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Queens' Elected Officials Call for Lunar New Year to Be a Legal Holiday

Group of officials representing northeast Queens are joined by City Council's new speaker in Flushing.

A bevy of Queens elected officials and the City Council’s new speaker turned out in Flushing last week to call for the Lunar New Year to be recognized as a major legal holiday.

Elected officials who turned out for the rally on Friday at the Flushing Library included U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, D- Flushing, state Sen. Toby Stavisky, D-Whitestone, state Assembly members Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, Nily Rozic, D-Fresh Meadows, and David Weprin, D-Little Neck, as well as City Councilmen Paul Vallone, D-Bayside, Peter Koo, D-Flushing, and Mark Weprin, D-Oakland Gardens, as well as Melissa Mark-Viverito, D-Manhattan, the Council’s new speaker.

“The support and unity this cause has garnered from our elected officials and community leaders will be the driving force in ensuring that meaningful legislation is passed that recognizes and respects the culture of over one million of our fellow New Yorkers,” Vallone said.

The elected officials called for the Lunar New Year to be recognized by the city as a legal holiday and for schools to be closed on the day it is celebrated.

“No one should be forced to choose between celebrating a sacred holiday or missing school,” Mark-Viverito said. “Making Lunar New Year a legal holiday would honor the culture of the tens of thousands of Asian Americans who call our city home.”

Bills to officially name the Lunar New Year a legal holiday have been introduced at the city, state and federal level.

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