Liu Still Stumps on Sweatshop Stint
August 24th, 2009
At a senior center in East Harlem this afternoon councilmember and comptroller candidate John Liu defended his claim that he worked in a sweatshop as a child one day after a damaging Daily News story questioned his past.
In the News story, Liu’s mother and several of her friends said she never worked in a Queens sweatshop nor did Liu. She worked from home, they told the News.
In Harlem this afternoon, Liu attributed his mother’s version of the events to a generational gap. His mother, he said, was too afraid to admit that he worked at the garment factory in Long Island City.
“It is true that this is something that a lot of people in my community have gone through, but people don’t talk about it because they are not proud of it. But I am proud of this,” he said, raising his voice amid a crowd of reporters. “The older generation in many cases is not proud of it.”
He continued defending his work history, which he had not mentioned in his previous runs for City Council. His alleged stint in a sweatshop has been a major theme of his citywide campaign so far, including in his first campaign commercial.
“I did not talk about it for many years, but now I am talking about it, and we’re going to keep talking about it,” said Liu, who made his typical stump speech this afternoon, which includes a description of his work at the garment factory.
When reporters asked whether they could confirm Liu’s side of the story with his mother again, Liu said: “My mother is shaken right now. She feels like she hurt me… She was afraid to say that I was involved in legal activity.”
Liu did say his mother would be attending a 5 p.m. rally for him tomorrow in Chinatown’s Chatham Square.By Courtney Gross on August 24, 2009, 3:21 pm
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