Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) sent policy questionnaires to candidates for Congressional District 6, NYS Senate District 11, NYS Senate District 16, NYS Assembly District 25, and NYS Assembly District 40. KACE took the answers and created a booklet outlining the candidates' policies. This will be a good opportunity for voters to gauge who to vote for on November 6th. The booklet (In English) can be downloaded from below.

The guidebook (in English) can be accessed here. ———►[2012 NY General Election Guide (English)]

 

 

2012 New York State General Elections

16th  Congressional District

Democratic Candidate

Grace Meng(NYS Assemblymember 40th)

1. What made you decide to run for the Congressional office? Why should the voters vote for you?

I decided to run because I care about my constituents and neighbors, and have come to appreciate the various ways I can help them. Although I have been effective as a State Assemblywoman, I know I can provide for my constituents in an even bigger way in Congress.

Over the last few years, I have partaken in breaking the partisan gridlock and paralysis of Albany, while witnessing the gridlock in Washington rising to unprecedented levels. I am confident that I can build bridges in Congress as I have done in Albany, and that the nation sorely needs this kind of new, fresh leadership. When the sitting Congressman announced that he would be retiring, I knew that it was the right time for me to run.

2. What kind of people are residents of the Sixth Congressional District? How do you plan to represent their interest? Please tell us the three items ordered by priority.

The Sixth Congressional District is incredible diverse and decidedly middle class. The district has large percentages of Asian American, Latino, and Jewish voters, as well as many Irish and Italian American voters. This district has a particularly high percentage of seniors. My top priorities include:

1) Getting Queens working again by creating transportation and technology jobs, putting teachers and police officers back to work, and providing tax credits for small businesses.

2) Protecting and strengthening Medicare and Social Security.

3) Improving the quality and affordability of education for our students.

3. When you become a Representative, what committees do you plan to join and what will you do there?

Although I will not necessarily have my choice of committee as a freshman Congresswoman, I will seek appointment on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. I would use this position to push for more federal investment in transportation projects in Queens, including a rail linking LaGuardia to the 7 train, expanded express bus service throughout the district, and a bus terminal in Flushing.

I am also interested in the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Judiciary Committee.

4. Washington still cannot successfully reform the immigration laws. Policies regarding undocumented aliens and immigrants will ultimately decide the future of America. If you are elected into office, how will you make immigration reform a reality?

Comprehensive immigration reform is necessary and urgently needed. The lack of it severely drains our economy and holds us back. It also leads to states taking matters into their own hands in repressive and illegal ways. We must provide a path to citizenship for those already here, while also providing tighter border security. I believe this is an area where Republican and Democrats can find compromise, and I look forward to reaching across the aisle to achieve a resolution to this important issue. I believe my manner of legislating and building bridges could enable me to help broker this. Furthermore, I am a fervent supporter of the Dream Act.

5. The Sixth District is populated with a large number of Korean Americans. These residents want the US Korea relationship to be further improved and strengthened. If you are elected, what will you do to help foster the US Korea Relationship?

I consider the relationship of the United States and Korea to be a special relationship. My husband Wayne Kye is a Korean American, and I have come to appreciate how special Korea and the US‐Korea relationship truly are. This is why I have stated my support of the recent US‐Korea trade deal, despite being criticized by many of my political allies for doing so. Once elected, I will work to strengthen US‐Korea relations even further and emphasize the shared values of the two countries. I fully support President Obama’s pivot toward Asia; this will enable us to help safeguard Korea’s security and economic prosperity.

Republican Candidate

Dan Halloran(NYC Councilman, 19th)

1.      What made you run for office? Why should voters vote for you?

I was encouraged to run for senate by Senator Frank Padavan who ably represented this district for over 38 years delivering for our Senior Citizens, our homeowners, our schools and passing important legislation that has touched the lives of people of all walks of life. Senator Padavan lost in an off year election and we’ve lost the tremendous clout that comes with being in the Majority in the senate. Unlike my opponent I am not a career politician. I am is a middle-class husband, father and business owner genuinely concerned about our neighborhoods and our children's future.

I am proud to have been endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and I know I can work more effectively with Governor Cuomo who has made no secret of the fact that he prefers the fiscally responsible Republican majority.

People in our community should vote for me because I am running for the right reasons.

I proudly served in the United States Air Force and later earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Public Administration from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I am a lifelong New Yorker and sports fan involved with CYO programs for 15 years. I reside in the St. Gregory the Great Parish in Bellerose with my wife and three children.

I am committed to creating jobs and ensuring our government is fiscally responsible, transparent and accountable. 

