NEW YORK – A top adviser to Andrew Yang once criticized the New York mayoral candidate’s treatment of a woman who worked for him, and on another occasion tweeted a shorthand to describe the NYPD.
Sasha Neha Ahuja, then a local progressive activist, made the remarks in 2019 after the New York Commission on Gender Equality held a hearing that contained statements by a former Yang employee who said she was fired after her marriage . Ahuja sits on the commission and heads another city agency that deals with preventing discrimination in the workplace.
“Kimberly Watkins testified that after getting married, presidential candidate @AndrewYang fired her for not wanting to work that hard,” she tweeted. Link to a story about the allegation. “I wish I could say it was amazing.”
Yang has previously disputed allegations During his presidential election he allowed a misogynist work culture. More recently, he has been criticized after him needed some mayor campaign staff Sign non-disclosure agreements that attracted anger by Maya Wiley, another candidate for mayor. The campaign has since ended the practice.
Ahuja, now co-campaign manager for Yang, said in a statement Friday that she was surprised by the allegations when she heard them, but decided to join the former presidential candidate nonetheless.
“It is incredibly important for us to listen to the experiences of everyone in the workplace, especially those who are most likely to face discrimination – people of color, women of color, LGBTQ people and those of us whose identities are ticked all the boxes”, said she said. “It is also important to ensure that all sides are heard and to promote a workplace culture that is inclusive and promotes justice.
“That’s why I took the chance when I got the chance to work for Andrew and build that kind of culture on a mayoral campaign and I’m so excited to be here.”
Another tweet from Ahuja in 2012 could upset New York police officers. After a New York Times report found that former police commissioner Ray Kelly had participated in an anti-Islam film and later expressed his regret, Ahuja tweeted the story and wrote: “F the po’s”, abbreviation for f – k the Police.
That feeling seems to contradict Yang’s softer tone of policing during the campaign. While calling for reforms, including a civilian commissioner and requiring civil servants to live in the five boroughs, he has also been careful to highlight rising crime and security concerns among New Yorkers. In this way, he has set himself apart from rivals who characterize the NYPD as a largely divisive force that needs to be slashed in budget.
Yang brushed off the tweet, saying that he had purposely put together a team with different viewpoints.
“The rest of the field can focus on my coworkers’ tweets from years ago, but we’re focusing on the big ideas like money relief, Covid response and economic recovery that New Yorkers are looking for their next mayor,” Yang said in one Explanation. “I wanted my team to represent a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and views, and I’m proud that all of these people fight with me for New Yorkers.”