The City Council got its newest member to the Democratic majority today, as now-former Republican Peter Koo made the change official. But, as the full statement below shows, Koo didn't mention the word "Republican" once in his comments today:
Today is the celebration of the Lunar New Year and all throughout the Asian Community it marks a new start, a rebirth and commitment to positive change. Therefore, it is befitting that I announce my decision to switch my political party affiliation to democrat. This decision came after serious consideration and great deliberation with advisors, family and friends. And throughout the conversation, significant reasons were spotlighted for this change.
As many of you know, I am an independent thinker who believes in the support of principles which best sustain and improve the overall quality of life in our communities. This has led me to cross party lines to support candidates who are best qualified for the job. It is well documented that I support many democrats, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Comptroller John Liu, Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Council Member Margaret Chin. I will continue my support of them and any dedicated person who puts “people and not politics” first. I also voted for important immigration legislation that I feel most benefits my community such as the Dream Act resolution and stopping the practice of Riker’s Island reporting immigrants to INS. I will continue to champion common sense legislation that helps benefits the citizens of New York City.
As a proud immigrant of Asian descent, I want to do more to help immigrants of all ethnic origins to participate in the political process and achieve the American Dream. I want to help my fellow Asian American elected officials and all future leaders to ascend to the highest levels of government. As a democrat, I will continue to empower our newly emerging immigrant communities and help new Americans to prosper and become productive members of our society.
Most importantly, as a democrat, I want to do more for the community I am proud to represent. I want to continue to fight for needed capital projects, save important programs and improve the overall quality of life. As a new democrat, I hope to better use my immigrant experience and business acumen to help shape a brighter future for this great city. In the coming New Year, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the City Council to achieve wonderful things for the people of New York City.
I want to thank Congressman Joe Crowley for his steadfast leadership and welcoming me into the party. I also want to thank many of my old friends who are now my new fellow democrats and look forward to working closely with all of them. In closing, I am proud to now be a Democrat, but the privilege of representing our communities has and always will be about much more than party registration. It is about serving, it is about helping and it is about improving. This is my challenge, my purpose and my promise for the next few years. I look forward to working with elected officials on both sides of the aisle to accomplish great things in this New Year. As President John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Thank you and God bless America.