I am a retired NYPD captain and former advisor to Mayor Giuliani and I will not stand for the corruption that has plagued Albany under Democratic leadership like Senator Sampson of Brooklyn whom the incumbent has pledged to support, Sampson is still under investigation for corruption.

People should vote for me because I have the right experience and I can be effective as our State Senator from the moment I takes the oath of office. I knows what it’s like to raise a family in Queens and to struggle to pay bills and taxes so I understands our community’s concerns and issues. Seeing the quality of life for future generations threatened by runaway government I will fight for common sense measures guided by core principles.  A 25-year veteran of the NYPD I am keenly aware of what works and doesn’t work in City and State government and I am committed to making our government more effective and more responsive to the taxpayer.

I am proud to have received over 17 NYPD awards and commendations and of having been recognized by the FBI for my leadership and dedication but I would be prouder still to have the support of our great and diverse community.

  2.      What kind of people are in your district? How do you plan to represent their interest in the NYS legislature? Please tell us your top three priorities.

The 11th senatorial district is a community made up of well established citizens and newer arrivals of all walks of life, creeds and races. Generally the district is more affluent and more suburban in character than in other parts of New York. There are more homeowners, small business owners, college graduates, professionals and people in the trades than in many parts of the state. The income per capita is higher and as a result folks pay out more in taxes and under the incumbent we are getting less in terms of services and attention than we did under Senator Padavan.

There are Americans of Irish ancestry like myself, Italian-Americans, Korean-Americans and Chinese-Americans, Catholics, Presbyterian, Methodists, Jews and Hindus – all of who came to New York for a better way of life.

There are common interests and concerns. Our Korean-American friends have a kindred commitment to traditional family values and to higher education and handwork and entrepreneurialism that have helped make our country great and are already making invaluable contributions to our society.

My opponent has made his disdain for traditional values and disrespect for newer arrivals known in many ways. For instance he voted against preserving traditional marriage and he has routinely protested and attacked places of worship including Korean churches and Korean businesses for their signage. I do believe this kind of demagoguery serves our community well or raises the level of discourse. There are better ways to show respect and communicate.

I am more traditional and more respectful of those who share our common values.

My Top Three Priorities Follow

Lowering Taxes and Creating Jobs:

Taxes need to be lower for the middle class and small businesses in order to attract jobs and investment and turn our economy around. This will require controlling and prioritizing government spending more effectively.

Seniors on fixed incomes, working families, homeowners and small businesses are already overburdened and the incumbent is wrong to seek increases in taxes, fees, levies and surcharges in this deep recession. The incumbent has failed to recognize that tax increases imposed while constituents are struggled to make end meet and jobs have become scarce is destructive and unfair. That he has done so when delivering far less to the community than his predecessor only make things harder.  

As your State Senator, I will fight to reduce the government excess while alleviating pressures on your family’s budget. I believe that job creation is vital to the future of our district and our state.  Without economic opportunities right here in New York we can expect our children and grandchildren to head for greener pastures. Simply put employers and investors will leave if they are overtaxed and overburdened with redundant and costly regulations leading to fewer jobs and a depressed economy. New York must be a center of commerce and prosperity if we are going to have a bright future and meet all our obligations. Small businesses drive our economy and create jobs. 

Tax cuts targeted to grow small businesses and tax credits that encourage job creation and elimination of redundant and costly licensing fees and regulatory requires are necessary steps toward establishing a better environment for job growth and opportunity.

Investment in our schools and in training programs and in higher education are also necessary steps in order to keep our workforce competitive and to attract capital investment in our State so that we not only curtail job losses but start to grow and prosper again..

Fighting Crime and Addressing Quality of Life Issues:

A retired NYPD Captain and former security advisor to Mayor Giuliani, I know exactly how to make sure that New York remains the safest big city in the United States. He will support our law enforcement officers and make sure they have the resources and support they need to keep us safe. Additionally as a family man, former Civic Association President and a long-time Queens homeowner, I understand the importance of preserving the character of our neighborhoods. I will not be intimidated by big developers and other special interests that have donated vast amounts to the incumbent.  I value my independence and will fight to maintain the quality of life in our district unfettered by such conflicts.

The Best Constituent Services

For many of our constituents- especially our seniors and those for whom English is a second language dealing with City, State and local government presents an almost impossible obstacle to realizing their fill potential as citizen and residents. Agencies come down on small businessman and homeowners with obscure licensing requirements, fines and requirements.

My mentor Senator Padavan had a top notch constituent services office that bridged the gap between our local and state and federal government and got action for our citizens. I will model my office after his and make sure I have staff that can interface and communicate effectively with all our constituents regardless of their nation of origin or language of preference.

