Press Release



Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, in partnership with her Asian American and Pacific Islander Advisory Council, hosted an annual celebration in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at St. John’s University in Jamaica. The program included awards honoring notable community members of Asian and Pacific Island descent and a keynote address by Queens Civil Court Judge Karen Lin.

District Attorney Katz said: “This year’s celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage is especially gratifying because we were finally able to come together in person. Celebrating the cultural and civic impact that Asian communities have made in Queens strengthens our ability to confront the challenges we face along the way. It is my hope that building understanding will also contribute to ensuring fair justice for all who live and work here in Queens.”

District Attorney Katz honored:

  • The Flushing Chinese Business Association
  • Korean Community Services
  • Queens District Attorney’s Felony Trials II Deputy Bureau Chief Rosemary Chao
  • Queens District Attorney Unit Supervisor of Diversion and Alternative Sentencing Harleen Kaur

United States Representative Grace Meng said: “Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to all who are celebrating in Queens and across New York. Despite the vital ways that Asian Americans have shaped our nation, the many contributions of our community are often forgotten or ignored, leading to the perception that Asian Americans are perpetual foreigners in America. That is why I am fighting to amplify the experiences, stories, culture, and history of Asian Americans, including leading the effort to establish a national museum dedicated to our community’s history, advocating for the inclusion of Asian Pacific American history in school curricula, and seeking federal recognition for holidays that are important to our community, such as Lunar New Year, Diwali, Eid, and many others. While I believe that we need to recognize Asian American heritage every day and not just in the month of May, I am grateful to have a dedicated period to highlight the accomplishments of the Asian American community and celebrate the face of American diversity. Thank you to District Attorney Katz for sponsoring this celebration.”

New York State Senator John Liu said: “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a time for us to come together to celebrate the history, heritage and future of Asian Americans. Whether standing up and fighting back against the onslaught of anti-Asian hatred or advocating for a more inclusive curriculum that teaches Asian American history in public schools, Asian Americans are more united than ever. Many thanks to Queens DA Melinda Katz for acknowledging and celebrating this important moment that pays tribute to those Asian Americans and community-based organizations that continue to support and uplift our community.”

New York State Assembly Member Steven Raga said: “I am honored to co-sponsor the Queens District Attorney’s Office AAPI Heritage Month celebration. This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to embracing diversity and honoring the rich cultural heritage of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Queens. Together, we celebrate the remarkable contributions that strengthen our community and inspire us all.”

New York Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar said: “As the first South Asian woman elected to New York State Office, I am honored to partner with my friend District Attorney Katz for the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration. We are partners in serving the AAPI community: she is always there for us when the community has a safety concern, and I supported her efforts by helping pass a budget with $30 million for AAPI safety. Now we are teaming up to honor some of the outstanding individuals and organizations that embody the hard work, dedication, and compassion that define the AAPI community.”

New York City Council Member Sandra Ung said: “Members of the AAPI community have been making important contributions to this country for generations, but to many we are seen as perpetual foreigners. Events like this one being hosted by the Queens District Attorney’s Office are an important recognition of the role Asian Americans have had in shaping the nation we know today. While May is a month to celebrate AAPI heritage, we should also reflect on the long and impactful history of the AAPI community in the United States.”

New York City Council Member Linda Lee, Vice-Chair of the New York City Council Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus, and first Korean American elected to City Council alongside Julie Won, said: “This AAPI Heritage Month, I am proud to commemorate the traditions I remember celebrating as a child, with my friends and neighbors in the Queens community. The AAPI currently makes up 18 percent of NYC’s population and continues to grow, so it is great to see our culture, traditions, and food influence the lives of so many New Yorkers. Thank you to Queens DA Melinda Katz and all of my colleagues who have partnered to create a celebration to reflect this great diversity, and to honor the immense contributions of the AAPI community to our city.”

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