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NY: Assemblyman Lester Chang Holds Town Hall Meeting in Brooklyn

Published: October 30, 2023
On Nov. 8, Lester Chang won a decisive victory to represent New Yorkers in the 49th District of the State Assembly, beating long-time Democrat incumbent Peter J. Abbate Jr. by almost 5 points. (Image: Courtesy Lester Chang)

On Oct.24 Assemblyman for New York State’s 49th district, Lester Chang, held a town hall meeting at New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, New York to discuss a number of issues impacting the community and how he is addressing them.

“I stand before you today with immense pride and gratitude as we gather in this town hall meeting to discuss the progress, service, and information sharing in our great community,” Chang said opening the meeting.

In a statement provided to Vision Times Chang identified five key issues for the community including education, healthcare, jobs and economic growth, the environment and social services. 

“We have increased funding for our local schools to ensure that our children receive the best possible education,” Chang said, adding that, “We are committed to nurturing the next generation’s potential and helping them succeed.”

On healthcare, Chang said that work is underway to expand access to quality healthcare services particularly in “underserved areas,” and disparities in healthcare services are being addressed. 

Jobs and economic growth are “top priority” for Chang who said that his office is dedicated to supporting local businesses, attracting new investment, and creating job opportunities “to improve the livelihoods of our residents.”

In attendance were a number of government agencies with job openings including the NYPD, Army, and the Navy. 

He also said that his office has taken steps to “protect and preserve” the environment, including initiatives for cleaner air, water and a sustainable future that are currently underway and regarding social services Chang said, “We have worked to enhance social services, ensuring that those in need receive the support and care they deserve.”


Congestion pricing

“I will fight hard to stop it or postpone the issue,” Chang said regarding the congestion pricing scheme currently being implemented in the state.

First proposed in 2007, the scheme will charge vehicles travelling into or within the central business district of Manhattan as a way to cut down on traffic congestion. The idea however has been met with significant pushback. 

“This will kill Chinatown and will affect Brooklyn and Queens business, “ Chang said, adding that, “I will also set up an open public forum to manage the toll rates.”

The plan received final approval in June 2023, but due to various delays, the rollout of the scheme has been postponed until the spring of 2024.

In addition, Chang said more work needs to be done to address motorcycles, e-bikes and road safety concerns, calling them “everyday quality of life issues.

Regarding a number of issues that came up Chang told Vision Times, “There is no easy answer, but I want to let them (the community) know where I come from and I have to thank God that allows me, a Republican, to win this district and represent our Chinese people, the honest way, the right way, the real message.”

Closing his welcome speech, Chang said, “Let us seize this opportunity to connect, to collaborate, and to reaffirm our commitment to a brighter future for our community,” adding that, “Together we will continue to make our town a better place for all, one day at a time.”