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অপরাজেয় বাংলা :: Aparajeo Bangla

ASAAL becomes a powerful voice for the voiceless, say speakers at the 16th convention

Special Correspondent

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ASAAL becomes a powerful voice for the voiceless, say speakers at the 16th convention

ASAAL – Alliance of South Asian American Labor has become the voice of the entire migrant community across the communities of South Asians in the United States. ASAL is now the voice of the voiceless.  That's what the speakers said. ASAAL's 16th annual convention was held in a hotel in Brooklyn, New York on December 2, 2023. Hundreds of leaders and activists from 20 chapters of ASAAL from New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Los Angeles, and Washington DC joined the conference.

The program turned into a get-together with the participation of not only leaders and activists but also their family members. ASAAL has become the lifeblood of South Asians in the United States. This is reflected in the words of the speakers and their participation.

ASAL is led by its founder and president Maf Misbah Uddin, an indispensable and well-known name in the labor movement in the United States. National Secretary Mohamed Karim Choudhury has a reputation for being a tireless fighter for creating job opportunities for low-income people and new immigrants in the United States. Recently, his name has come up in the list of influential personalities in New York's Staten Island. 

In addition to these two top leaders, ASAAL is constantly organizing more and more new communities with the dedication of other leaders.  

Convention 2023 proceeded under the chairmanship of Maf Misbah Uddin and moderated by Karim Chowdhury. The conference started at 2 pm and continued till 10 pm. ASAL convention committee chairman Dr Golam MI Chowdhury delivered the inaugural speech.

"We are growing, we are growing", this slogan was repeated again and again at the 16th convention of ASAAL. The speakers recalled their early experiences and highlighted how big a source of inspiration and strength ASAL has become today. 

However, the message of ASAAL's superiority has become most evident from the voice of the keynote speaker of this convention. It was Senator Kristen Gillibrand herself. She highlighted ASAAL's contribution to improving the labor environment in the United States and the fight for fair wages for workers. She thanked  ASAAL for standing beside the politicians in the struggle for rights. 

"The Alliance of South Asian American Labor's mission to improve economic development and employment opportunities for South Asian American workers is commendable, she said.
"The alliance is contributing to New York's diverse workforce," Gillibrand added.  

South Asian diaspora in the United States are hardworking and are gaining a strong position in mainstream politics, she said. Senator Gillibrand also called on everyone in the community to vote to strengthen their voices.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams sent a message to the convention. "Since its inception, ASAL has been working tirelessly to mobilize and improve the fortunes of the South Asian community in all five boroughs of New York, he said. On behalf of the mayor, citations were given to two ASAAL leaders at this year's conference. They are ASAAL National Secretary Mohamed Karim Chowdhury and Brooklyn Chapter's Political Director Md. Azizul Haque. 

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Senator Kristen Gillibrand, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Attorney General Letitia James, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl E. Heastie, and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries sent messages to the convention. 

Bangladesh's Ekushey Padak-winning writer and valiant freedom fighter Dr Nurun Nabi, City Comptroller Brad A. Lander, Georgia State Senator Sheikh Rahman, New York State Senator John C, Liu, Assemblywoman Karina Race, Assemblyman Ron Kim, and many others spoke on the occasion. 

ASAL presented the award to State Assemblyman Michael Cusick, New York City Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez, TWU Local 100 President Richard Davis, and Zuma Jennifer (posthumously).

At the convention, the leaders and workers of each chapter of ASAAL introduced their respective leadership and presented future action plans. 

Queens Chapter President Kazi Farid Ahammad, Bronx Chapter President Syed Tahmeedul Haque, Brooklyn Chapter President Dr. Mujibur Rahman Majumder, Staten Island Chapter President Irashad Sheikh, New Jersey Chapter President Faruk Hossain, President of Georgia Chapter Abu Liakat Hossain, President of Michigan Chapter Syed Md. Ali Reza, President of Pennsylvania Chapter Shah M Golam Quader, President of New York State Capital Region Chapter Mizanur Rahman, US Capital Chapter President Sharafat Hossain, Jackson Heights Chapter President Somnath Ghimire, Virginia Chapter President Zakir Hossain, Maryland Chapter President Kabirul Islam, Richmond Hill Chapter President Albert Baldeo, Long Island Chapter President MD Mujibul Haque, Los Angeles Chapter President Dr. Zainul Abedin, HCP chapter president Rafeeque Ahmed Ozone Park chapter president ASM Maiyen Uddin led their respective chapter's delegations in the convention. 

Leaders of various other labor organizations and central organizations in New York came to the conference to show solidarity and spoke at the occasion. Among those invited were NAACP New York City President Anthony Hermon, NYC Labor Council for Latin American Advancement NYC President Pedro A. Cardi, NYC Coalition of Black Trade Unionists President Charles Jenkins, Vice President of the Public Employee Federation Sharon DeSilva and Vice President Darlene Williams, and Debra Williams, President of Local 1930.

The success of ASAAL and that ASAAL is becoming stronger day by day and becoming the voice of the voiceless, the leaders highlighted. 

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