Some of you are probably hearing about AM Yuh-Line Niou for the first time now that she’s in the news talking about Cuomo. She wrote up articles of impeachment back in March when this all started and now that Democratic politicians across NY and the country have called for Cuomo to resign. She’s always been a strong advocate for victims of sexual assault and recounted her own sexual assault in 2019 during hearings on new legislation protecting employees from sexual harassment and assault. The bill passed with her support.
You might also recognize her from her speech last year on the NYS budget.
AM Niou also has the dubious distinction of being the first politician I canvassed for who actually won. In 2016 she beat former Speaker of the NYS Assembly Sheldon Silver’s hand picked replacement in the primary. Sheldon needed a replacement because he was convicted on seven counts of corruption. While she did win an election, she didn’t win the election I worked in. In fact, she ran 3 elections in one year! A special election to replace Sheldon(lost), Dem primary(won), and the general(won!). She’s a fighter. She was also the forefront of a new wave of progressive NYS politicians even before AOC.
The ouster of Sheldon and Niou’s victory set the stage for what the accountability we are finally seeing for elected officials who sexually harass and/or assault their employees. Sheldon was a big ally of Cuomo and had a history of protecting rapists and sexual harassers. From his wikipedia
A former top aide to Silver, chief counsel J. Michael Boxley, was accused of raping two legislative aides while he was working for the Speaker, and Boxley eventually pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct. Silver was sued for failing to investigate the accusations properly and for tolerating a culture of sexual harassment in the Assembly. In 2006, Silver and the Assembly leadership agreed to pay $500,000 to settle the lawsuit. Similar settlements in 2012 and 2015 resulted from multiple harassment charges against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and Silver was accused of not acting forcefully to prevent Lopez's behavior. Silver apologized for not reporting cases to the Assembly's Ethics Committee as required, and said that since then he "put in place new policies to ensure these incidents are dealt with swiftly and transparently."
I’ve said elsewhere that what we’re seeing in NY is the result of progressives taking power and she was one of the first of the new guard. She didn’t make a splash like AOC and the rest of the squad but in the long run she will have a huge positive effect on politics in NY.
Yuh-Line was not only the first politician I canvassed for that won, she was also the first politician I donated to who won. I really hope we can give her a big show of support for everything she’s done by dropping her some donation love. Let’s make sure the people who made this happen know we support them!