By Assunta Ng
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Want to meet the only Chinese American among the more than 20 Democratic presidential candidates? You can. He’s coming to Seattle.
Born in New York, Andrew Yang, a venture capitalist, plans to hold a rally on May 3 at the Gasworks Park at 6 p.m. The Chinese community is organizing a reception for Yang at the China Harbor Restaurant at 7:30 p.m.
Some Chinese immigrants said Yang, 44, is the first Chinese American to run for president. Not true. Yang is the first Democrat to seek that office. The first was Hiram Fong, a Republican and U.S. Senator from Hawaii. He ran for president in 1964.
Yang might be an unknown, but he has already attracted over 80,000 donors from at least 20 states, and fans in the Seattle Chinese community. He proposes a universal basic income, in which every citizen over the age of 18 is entitled to $1,000 per month. The idea is to protect those losing their jobs from the impact of automation and artificial intelligence. Some said it would create trillions of dollars in debt for the country. However, Yang has said during network interviews that this law has been implemented in the conservative state of Alaska for over four decades.
Despite his slim chance of becoming the presidential nominee, that’s beside the point for the Seattle Chinese community.
Winston Lee, the first volunteer for Yang’s China Harbor event, called the Northwest Asian Weekly recently to share the news about his visit.
An immigrant from China, Lee said, “Yang’s parents are from Taiwan, and I want to support him. He might not have a chance, but he is our role model for our children.”
Community leader Tony Au shared the same view, reminding many skeptics that nobody believed Trump could win in 2016. “Who knows?” said Au and Lee. “It doesn’t matter if he has little chance, it’s part of the American Dream,” said Au. Both expressed ethnic pride in Yang’s run for U.S. president.
Lo-Yu Sun, owner of China Harbor Restaurant, said, “It doesn’t matter where we were from originally, Democrat or Republican, we should support Yang because he is part of our community. It’s hard to have a Chinese American willing to run for president. We have to do our best not letting our community lose face.”
A Republican, Sun said his Republican friends might tease him for supporting a Democrat.
Lee, who previously met Yang at a Los Angeles conference, said when he first organized the planning committee, there were 10 people. That number has now doubled.
Call Winston Lee about the China Harbor event at 425-522-2668 or buy tickets at bit.ly/Yang-seattle-0503.
To learn more about Andrew Yang, go to yang2020.com.
Assunta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.