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June 16, 2024 (New York, NY)  Asian Wave Alliance focused on the competitive Queens races for the primary elections in NYC: Assembly districts 25 and 40. As part of AWA’s mission to educate voters, we included Surrogate Court Judge and Civil Court Judge candidates this year; voters should know what these positions do and how they impact the Asian community. 

AWA leadership decided not to endorse any of the primary races, and instead provide a “report card” on the relevant qualifications and positions each candidate shared with us at the Forum. We invited ALL candidates for each race to participate in our Forum; some declined and some did not respond. We sincerely appreciate candidates who took part in our process; those included Wendy Li for Queens Surrogate Court Judge; Amish Doshi, Glenda Hernandez, Julie Milner for Civil Court Judge; Kenneth Chiu and Kenneth Paek for AD25; Dao Yin for AD40.

Yiatin Chu, President of Asian Wave said “We have the only Republican primary in New York City and it's between two Asian candidates – I think that’s a first! Assembly district 40 where incumbent Ron Kim is being challenged by well-funded Andy Yi Chen is another competitive race to watch. Surrogate court judge candidate Wendy Li has a county-wide race against the Queens Democratic party candidate and with few districts having primaries, turnout will be a big factor. We urge registered Democrats and Republicans to vote for candidates who are committed to making our communities safer, cleaner and more prosperous.”

AWA Report Card

Surrogate Court Judge (Democrat)

Wendy Li 

Experience: 6 years as a Civil Court judge in New York City, over 25 years of legal experience, and former law partner in international law firms. 

• Emphasized the importance of educating the community about the role of Surrogate Court.

• Highlighted her commitment to establishing night courts and enhancing interpreter services.

• Focused on protecting generational wealth and ensuring fair judicial processes without political influence.

Cassandra Johnson: Invited but did not participate.

Civil Court Judge (Democrat) 

Voters choose 2 of the 4 candidates.

Amish R. Doshi

Experience: CPA and Attorney for 25 years, background in commercial litigation, bankruptcy, and general business law.

• Immigrant background and personal story of achieving the American dream.

• Stressed the importance of representation and having a judiciary that reflects the community’s diversity.

• Emphasized understanding and addressing the challenges faced by the immigrant Community.

Glenda Hernandez

Experience: Court attorney with 17 years of experience, worked with several judges, and practiced as a defense attorney for tenants.

• Emphasized fairness, justice, and independence from political influence.

• Advocated for diverse points of view in the judiciary.

• Highlighted her background in public service and commitment to serving the Community.

Julie Milner

Experience: Civil rights and constitutional law attorney, education professor, dissertation advisor at Long Island University.

• Advocates for meaningful electoral choices and civic education.

• Focused on improving language access and delivery in the court system.

• Concerned about protecting small landlords, particularly elderly Chinese Americans.

Sharifa Nasser-Cuéllar

Invited but did not participate.

Assembly District 25 (Republican)

Kenneth Chiu

  • 20 years of service in the Senate Assembly and City Council.

  • Advocated for public safety, holding the Federal Government accountable for the migrant crisis, and lowering property taxes.

  • Emphasized his understanding of government workings and his commitment to fighting for constituents.

  • Emphasized the need to hold criminals accountable and enforce current laws.

  • Advocated for repealing Sanctuary City and State policies and holding the Federal Government accountable.

Kenneth Paek

  • Former NYPD sergeant, US Navy veteran.

  • Criticized current politicians and their policies, especially regarding bail reform.

  • Focused on public safety and addressing crime through legislative changes.

  • Focused on repealing and amending bail reform laws.

  • Emphasized the financial burden on local resources and the need for background checks and DNA swabs.

  • Candidates discussed the challenges and potential solutions for sharing roads and sidewalks with these growing modes of transportation

Assembly District 40 (Democrat)

Dao Yin

Experience: Involved in politics since 2016, business background.

• Emphasized the need for real change and addressing public safety, small business

issues, and fair education.

• Advocated for new ideas and plans to improve the community’s quality of life.

Public Safety and Bail Reform: Suggested using technology and increasing law enforcement.

Migrant Crisis: Called for new legislation and maintaining law and order.

Andy Yi Chen Invited but did not participate.

Ron Kim Invited but did not participate.


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