I will also work more collaboratively with State and local officials so as not to alienate or anger them as my opponent has done so that my constituents do not suffer. I will use my 25 years of experience in government to get things done for all our communities.

3.      If elected, in which committees are you planning to participate and what should be done in the committees?

Because of my 25 years in law enforcement including two as an advisor to mayor Giuliani I would expect to serve on 1) Crime Victims, Crime and Correction.

Because I believe the Job growth is critical to our future 2) Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business.  Because we must protect and honor our elders 3)Aging and because our children represent our future 4) Education,

4.      The greatest problem we have is jump-starting the local economy. Local small businesses are crucial for the revitalization of the local economy especially. As a member of the state legislature, what kind of activities will you pursue to help small business owners?

I have said far and wide that there are far too many redundant and obscure regulations, licensing fees and fines on a city and state level that at this stage are no longer serving to protect health and safety but instead have become impediments to growth and a revenue stream for our local government. I want these streamlined and I want them transparent and accessible online in plain language every can understand.

I also want lower tax rates and targeted incentives to help new and existing business. My opponent sees small business owners as nothing more than a cash register for more social spending. I see them as the major employers of all, the best engine for growing our economy and for innovations. I will work hand in hand with our business owners to address their concerns because it is the right thing to do and the only way we will ever get our economy moving again.

5.      How much discretionary funding does an assembly member/senator can use and how will you spend it? In your opinion, how much of it will the Korean-American community receive?

I have said time and again that the current incumbent’s propensity to alienate his colleagues has shortchanged our community materially and the facts bare this out. Under Senator Padavan his budget was over $1 million dollars. Now given the budget crisis there is a virtual moratorium but Governor Cuomo though a Democrat has indicated time and again he would rather work with the more responsible Republican Majority than the hapless and scandal plagued Democrats in the Senate. Our community pays more than its fair share and under Tony Avella gets nothing back. Nothing. That must change. If member items are fully restored in the next session I am committed to a fair allocation fully reflective of our district, its communities and our priorities we share together. If member items are not restored I will be able to effectively interface with Executive Agencies to get resources into the district because being in the Senate Majority means we control the purse strings for the executive Agencies so they have to be respectful and responsive to our requests.

6.      After you are elected, do you have any plan to partake with the Korean American community? How will you start it up?

As I’ve noted the Korean-American community and its contributions to our neighborhoods and society are great and will only grow. I will work with the Korean American association of Greater New York, with the Korean American Business Council of New York, with the Korean American Human Services Providers Association, the Korean American Association of Queens and the Korean American Civic Empowerment Association and other groups you recommend to form a permanent taskforce to meet with me regularly to ensure that our community’s needs and concerns are met. I will also look to you immediately for recommendations regarding key staffing and allocation of resources and for legislative initiatives. This way language barrier will never be an issue. Ours will be a partnership and a great relationship very different than that you’ve seen with my opponent who has been belligerent and disrespectful to the Korean-American community from his days in the city council including his last two years in the Senate.

New York State Senate 11th District

Democratic Candidate

Tony Avella(NYS Senator 11th)

  1. What made you run for office?  Why should voters vote for you?

I am running for re-election to the New York State Senate to continue my lifelong efforts to make government work for working people. 

Throughout my political career, I have always believed that the people who know their community the best are those who live there.  For this reason, my office has always had an “open door policy” where anyone can meet with me to discuss any issues, concerns or difficulties, no matter how small or big they are.  My constituents inform me on the issues that directly affect their lives, and rest assured, their voices will be heard in Albany through my voice. 

In addition, I have always been a strong and independent voice in the City Council and now in the State Legislature.  I am not afraid to fight for what is best for my constituents and to make the right choices without getting distracted by special interest groups and without letting partisan politics derail my legislative efforts to improve our community. 

In the last two years as a State Senator, I have been proud to be a part of the monumental change taking place in Albany.  I helped pass two on time budgets as well as sweeping and comprehensive ethics reform.  Albany is finally beginning to turn the corner, and we cannot turn back. 

Your vote will allow me to work hard everyday to ensure that government works for all of us regardless of our race, gender, religion, or language.  

  1. What kind of people are in your district?  How do you plan to represent their interest in the New York State Legislature?  Please tell us your top three priorities.

I am truly honored to represent Queens, one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse communities in the nation.  In my capacity as a legislator, I will continue to represent our diverse community through working closely with our residents, community/cultural/religious organizations, civic associations, and community boards.  I will always maintain open communication with all of my constituents to understand and address issues that may be unique to their ethnicity or religious affiliation.  For example, I have hired Korean and Chinese speaking staff members to best assist and represent my constituents whose primary language is Korean or Chinese.  My office will also help my constituents in obtaining assistance from the City, State and, at times, Federal agencies.

