Li Achieves Maximum Public Matching Funds in First Filing of 2021, Fully Funds Lower Manhattan City Council Campaign

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LOWER MANHATTAN:_____Today, Gigi Li, candidate for City Council District 1, filed with the New York City Campaign Finance Board a reported fundraising total of $55,942, with matching eligible contributions from New Yorkers far in excess of the $21,111 needed to receive the maximum amount of public funding available to a City Council campaign through the CFB’s Public Matching Funds Program.

With an effective total of $224,830 after matching funds, Li’s campaign fundraising exceeds the City Council race expenditure limit for a Primary Election period, ensuring her campaign the largest budget possible for its 2021 effort for the Democratic nomination in CD1.

“I am so grateful to all of the people who have chosen to support this campaign,” said Li. “From day one, this campaign has been powered by a diverse coalition of New Yorkers who share our mission of increasing affordable housing, caring for our seniors and children, and helping our neighborhoods and small businesses recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Today, we are one step closer to achieving those goals in Lower Manhattan.”

Gigi Li has been endorsed by a growing list of prominent progressive Democrats and organizations:

  • New York City Council Members Margaret Chin, Diana Ayala, Helen Rosenthal, and Debi Rose

  • New York State Assemblymember Catalina Cruz

  • Former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

  • 21 in ‘21

About Gigi Li

Gigi was born in Hong Kong, and immigrated to New York City with her parents at a young age. Growing up, Gigi witnessed both her grandparents and parents run small businesses. Her grandmother worked for over 20 years in Chinatown’s garment factories.

In 2003, Gigi became the first in her family to graduate from college, earning her B.A. from Smith College. Motivated to serve her community, Gigi’s first job post graduation was at the NY Asian Women’s Center (now Womankind) as a counselor/advocate for children and families impacted by domestic violence. Frustrated with the policies and bureaucracy that made it difficult for her clients to get assistance in their time of need, Gigi obtained a Master’s in Social Work with a focus on policy from Columbia’s School of Social Work.

After graduate school, Gigi worked for a decade at Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, fighting for quality services for children, youth, and families. Through organizing rallies, town halls, and policy briefings, she helped triple the SYEP jobs citywide and double the number of Beacon school-based community centers. She was also instrumental in the implementation of universal pre-K and the Community Schools initiative.

In 2009, Gigi was appointed to Manhattan’s Community Board 3 (CB 3), and became the first Asian American in New York City to be elected to serve as board chair in June 2012. As chair of CB 3, Gigi focused on community-based planning, and addressing recovery and resiliency challenges after Superstorm Sandy.

For the past two years, Gigi has devoted her organizing, policy, and community experience to public service, as a chief of staff to a NYC Councilmember. Gigi and her husband Wen Wei, along with their three-month-old daughter Gemmy (and of course their pug, Vito), are proud residents of downtown Manhattan.

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