Today, over 150 Asian American community leaders called for the immediate firing of Edison Mayor Tom Lankey’s Special Assistant, Nilesh Dasondi, after nearly a dozen messages resurfaced of Nilesh Dasondi calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus”. Edison is home to one of the biggest populations of Asian Americans in the State of New Jersey.
Nilesh Dasondi was appointed by Mayor Lankey as Special Assistant over a month ago. His statements were made near the end of 2020 some directed directly towards members of the Chinese community.
“We have seen a rise of hate against the Asian community in the past couple weeks and it is unacceptable and disgusting. We are one community, one town and we will not stand to see the top positions in Edison Town Hall held by those who show hate towards Chinese-Americans,” 150 Community Leaders stated in a joint statement.
“The fact that Mayor Lankey and the Edison Council have been silent on this is unacceptable. We stand together and must send a clear message that hate has no home in Edison and our leadership must represent that.”
Asian American Community Leaders standing against hate and racism in Edison Town Hall include:
Pradip “Peter” Kohtari
Dr Sudhanshu Prasad, former Edison Councilman
Jerry Shi, Edison Board of Education President
Mohin Patel, Edison Board of Education Vice President
Shannon Peng, Edison Board of Education Member
Dr. Yunxia “Yuna” Chen, Edison Board of Education Member
Mahesh Bhagia, Edison Democratic Chairman
Jesal Amin, East Brunswick Republican Party Chair
Vijayarajhavan N. Poondi