My top priories are

  1. Ensuring that New York State government serves all its people no matter what language they speak.  For example, last year, I led 22 Senate colleagues in urging Governor Cuomo to issue an order that would require critical state government agencies to provide interpretation services and translation of vital documents.  As a result, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order No. 26 that directed state agencies to provide free interpretation and translation in 6 non-English languages, including Korean.  I will continue my fight to ensure that all government services become accessible for individuals whose primary language is non-English.
  2. Protect the most vulnerable among us by continuing to support funding healthcare, community organizations and social service programs for Queens residents and senior citizens.
  3. Encourage economic growth by creating jobs and lowering property taxes
     
  1. If elected, what committees are you planning to participate and what should be done in the committees?

As a freshman senator, I was honored to have been appointed to 7 Committees, including Aging, Agriculture, Banks, Cities, Education, Environmental Conservation, and Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.  In addition, I was appointed to serve as the ranking Democratic member for the Senate's Cities and Environmental Conversation Committees. 

As a ranking minority member of the Senate's Environmental Conservation Committee, I was able to lead the fight to keep New York's water clean against the effects of hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking).   Hydrofracking is an extremely dangerous drilling process for natural gas, which utilizes a mixture of water and toxic chemicals that have been shown to be associated with public health risks such as cancer and developmental delays.  I hope to continue my fight to promote environmental justice. 

In addition, through the Aging Committee, I plan to support and advance bills that would ensure affordable housing and healthcare for senior citizens of this community.  My involvement in the Education Committee will allow me to help improve our educational system, increase opportunities for higher education and enhance the safety of young people. 

  1. The greatest problem we have is jump-starting the local economy.  Local small businesses are crucial for the revitalization of the local economy especially.  As a member of the State Legislature, what kind of activities will you pursue to help small business owners?

I certainly agree that small businesses are the backbone of New York's economy. 

As a legislator, I will continue to create and support bills that would promote growth of local small businesses.  This year, I voted for the 2012 New Jobs – NY Job Creation Plan, which would provide 20% corporate tax cut for small businesses, provide 10% personal income tax credit for small businesses, and provide incentives for each new job created by giving businesses a tax credit of up to $5,000 for each new job they create.  Under this plan, an enhanced tax credit of up to $8,000 will be given to the employer for hiring someone who is currently unemployed.  This plan would also include a new “angel investor” tax credit program to help ensure that promising business start-ups have access to the investment capital they need to grow and expand. 

In addition, I voted in favor of Senate Bill S.2461, also known as the Honesty in Permit Processing Act, which would address unresponsiveness of state agencies especially when it comes to a professional license or a permit.  This bill would require agencies to publicly disclose their response times and to tell applicants how long they can expect to wait for approval. 

As your advocate, I will listen to your concerns and address them as best as I can.  For example, I recently met with representatives of the Korean Seafood Association of New York to discuss how we can protect Korean retailers at the Fulton Fish Market from wholesalers who mislabel names and weights of fish offered for sale.  At my request, various government agencies on City, State and Federal levels are currently investigating this matter.  I am also working with the organization to develop possible State legislation to ensure that the wholesalers can no longer engage in such deceptive practices. 

  1. How much discretionary funding can a Senator use and how will you spend it?  In your opinion, how much of it will the Korean-American community receive?

Unfortunately, since 2010, the executive branch of the State has eliminated discretionary funds that could be used to fund local programs in state legislators' districts.  The loss of these funds has placed tremendous financial burden on local groups that have relied on this supportive funding to provide vital community programs to the State's residents. Community programs have been left in the cold in their efforts to provide educational, recreational, cultural and senior programs to communities that have relied on those services for years.  This includes things like senior centers, youth sports programs like Little Leagues, afterschool programs and many, many other important community based programs.

I have had opportunities to meet with various Korean American community organizations, including senior centers, ESOL and citizenship programs, social services, domestic violence shelters, youth programs, and many more.  I believe that each and every Korean-American community organization that has come to my office for assistance deserves discretionary funding.  I was very sad to learn that some of them will be forced to close soon without additional funding.

To this end, I introduced legislation (S.7276 and S.7335) that would create a new lottery scratch off game whose proceeds would be strictly dedicated to a new Community Grant Fund.  I believe that my legislation, once enacted, will help provide these groups with the funding they desperately need.

