On November 7, New Yorkers will hit the polls in a general election to elect representatives to sit on New York’s City Council. On the ballot, vying to represent District 25, is Republican Zhile Cao.
District 25 includes Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, Queens, two of the most diverse communities in New York City.
He will be squaring off against Democrat and member of the Working Families Party, Shekar Krishnan who won the Democratic Primary with 64.1 percent of the vote, beating out Ricardo Pacheco and Fatima Baryab. Cao ran unopposed in the Republican primary, resulting in the Republican primaries being canceled.
“I am running because people should have the right to know and dictate the laws that are affecting their lives,” Cao told Vision Times last May, adding that his office wants to “limit the power of the government to prevent them from forcing citizens to take up certain measures such as mask mandates, forced vaccinations, or other policies that could have adverse effects on their health.”
“That’s what they [have tried] to do for the last three years. They lockdown the city, they make everybody wear masks, and they try to make people take the vaccine. That’s the stuff they learned from China,” Cao said, characterizing COVID-19 measures as typical of a communist country like China.
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Describing himself as a “progressive” Republican, Cao is running on a broad platform, promising to tackle the district’s affordable housing crisis, implement educational reforms, create a pathway to immigration for undocumented immigrants, combat climate change, ensure accessible healthcare for all New Yorkers and support disenfranchised groups.
In order to address these issues, if elected, Cao says he will work to pass rent control measures to make housing more affordable, increase funding for public schools and pay teachers more, support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and protect the environment by drafting more comprehensive and stricter environmental laws.
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Housing and migrant crisis
While visiting a neighboring district, Cao took the time to speak with Vision Times and voiced his concerns about the housing and migrant crisis gripping the state, pointing to a tent city in the district and saying this is what they want to do in District 25.
If elected, Cao says he will tackle the affordable housing crisis by working to implement rent control and other measures to make housing more affordable for low- and middle-income residents. He also supports building more affordable housing units to assist the most vulnerable populations in the area.
He believes New York’s mayor, Eric Adams, has the power to resolve the crisis but is “playing dumb.”
“There’s a solution but the City, Mayor Adams, he tries to play dumb. He tried to say, ‘Oh, I don’t know how to do it,’” Cao said.
He believes the United Nations (UN) needs to play a larger role in resolving the migrant crisis that is impacting a number of countries around the globe.
Cao does support a pathway for immigrants to gain citizenship. As an immigrant himself, he also supports policies that protect immigrants from deportation.
“I believe every person who arrives in the U.S. has a right to be protected from persecution or harassment,” Cao said.
“My office wants to make sure every person is treated with dignity and respect, and in turn, we are asking you to do your civic duty as well to elect the people who truly care, and will do the best job to represent every constituent,” Cao said.
The general election will take place on Nov. 7, 2023.
For more information regarding Zhile Cao and his campaign, please call: (646) 577-1607 or email: [email protected].