In the last 5 years, Korean Americans in New York City gave about $1 Million in political contributions, research has shown. The Korean American Voters’ Council (KAVC) researched data from the NYC Campaign Finance Commission (2006-2010) and found that Koreans donated $1,078,874 to politicians. Koreans-Americans donated $27,335 in 2006, $147,760 in 2007, $127,298 in 2008, $771,017 in 2009, and $3,475 in 2010.

 

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Koreans in New York contributed an especially a large amount in 2009 because Kevin Kim, Seungjin Chung, John Choi, PJ Kim ran for City Council, and John Liu ran for the Comptroller position. City Councilman candidate Kevin Kim received the largest sum of $368,016, taking first place. John Liu took the second place with $274,881. Candidate Seungjin Chung received $120,635, Candidate John Choi received $68,082, and PJ Kim with $52,296.

 

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Kevin Kim received the largest amount of donations from the Korean community because he was victorious in the Primary and competed aggressively with Dan Halloran, the incumbent council member. 57% of Kevin Kim’s donations were from Koreans, 83% for Seungjin Chung, 62% for John Choi, and 49% for PJ Kim. PJ Kim received the most donations from constituents other than Koreans. 

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On the other hand, Koreans contributed $2,945,752 to the House candidates in 2007-2010, and the politician that received the largest sum was Rep. Mike Honda, with $139,154.

 

Korean-Americans have continuously donated about 1 million dollars annually. With this amount of money, it should be possible to reach 100 House representatives with $10,000 each. However, there are not many pro-Korean representatives.

 

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Koreans in the US are the minority of minorities. Now is the time for the Korean communities to form ‘Political Action Committees’ to utilize limited funds strategically with objectives in mind. Through this, methods to increase cooperation with politicians and contribute to the Korea-US relations must be thought out.

 

 

In order to research Korean Americans’ political contributions, KAVC created a project involving 20 interns and 10 volunteer students from July to December 2010. Through this project, the importance of strategically applying resources to increase Korean involvement in politics was emphasized and an effort to collect and analyze more data for these activities is in place.

 

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