  1. After you are elected, do you have any plan to partake with the Korean American community?  How will you start it up?

I have been deeply involved in issues and matters that concern the Korean Americans.  I will continue to listen and communicate with the Korean American community.  As I already mentioned, a Korean-speaking staff will be able to assist constituents whose primary language is Korean.  I have assisted many Korean American residents on a variety of issues ranging from repairing potholes, obtaining federal assistance for individuals affected by Hurricane Irene, assisting with visa related inquiries, and helping individuals apply for government provided services, including the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program. 

As I explained in question #2, I have played a leading role in requiring State government to provide the necessary interpretation and translation services to Korean speaking individuals to ensure that they can access State government services.  I am also a co-sponsor of a Senate Bill, which would require pharmaceutical companies to provide their prescription and labels in another language for non-English speakers. 

I understand that East Sea and Comfort Women issues are extremely important issues for the Korean American community.  I worked with the Korean American Parents Association to urge the United Nations to adopt the name East Sea.  In addition, after being informed of the comfort women issue, I wrote to Japan’s Prime Minister Noda, asking him to sincerely apologize for the crime against humanity committed through the Comfort Women system. 

Most of all, I will always be available to address any issues or to consider legislative ideas that may be unique to the Korean-American community. 

Republican Candidate

Joseph Concannon(Former NYPD Caption)

1.      What made you run for office? Why should voters vote for you?

I was encouraged to run for senate by Senator Frank Padavan who ably represented this district for over 38 years delivering for our Senior Citizens, our homeowners, our schools and passing important legislation that has touched the lives of people of all walks of life. Senator Padavan lost in an off year election and we’ve lost the tremendous clout that comes with being in the Majority in the senate. Unlike my opponent I am not a career politician. I am is a middle-class husband, father and business owner genuinely concerned about our neighborhoods and our children's future.

I am proud to have been endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and I know I can work more effectively with Governor Cuomo who has made no secret of the fact that he prefers the fiscally responsible Republican majority.

People in our community should vote for me because I am running for the right reasons.

I proudly served in the United States Air Force and later earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Public Administration from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I am a lifelong New Yorker and sports fan involved with CYO programs for 15 years. I reside in the St. Gregory the Great Parish in Bellerose with my wife and three children.

I am committed to creating jobs and ensuring our government is fiscally responsible, transparent and accountable. 

I am a retired NYPD captain and former advisor to Mayor Giuliani and I will not stand for the corruption that has plagued Albany under Democratic leadership like Senator Sampson of Brooklyn whom the incumbent has pledged to support, Sampson is still under investigation for corruption.

People should vote for me because I have the right experience and I can be effective as our State Senator from the moment I takes the oath of office. I knows what it’s like to raise a family in Queens and to struggle to pay bills and taxes so I understands our community’s concerns and issues. Seeing the quality of life for future generations threatened by runaway government I will fight for common sense measures guided by core principles.  A 25-year veteran of the NYPD I am keenly aware of what works and doesn’t work in City and State government and I am committed to making our government more effective and more responsive to the taxpayer.

I am proud to have received over 17 NYPD awards and commendations and of having been recognized by the FBI for my leadership and dedication but I would be prouder still to have the support of our great and diverse community.

2.      What kind of people are in your district? How do you plan to represent their interest in the NYS legislature? Please tell us your top three priorities.

The 11th senatorial district is a community made up of well established citizens and newer arrivals of all walks of life, creeds and races. Generally the district is more affluent and more suburban in character than in other parts of New York. There are more homeowners, small business owners, college graduates, professionals and people in the trades than in many parts of the state. The income per capita is higher and as a result folks pay out more in taxes and under the incumbent we are getting less in terms of services and attention than we did under Senator Padavan.

There are Americans of Irish ancestry like myself, Italian-Americans, Korean-Americans and Chinese-Americans, Catholics, Presbyterian, Methodists, Jews and Hindus – all of who came to New York for a better way of life.

There are common interests and concerns. Our Korean-American friends have a kindred commitment to traditional family values and to higher education and handwork and entrepreneurialism that have helped make our country great and are already making invaluable contributions to our society.

My opponent has made his disdain for traditional values and disrespect for newer arrivals known in many ways. For instance he voted against preserving traditional marriage and he has routinely protested and attacked places of worship including Korean churches and Korean businesses for their signage. I do believe this kind of demagoguery serves our community well or raises the level of discourse. There are better ways to show respect and communicate.

I am more traditional and more respectful of those who share our common values.

My Top Three Priorites Follow

Lowering Taxes and Creating Jobs:

Taxes need to be lower for the middle class and small businesses in order to attract jobs and investment and turn our economy around. This will require controlling and prioritizing government spending more effectively.

