BY LUIS GRONDA
A new group has formed to represent the growing Asian community in Forest Hills.
The Forest Hills Asian Association was created by a group of residents of the central Queens neighborhood, including Edwin Wong.
Wong cited a need to gather the growing Asian population in Forest Hills and get them more involved in the community as the main reason for the group’s creation.
“We’re trying to increase awareness of Asian culture in Forest Hills. We want to be there to advocate for the community,” said Wong, who has lived in Forest Hills since 2006.
The group’s motto is A.C.E., A is for advocating and increasing awareness of the growing Asian community; C is for collaborating and serving as ambassadors and liaisons to partner, and support outreach efforts from businesses, community organizations, elected officials; and E is for engaging with and bringing the Asian American community together.
To accomplish their goals, they have teamed up with Musica Reginae Productions, a music company that brings performances to spaces in Queens and other parts of the City.
This partnership allows the company to bring music to Forest Hills and, in turn, the group can encourage people to join the organization at the concerts, according to Wong.
Dan Olson, the president of Musica Reginae, said that they decided to team up with the association because what they are doing is unique and interesting and he believes that joining forces can benefit both parties involved.
“That network is part of what builds a stronger neighborhood,” Olson said.
According to U.S. Census Data, the Asian population in Community Board 6, which covers Forest Hills and Rego Park, has grown to almost 26 percent according to the 2010 census numbers. That is a 19 percent increase compared to the 2000 census. The population increased eight percent from the 1990 census to the 2000 census. The 18 and over population within the Asian community has increased 23 percent from 2000-2010, according to the census numbers.
Wong said he has noticed the change in diversity within Forest Hills in recent years because it’s a very convenient area and, whether you are on Austin Street, Continental Avenue and Queens Boulevard, it has everything that residents need in a place where they live.
According to Wong, their goal is to get members of its group more involved in the community including attending community board meetings and precinct council meetings.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.