For immediate release: March 4, 2021
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
The announcement of the closure of Chinatown’s iconic Jing Fong Restaurant has sent a shock wave in the community and beyond. Workers are losing their jobs and small businesses would lose faith in surviving the pandemic. Many are wondering if Chinatown can continue to exist with Jing Fong Restaurant, the heart of Chinatown, shut down.
Such a bleak prospect is caused directly by its landlord, Alex Chu and Jonathan Chu. The Chu family is the biggest landlord in Chinatown and the owner of Eastbank. Alex Chu and Jonathan Chu have benefited from Jing Fong’s business all these years, but during the pandemic when the business has gone down, they are heartlessly trying to use rent to force the restaurant to close.
You have come out against anti-Asian violence. The closure of Jing Fong Restaurant is having a serious impact on Chinatown. Isn’t this also violence against the Chinese community? Therefore, we call on you to immediately step in and take a stand to save Jing Fong and Chinatown from being destroyed by big developers and landlords like the Chu family:
1. stop the Chu family’s eviction of Jing Fong Restaurant
2. stop the new jail and instead use the resource to fund Chinatown recovery
3. lower the rent and property tax to save Chinatown businesses
4. pass the Chinatown Working Group plan to protect the whole Chinatown and the Lower East Side from displacement.