Seniors on fixed incomes, working families, homeowners and small businesses are already overburdened and the incumbent is wrong to seek increases in taxes, fees, levies and surcharges in this deep recession. The incumbent has failed to recognize that tax increases imposed while constituents are struggled to make end meet and jobs have become scarce is destructive and unfair. That he has done so when delivering far less to the community than his predecessor only make things harder.  

As your State Senator, I will fight to reduce the government excess while alleviating pressures on your family’s budget. I believe that job creation is vital to the future of our district and our state.  Without economic opportunities right here in New York we can expect our children and grandchildren to head for greener pastures. Simply put employers and investors will leave if they are overtaxed and overburdened with redundant and costly regulations leading to fewer jobs and a depressed economy. New York must be a center of commerce and prosperity if we are going to have a bright future and meet all our obligations. Small businesses drive our economy and create jobs. 

Tax cuts targeted to grow small businesses and tax credits that encourage job creation and elimination of redundant and costly licensing fees and regulatory requires are necessary steps toward establishing a better environment for job growth and opportunity.

Investment in our schools and in training programs and in higher education are also necessary steps in order to keep our workforce competitive and to attract capital investment in our State so that we not only curtail job losses but start to grow and prosper again..

Fighting Crime and Addressing Quality of Life Issues:

A retired NYPD Captain and former security advisor to Mayor Giuliani, I know exactly how to make sure that New York remains the safest big city in the United States. He will support our law enforcement officers and make sure they have the resources and support they need to keep us safe. Additionally as a family man, former Civic Association President and a long-time Queens homeowner, I understand the importance of preserving the character of our neighborhoods. I will not be intimidated by big developers and other special interests that have donated vast amounts to the incumbent.  I value my independence and will fight to maintain the quality of life in our district unfettered by such conflicts.

The Best Constituent Services

For many of our constituents- especially our seniors and those for whom English is a second language dealing with City, State and local government presents an almost impossible obstacle to realizing their fill potential as citizen and residents. Agencies come down on small businessman and homeowners with obscure licensing requirements, fines and requirements.

My mentor Senator Padavan had a top notch constituent services office that bridged the gap between our local and state and federal government and got action for our citizens. I will model my office after his and make sure I have staff that can interface and communicate effectively with all our constituents regardless of their nation of origin or language of preference.

I will also work more collaboratively with State and local officials so as not to alienate or anger them as my opponent has done so that my constituents do not suffer. I will use my 25 years of experience in government to get things done for all our communities.

3.      If elected, in which committees are you planning to participate and what should be done in the committees?

Because of my 25 years in law enforcement including two as an advisor to mayor Giuliani I would expect to serve on 1) Crime Victims, Crime and Correction.

Because I believe the Job growth is critical to our future 2) Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business.  Because we must protect and honor our elders 3)Aging and because our children represent our future 4) Education,

4.      The greatest problem we have is jump-starting the local economy. Local small businesses are crucial for the revitalization of the local economy especially. As a member of the state legislature, what kind of activities will you pursue to help small business owners?

I have said far and wide that there are far too many redundant and obscure regulations, licensing fees and fines on a city and state level that at this stage are no longer serving to protect health and safety but instead have become impediments to growth and a revenue stream for our local government. I want these streamlined and I want them transparent and accessible online in plain language every can understand.

I also want lower tax rates and targeted incentives to help new and existing business. My opponent sees small business owners as nothing more than a cash register for more social spending. I see them as the major employers of all, the best engine for growing our economy and for innovations. I will work hand in hand with our business owners to address their concerns because it is the right thing to do and the only way we will ever get our economy moving again.

5.      How much discretionary funding does an assembly member/senator can use and how will you spend it? In your opinion, how much of it will the Korean-American community receive?

I have said time and again that the current incumbent’s propensity to alienate his colleagues has shortchanged our community materially and the facts bare this out. Under Senator Padavan his budget was over $1 million dollars. Now given the budget crisis there is a virtual moratorium but Governor Cuomo though a Democrat has indicated time and again he would rather work with the more responsible Republican Majority than the hapless and scandal plagued Democrats in the Senate. Our community pays more than its fair share and under Tony Avella gets nothing back. Nothing. That must change. If member items are fully restored in the next session I am committed to a fair allocation fully reflective of our district, its communities and our priorities we share together. If member items are not restored I will be able to effectively interface with Executive Agencies to get resources into the district because being in the Senate Majority means we control the purse strings for the executive Agencies so they have to be respectful and responsive to our requests.

6.      After you are elected, do you have any plan to partake with the Korean American community? How will you start it up?

