City & State NY: The 2023 Power of Diversity: Asian 100
May 1, 2023 12:00 PM
When state lawmakers formed an Asian American caucus in 2017, the only Asian American members were Assembly Members Ron Kim and Yuh-Line Niou. Since then, their ranks have swelled to 12, four in the state Senate and eight in the Assembly. Similarly, the New York City Council has gone from just two Asian Americans – Margaret Chin and Peter Koo, both term-limited in 2021 – to six today.
As the growing Asian American community gains traction politically, more backgrounds are also being represented, from Taiwanese American trailblazers like Rep. Grace Meng and state Sen. John Liu to politicians whose families emigrated from India, China, South Korea, Bangladesh or Nepal. There’s a wider ideological spectrum among these officeholders as well, from progressives like Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani to his Republican colleagues Lester Chang and Anil Beephan Jr.
City & State’s Power of Diversity: Asian 100 list features these elected officials and also highlights other power brokers who are managing government agencies, running businesses, advocating for policy changes – and ensuring Asian Americans have a voice at the table.
71. Vijay Dandapani
President and CEO, Hotel Association of New York City
The Hotel Association of New York City has worked closely with the city government to overcome economic challenges that have disrupted its hotel business during the coronavirus pandemic. Under Vijay Dandapani’s leadership, the group has successfully lobbied for pro-industry legislation and inked two deals with the city: a $750 million contract under then-New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to house homeless New Yorkers during the early pandemic and, in January, another $275 million contract to house at least 5,000 of the city’s incoming migrants.