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Korean American Voters’ Council (KAVC) held a press conference regarding the redistricting process and concerns of Bergen County’s District 37.

Former mayor of Edison, NJ Jun Choi joined KAVC at the press conference and spoke of providing equal opportunities to minorities such as Asians and Hispanics. He spoke of the importance of expressing the needs of the Latino and Asian groups to the Redistricting Commission and praised KAVC for its well-presented case for the Korean American community during the public hearing.

 Prior to Mr. Choi, Staff Attorney Chejin Park spoke of the importance of Korean American participation in the 2010 Census in deciding the new redistricting proposal. Thanks to the Korean Americans’ active participation, both parties in the Commission had no choice but to heed to the Korean American community’s request as they have achieved so much.

 Also, Jun Choi talked about the African American community, which is 20% of New Jersey’s population, played a major role in the 2000 Redistricting Process. 10 African Americans comprise 13% of the State Assembly, and 4 African Americans comprise 10% of State Senate. However, there is little representation of Asian Americans as there are only 2 Asian Assemblypersons while Asians comprise 23% of the total population. The issue of equal representation for Latinos and Asians came into focus, and the campaign for redistricting District 37 turned out to be the most successful one.

Distribution of the Asian Population in the NEW District 37

MUNICIPALITIES

TOTAL POP

ASIAN ONLY

Asian %

Alpine Boro

1849

482

26.07%

Bogota Boro

8187

803

9.81%

Cresskill Boro

8573

2370

27.64%

Englewood City

27147

2199

8.10%

Englewood Cliffs Boro

5281

2034

38.52%

Fort Lee Boro

35345

13587

38.44%

Hackensack City

43010

4432

10.30%

Leonia Boro

8937

3139

35.12%

Northvale Boro

4640

1114

24.01%

Palisades Park Boro

19622

11350

57.84%

Rockleigh Boro

531

8

1.51%

Teaneck Twp

39776

3622

9.11%

Tenafly Boro

14488

3799

26.22%

TOTAL

217386

48939

22.51%

Note 1: District 36 – 9.86%, District 38 – 13.8%, District 39 – 9.95%

Note 2: There are 15 Black Legislators and most of them were elected from Black-majority districts.

 

KAVC President Dongchan Kim said, “We were not prepared (for redistricting) following the 2000 Census, and we were not able to speak for the Korean American community in New Jersey. The Korean American Community was split into Districts 37, 38, 39 and we waited 10 years for a new chance. We gave all we had to make this happen.” Korean Americans are not scattered anymore, and with the new district mapping, Koreans are placed together now. It is upto them to cultivate the new ground and empower their community. The new goal is to increase the number of Korean American voters from 5,000 to 10,000 and increase voting rates.

 Executive Board Chair Dongsuk Kim said KAVC spent the last 5 years preparing for the success of the Census campaigns and brought in Dr. Byung Gap Min, an advisory member for the US Census Bureau to organize a Census Task Force before any other ethnicities. KAVC strived hard to get ready for the 2010 Redistricting. Now, we have our playing field and those that want to be involved in political affairs must prepare themselves. District 37 wasn’t just redrawn for the sake of it: As it was created with our community’s efforts, we must elect a Korean American to a position in the 2013 Elections. He encouraged the cooperation of the Korean American community and the press to prevent excessive competition among Korean American candidates, like what happened to New York’s District 22.

 

Activities of Korean American Communty in the Past Years

1. 2010 Census Activities

2. Strategic Meetings with other Asian organizations

3. Research and Development of redrawing Korean-populated Districts

4. Testimony and submission of data to the Redistricting Commission

5. Attendance of the Redistricting Commission’s Vote on Proposals


Future Goals

n Voter Registration and Participation

n  Korean American votes will be very influential

 

n Creation of a Future Representative of the Korean American Community

 

n Endless Effort to Find a Role in the Korean American Community

 

n Korean Election Service in Bergen County

n Must comprise at least 5% of the local population

n      More than 10,000 Registered Voters over the age of 18

n  Must use the same language

n  Low comprehension of English

n Must have high English illiteracy rates. 

KOREAN AMERICAN CIVIC EMPOWERMENT
NEW YORK OFFICE: 163-10 NORTHERN BLVD. #307 FLUSHING, NY 11358 TEL: (718) 961-4117 FAX: (718) 961-4603
NEW JERSEY OFFICE: 185 BRIDGE PLAZA N SUITE 306 FORT LEE, NJ 07024 TEL: (201) 488-4201