As I’ve noted the Korean-American community and its contributions to our neighborhoods and society are great and will only grow. I will work with the Korean American association of Greater New York, with the Korean American Business Council of New York, with the Korean American Human Services Providers Association, the Korean American Association of Queens and the Korean American Civic Empowerment Association and other groups you recommend to form a permanent taskforce to meet with me regularly to ensure that our community’s needs and concerns are met. I will also look to you immediately for recommendations regarding key staffing and allocation of resources and for legislative initiatives. This way language barrier will never be an issue. Ours will be a partnership and a great relationship very different than that you’ve seen with my opponent who has been belligerent and disrespectful to the Korean-American community from his days in the city council including his last two years in the Senate.

New York State Senate 16th District

Democratic Candidate Toby Ann Stavisky(Senator 11th) – She did not send us her answer

Republican Candidate

JD Kim(Lawyer)

1.      What made you run for office? Why should voters vote for you?

Senate District 16 is one of the most diverse in the nation. I feel that with my background, which is also diverse, I can stand in between the communities and build the bridges so that there is economic (and also social) integration. 

With a New York State study showing that the Flushing Asian community has 30 percent greater growth, the highest home ownership and continued job growth, this is one of the solutions I see to get our local economy out of the recession.

I hope that residents will vote for me so I can get to work on this.

2.      What kind of people are in your district? How do you plan to represent their interest in the NYS legislature? Please tell us your top three priorities.

As indicated above, a very diverse group of communities reside in the district, including Caucasian, Jewish-American, Hispanic-American, Chinese-American and Korean-American.

The best way that I feel I can represent them is to continue to listen and gain a deep understanding of each group. My legislative priorities are 1) Strengthen Small Businesses 2) At the same time, protect workers 3) Take care of the weakest members of society

3.      If elected, in which committees are you planning to participate and what should be done in the committees?

The committees I would like to serve on are as follows: 1) Children & Families 2) Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business and 3) Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation

The first committee is to continue to work I have done as a family lawyer protecting children – the real court experience I have for the past 8 years will help me to draft helpful legislation. The second committee is to try to strengthen Small Businesses, as spelled out above. The third is to better assist our diverse communities to share and spread their unique cultures.

4.      The greatest problem we have is jump-starting the local economy. Local small businesses are crucial for the revitalization of the local economy especially. As a member of the state legislature, what kind of activities will you pursue to help small business owners?

Please see my response to Question one. 

Additionally, any legislation that has to do with English signs for businesses must be designed to provide support and assistance to put up such signs – not to impose a penalty. 

Economic integration can lead to a bigger pie and increased economic activity. This is good for the whole district.

5.      How much discretionary funding does an assembly member/senator can use and how will you spend it? In your opinion, how much of it will the Korean-American community receive?

As a member of the Republican Senate majority, I would have far greater amounts of discretionary spending available to me than a Democrat.

I have repeatedly promised to disburse this fairly and equally among the communities.

6.      After you are elected, do you have any plan to partake with the Korean American community? How will you start it up?

If elected, I will certainly continue to be a part of the Korean-American community. The most specific manner would be to continue to help the weakest members – such as seniors and children.

New York State Assembly 25th District

Democratic Candidate

Nily Rozic(Former Staff of Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh)

1. What made you run for office? Why should voters vote for you?  

I am a first generation American who moved with my family to Fresh Meadows when I was three years old. As Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, I worked tirelessly to make a real difference in the lives of everyday New Yorkers including protecting senior centers and programs from drastic cuts, promoting consumer protection and enhanced public safety, and expanding neighborhood bus service.  Additionally, I work on many election reform legislative initiatives like the Voter Friendly Ballot Act which would make ballots easier to read and more accessible to voters, and the Voter Empowerment Act of New York, which, would amend the election law to update, streamline and make more efficient the voter registration process in New York. I continue to be active in the community, serving on Community Board 8 as a member of the Transportation, Land Use and Education Committees, as an active member of Hillcrest Jewish Center and a member of the Townsend Harris HS Alumni Association.

I am product of this community. My parents chose Eastern Queens because the schools were great and the streets were safe. It is the place I was raised, attended school and have chosen to stay. I am deeply invested in the future of this district.

I have a strong work ethic that came from the way in which I was raised that I look forward to applying to this district. I spent many years working in the State Assembly as the Chief of Staff to Assemblymember Kavanagh and bring years of experience navigating the state legislature. My prior work will allow me to hit the ground running, to build on existing relationships and advocate effectively for our district.

2. What kind of people are in your district? How do you plan to represent their interest in the NYS legislature? Please tell us your top three priorities.

