A Celebration of Gratitude– John Liu

By Bonnie Chan

On November 3rd of 2009, John Liu won New York City’s comptroller election, making him the first Asian-Amer­ican to hold a citywide posi­tion in NYC. He won by an overwhelming 76%, having ran a campaign that inspired incredible enthusiasm in minority voters. Tonight, November 13th, Liu and his team holds a party in honor of his dedicated volunteers.

Throughout the night, volunteers, along with political supporters, make their way, one by one, to the stage, where they praise Liu for his hard work and perseverance. The speak­ers range from college students to leaders and representatives of political coalitions in various communities. When, at last, the new comptrol­ler takes the stage, he returns the favor. Liu expresses “tremendous gratitude” for all the dedicated volunteers, who tirelessly promoted his campaign through phone calls, posters, and other outreach efforts. He thanks them for giving him the opportunity to serve the city and pledges not to let his supporters down. There will be difficulties ahead, Liu admits, not the least of all, the current economic crisis, but with a deep financial background and a strong team, he is confident of facing them. His speech ends to the applause of the crowd, and a chant that fast speeds around the room: “Liu for 2013! Liu for 2013!” — a hint, perhaps, to Liu’s future political fortunes.

Afterwards, he can barely take a step without supporters approaching him, all eager to shake his hand, take a picture, or exchange a few words. One thing is clear: Liu is loved. In a conversation with Asian Fusion, he sums up the night as “overwhelming and awesome” and says that he’s looking forward to getting sworn in. When asked about his Chinese New Year plans, Liu laughs. “What else? Eating!”