For our next profile of the new, progressive members of the 113th Congress, YDA would like to introduce Grace Meng. Grace has proven herself to be a compassionate leader in her roles as New York asswemblywoman, public interest attorney, and community activist. Having defeated Dan Halloran for New York’s sixth congressional seat, YDA looks forward to Grace’s leadership in Congress on issues ranging from national security, to job growth.
Born and raised in Queens, Grace learned the importance of hard work from her father, Jimmy Meng, who put in seven-day weeks as a restaurant worker. In 2004, Jimmy became the first Asian-American to hold New York state office. Grace proved to be a hard-working student, earning admission to the prestigious Stuyvesant High School as a teen. She continued her studies at Michigan University before receiving a J.D. from Yeshiva Law School.
Following her graduation, Grace launched a career in public interest law dedicated to the defense of the needy. She earned a partnership at Yoon and Kim, LLP in addition to providing pro bono services for Sanctuary for Families, a New York non-profit serving the survivors of domestic violence. Grace has also taken an active role in the Queens community by founding FOCUS Community Access Center, a local volunteer organization. She has sat on the boards of several local organizations, as well.
In 2008, Grace was elected to the New York State Assembly by her community. As an assemblywoman, she worked to extend unemployment benefits, increase school funding, and ensure fair taxation for seniors. Looking ahead to her time as a member of Congress, Grace plans on championing a host of progressive issues. Grace supports legislation that is important to all Young Democrats, such as introducing a cap on student loan interest rates and bolstering job creation. Grace is poised to become a strong leader on progressive issues in Congress, and YDA could not be more pleased to welcome her to Washington DC.