By Mark Hallum
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) announced she will be among the Democrats boycotting the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump Friday.
She will instead join the hundreds of thousands expected to protest at the Women’s March on Washington the following day. Meng issued a statement explaining her reasons for avoiding the inauguration, including Trump’s “inflammatory” and “divisive” language.
“With just days before his inauguration, I had hoped that President-elect Trump would put an end to his inflammatory rhetoric. But obviously that pivot has not occurred. I have heard from many constituents and I thought long and hard about this decision. I respect the office of the president and our nation’s peaceful transfer of power. But the president-elect must get the message that his antagonistic and divisive comments are unacceptable. We cannot tolerate attacks on women, minorities or a civil rights icon. We need a leader who will bring our country together, and live up to the dignity and honor of the Oval Office. I look forward to welcoming constituents who travel to Washington, D.C. for this weekend’s festivities, and to engaging the new administration in policy discussions once it has been finalized.”
She added, “I will work with Mr. Trump whenever possible, but this weekend I march.”
Meng is joined by fellow U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn), whose district covers parts of Ridgewood and Woodhaven. Velazquez announced her decision over Twitter Jan. 9 with a link to the Women’s March on Washington website.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall