. I lived in El Paso when Ann Richards was the Governor and that was the first time I thought about how women could be elected officials! I lived in Washington and was an intern there when Gary Locke was Governor and Washington State had more women in office than men in the legislature. That was when I first thought about the lack of representation in certain communities in government, and I realized that our laws and system are designed to concentrate power with a select few who did not represent and protect our diverse communities and voices. I decided to devote my life to changing the system through public service by making government more effective, representative, and equitable.
In undergrad, I started working for a few amazing women legislators: Senator Debbie Regala, who I interned for and was a session aide to, and Representative Eileen Cody, who was the health care chair who I was a staffer to. I started to see the interconnectedness of all of the policy issues that we worked on piecemeal. I knew that the biggest issues we faced seemed to circle around poverty. Whether it was environmental injustices that were killing people, or lack of housing, or education funding, I wanted to see how we could end poverty. I took this mission to start my policy work at the Statewide Poverty Action Network where I regulated the payday lending industry, worked on legislation to stop redlining in the insurance industry, and wrote bills to heal the foreclosure crisis. This work drove me and I knew I needed to take on more to fight for as many people as possible. I decided to follow in my parents’ footsteps and moved to New York to pursue a Masters degree.
While I was pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at CUNY Baruch and as a National Urban Fellow, I chose to work with the US Environmental Protections Agency as a part of my fellowship. There, I utilized my environmental science and policy background to successfully build programs for the Office of International and Tribal Affairs and the Office of Diversity. After Assemblymember Ron Kim became the first Korean American elected official in New York in 2012, I began to work as his Chief of Staff to continue my work on behalf of immigrants, seniors, and our working families.
In 2016, when Sheldon Silver was indicted, I was asked to run against his hand picked candidate. I lost the special election, but I ran again in the primary and was able to win the seat in a historic, landslide election as the first Asian American to represent New York’s 65th Assembly District which includes Chinatown, the Financial District, Battery Park City, and the Lower East Side. Since then, I have been working on building a movement in the State by bringing our community together to fight for transparency, accessibility, and accountability in our government. As our Assemblymember, I have always stood up to systemic corruption and negligence, while leading on issues such as protecting tenants and fighting for permanent and deeply affordable housing, fighting sexual and racial discrimination, and building economic and environmental justice within our legislation. With over 17 years of public service experience, I’ve made it my mission that my work becomes a watershed for young people, especially women, LGBTQ+ folks, and people of color, to become civically engaged and to run for office to build a government that works for the people.

I immigrated to the United States when I was only 6 months old. My family came with $1000 and 6 suitcases and like many immigrants kids, my parents were seeking education and job opportunities. They moved us around to many different states such as Idaho, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, so I grew up seeing different communities and different ways that government looked and felt. I lived in El Paso when Ann Richards was the Governor and that was the first time I thought about how women could be elected officials! I lived in Washington and was an intern there when Gary Locke was Governor and Washington State had more women in office than men in the legislature. That was when I first thought about the lack of representation in certain communities in government, and I realized that our laws and system are designed to concentrate power with a select few who did not represent and protect our diverse communities and voices. I decided to devote my life to changing the system through public service by making government more effective, representative, and equitable.

In undergrad, I started working for a few amazing women legislators: Senator Debbie Regala, who I interned for and was a session aide to, and Representative Eileen Cody, who was the health care chair who I was a staffer to. I started to see the interconnectedness of all of the policy issues that we worked on piecemeal. I knew that the biggest issues we faced seemed to circle around poverty. Whether it was environmental injustices that were killing people, or lack of housing, or education funding, I wanted to see how we could end poverty. I took this mission to start my policy work at the Statewide Poverty Action Network where I regulated the payday lending industry, worked on legislation to stop redlining in the insurance industry, and wrote bills to heal the foreclosure crisis. This work drove me and I knew I needed to take on more to fight for as many people as possible. I decided to follow in my parents’ footsteps and moved to New York to pursue a Masters degree.

While I was pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at CUNY Baruch and as a National Urban Fellow,, I chose to work with the US Environmental Protections Agency as a part of my fellowship. There, I utilized my environmental science and policy background to successfully build programs for the Office of International and Tribal Affairs and the Office of Diversity. After Assemblymember Ron Kim became the first Korean American elected official in New York in 2012, I began to work as his Chief of Staff to continue my work on behalf of immigrants, seniors, and our working families.
In 2016, when Sheldon Silver was indicted, I was asked to run against his hand picked candidate. I lost the special election, but I ran again in the primary and was able to win the seat in a historic, landslide election as the first Asian American to represent New York’s 65th Assembly District which includes Chinatown, the Financial District, Battery Park City, and the Lower East Side. Since then, I have been working on building a movement in the State by bringing our community together to fight for transparency, accessibility, and accountability in our government. As our Assemblymember, I have always stood up to systemic corruption and negligence, while leading on issues such as protecting tenants and fighting for permanent and deeply affordable housing, fighting sexual and racial discrimination, and building economic and environmental justice within our legislation. With over 17 years of public service experience, I’ve made it my mission that my work becomes a watershed for young people, especially women, LGBTQ+ folks, and people of color, to become civically engaged and to run for office to build a government that works for the people.

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