Chinese Organizations in Queens
by Hsiang-shui Chen

This is a brief introduction to some of the Chinese organizations that have been established in Queens. They number too many to mention them all, however these groups share some common characteristics: the board of director members are usually highly educated-many of them hold college and post-graduate degrees and each association is independent, differing from Chinatown's traditional associations which fall into a hierarchical relationship.

Because most board members can communicate in English, each organization in Queens has established its own network with the non-Chinese community. This has resulted in cooperative social, cultural, and political efforts with non-Chinese organizations, such as the annual stringing of Christmas lights along the commercial streets of Flushing, and the painting of a mural in a Flushing arcade.



Below I would like to list some important voluntary associations and service organizations that are involved actively in Queens Chinese and non-Chinese community affairs--most of those listed have permanent offices located in Queens. Some do not have offices and/or full-time staff, so correspondence is handled either in care of the president's address or sent to a post office box.


BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS:


Flushing Chinese Business Association:
Established in 1982, its goals are to help Chinese establish businesses in Flushing and to foster understanding between the Chinese and non-Chinese communities. They are involved not only in economic activities, but also cultural and social programs, such as the lion and dragon parade during Chinese Lunar New Year. They also adopted and renovated the Main Street/Flushing subway station. (718-353-2320)
The Taiwan Merchants Association:
Founded in 1976, this organization has an office in Flushing. Its members come from New York City, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Taiwan. Their programs include business seminars, and domestic and international business trips. Activities do not focus on local Queens events. (718-463-3391)

PARENTS' ASSOCIATIONS:


Chinese American Parents' Association:
Established four years ago, its goal is to help Chinese children and parents become more familiar with the school system and to address issues such as selecting a high school and inter-ethnic tensions among students. Recently this office became a headquarter, with six branch offices located in School Districts 24, 25, 27-29, and 30 in Queens (718-359-6810)



POLITICAL ASSOCIATIONS:


Chinese American Voters Association:
This organization was founded in 1983, and its primary aim is to encourage Chinese Americans to register to vote and to join the political mainstream. It has conducted voter's registration drives and has sponsored candidate's nights to introduce politicians to the Chinese community. (718-461-0830)
Chinese American Political Action Association:
This organization is two years old and does not have a permanent office. Last year it sponsored a dinner for the Chinese community to meet the mayoral candidates.



WOMEN'S ASSOCIATIONS:


Queens Chinese Women's Association:
Established in 1984, its goal is to encourage Chinese women to work together. It has held various seminars related to the family and law, received local assistance to serve Chinese senior citizens, and has endorsed political candidates during past elections. (718-353 -0195)
American Chinese Women's Association:
This group was founded in 1986 and has similar goals to the Queens Chinese Women's Association. It also has offered programs on family and law, and it was the first local Chinese women's organization to use city funds to help Chinese immigrants. The group supported Chinese and American politicians during various campaigns. (718-961-8255)



SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS:


There are two service centers in Flushing which should be mentioned:

 

Chinese Immigrants Planning Council (CPC) in Queens:
It was established in 1975 with headquarters in Chinatown, Manhattan. It has more than ten staff to provide various service programs to the Chinese community such as youth programs, a senior center, Service to Asian Parents of the Disabled, classes on hotel management, and English classes. (718-358-8981)
Chinese Immigrants Services, Inc.
Originally called AUNTIE WU'S HOTLINE, it was established in the 1940s by Susan Wu. Through her individual voluntary efforts, Ms. Wu's hotline offers information referrals to the Chinese community regarding social service questions. (718-416- 3044)



MASS MEDIA:


Some Chinese mass media have their headquarters or branch offices in Queens:

 

WORLD JOURNAL
is a Chinese language daily paper that was founded in 1976 in Chinatown. The headquarters is now located in Whitestone, Queens (718-746-9006) for English speakers; (718-746-8889) for Chinese speakers
CHINESE COMMUNITY WEEKLY
is a 4-year-old paper that is headquartered in Flushing. (718-353-5590)
ASIAN-AMERICAN TIMES
has its office in Flushing, and is a Chinese language weekly paper that was established four years ago. (718-358-6413)
SIN TAO JIH PAO & THE CHINA PRESS
are Chinese language dailies that have branch offices in Flushing.
CHINESE AMERICAN VOICE
is the only Chinese radio station in Queens, and was started four years ago. (718-961-6490)



Further information on additional Chinese organizations in Queens and New York City can be found in the CHINESE BUSINESS GUIDE & DIRECTORY, published by Key Publications, Inc., (212) 219-1788.


Dr. Hsiang-shui Chen is an anthropologist and Staff Researcher at the Asian/American Center.

January, 1991