Opinion | The New York Times’s Interview With Yuh-Line Niou

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Patrick Healy: Do you think the Democratic elected officials are out of step with Democratic voters on immigration today, on L.G.B.T.Q. rights or on any other issue, as you talk to voters and listen to what party leaders and officials say?

Maybe not in my district. In District 10, it’s going to be — it’s probably one of the more progressive districts in the state. So maybe that’s maybe not what I’m hearing as much in the district. I think a lot of people are definitely very much thinking the same when it comes to protecting our bodily autonomy, making sure to restrict — make sure that we have tighter gun laws, making sure that we have L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. protections, rights, making sure that we have a better answer to how we are looking at public safety.

I think that my district cares the most about what The New York Times has to say. I think that it’s really about trying to make sure that we have a reason for also standing up for things that we do. And I think that that’s really what it is. I don’t think that Democrats are necessarily out of touch. But I think that what can be difficult for the rest of the state, maybe, and even the rest of America — I think that there are certain messaging pieces that are hitting home for my district, but maybe not necessarily for everyone else.

Patrick Healy: Is there just, real quickly, an example of that?

For example, I think that in my district, one of the things that we all care about is our bodily autonomy. I saw that almost all of my neighbors came out when Roe was overturned, right? We were all out there on the street. As I was walking through Washington Square Park, I kept on seeing neighbor after neighbor after neighbor. They’re like, ‘Hey, Line, what’s up? We knew you would be out here.’ It was like every single person that I knew was there.

But it just seemed, I don’t know, just kind of shocking to me, in some aspects, because I live down here, that there were people who felt differently, obviously, elsewhere in America. And I also hear it sometimes in the very Christian Chinese community. I hear it sometimes in parts of the district.

Like, we can talk to them, but it’s really about making sure that we actually answer people’s questions, give transparency and improve that messaging. But yeah, I think that’s one of the biggest things. I’m actually shocked when this has been law for so long.

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