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NYC mayor is still committed to Lunar New Year city holiday

Updated: 2015-03-13 13:00
By Paul Welitzkin in New York (China Daily USA)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he's still focused on making the Chinese Lunar New Year an official school holiday, but it "will take more work" to do it "because we have to balance a lot of factors."

The mayor's office had not responded to China Daily on Tuesday for a comment on New York's congressional delegation and Chinese community activists asking him to keep his pledge to make the Lunar New Year an official school holiday.

On Thursday, in an e-mail to the newspaper, Wiley Norvell, deputy press secretary to the mayor, quoted a response he said de Blasio had given last week about designating the Lunar New Year as a school holiday.

"I'm going to keep working on that with the chancellor. What we've found in this process is that we are in a very tight situation, as I said, with the number of days that we have to achieve each year, so it's going to take more work to get to that. We remain focused on it, but it will take more work, because we have to balance a lot of factors."

In January of 2014, de Blasio said the Asian holiday should be honored with the day off. Last week the mayor added two Muslim holidays to the school calendar. That prompted a letter on Monday from the New York congressional delegation, led by US Representative. Grace Meng (D-Queens), which said "we are puzzled and concerned over the absence of the Asian Lunar New Year from next year's calendar."

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