I am very proud of the work I did in the Assembly already, and I will continue using my skills, my passion and my work ethic to represent community interests. I believe people who work in government have a responsibility to make communities stronger. We need a government that creates solutions and encourages underrepresented populations like working families, women, immigrants and young people.

There are three legislative issues I want to work on and I think have traction in Albany right now.

  • As a first generation immigrant, I know how difficult it is to gain citizenship and earn a solid education. Whether you’ve been here two years or ten, every immigrant should have the opportunity to improve their lives and have access to higher education. That’s why I feel strongly that New York State should pass the DREAM Act.
  • Second, there is nothing like being a first time candidate to teach one of the need for campaign finance reform. We need to level the playing field and make our system open and more accessible.
  • And finally, it is time for New York to raise its minimum wage enough to help more than 600,000 struggling workers. It makes sense for working families and our communities, and it would help our economy recover.

Locally, I am focused on easing overcrowding in our schools, involving parents in the school decision making process, and improving the community’s subpar transit options. I will work to ensure that all of our students receive an excellent education that will set them up for success both in higher education and the workplace. Additionally, enhancing language access in the realm of education and healthcare are crucial to helping our communities. It is also important to improve access to cancer detection and prevention services, particularly in Queens where cancer rates are higher than elsewhere.

3. If elected, in which committees are you planning to participate and what should be done in the committees?

I intend to request these committees: Health; Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions; Labor; Consumer Affairs & Protection; Energy.

4. The greatest problem we have is jump-starting the local economy. Local small businesses are crucial for the revitalization of the local economy especially. As a member of the state legislature, what kind of activities will you pursue to help small business owners?

Supporting small businesses helps the local community and the economy.  Small business are currently subject to numerous federal, state, and municipal reporting and filing requirements, many of which are difficult to understand for native English speakers, let alone immigrant small business owners with limited English proficiency.  In the Assembly, I will work to minimize the restrictions and maximize access to resources to try to level the playing field for small businesses.

5. How much discretionary funding does an assembly member/senator can use and how will you spend it? In your opinion, how much of it will the Korean-American community receive?

The State Legislature has not had any discretionary funding for the past couple of budget cycles.

6. After you are elected, do you have any plan to partake with the Korean American community? How will you start it up?

Absolutely! Previously, as the Chief of Staff to an Assemblymember, I made sure all of our office’s resources were available in multiple languages. Everything from my business card to voicemail to literature was bilingual or trilingual. As an Assemblywoman, I would look to continue that accessibility and outreach. I would hire staff fluent in Korean, and would also create an office environment that provides resources and assistance for every part of the district, and in particular the Korean American community. I also hope to increase my fluency in Korean. My office would not only bring staff and social workers out into the community via a mobile office, but I would also establish hotlines to deal with everything from housing to consumer protection issues. It is my goal to have my office known as a hub for the Korean American community and a place they can come to and have their issues resolved.

Republican Candidate

Abe Fuchs(US Postal Service)

1. What made you run for office?

I get along with all people, am able to reason with anyone who is willing to be reasonable. I would reach across the isle and seek common ground to solve solutions. I don't let ego and party loyalty get in the way of seeking out the truth to solve problems.  I believe I have many common sense solutions to problems that confront our communities.

 Why should voters vote for you?

I have integrity. I have been a landlord for over 20 years and treated every one of my tenants fairly. In business, I honor agreements and am responsible with everyone that I deal with. I worked in the U.S. Postal Service for 25 years and learned from many people about their culture and world perspectives. I would act the same way in the N.Y. State Assembly, if elected.

2. What kind of people are in your district?

Mainly Asians and whites.

How do you plan to  represent their interest in the NYS legislature? Please tell us your top three priorities.

To provide school vouchers and tax credits for students so that each student

should be able to go to the school of their choice and they shouldn't have to pay separate tuition for their private school. Middle class tax relief by shifting tax burden from them to the very wealthy. Middle class families should not have to subsidize the children of the wealthy to go to public schools. Institute character development training as part of the educational curriculum so that children should behave better, treat each other better by not bullying and fighting each other. Students should also have more respect for authority figures and they should do better in school. They shoud also treat their teachers and parents with more respect.

There should be more vocational programs in schools so that children who aren't inclined to go to college should still learn specialized training that would give them a good wage to work within healthcare or manufacturing. There are many jobs that American students are not able to fill because they aren't trained in specialty skills.

3. If elected, in which committees are you planning to participate  and what should be done in the committees?

Budget/Finance – make budget on time.

Education – reform the whole system as discussed above.

Business – establish reasonable regulations not to stifle small businesses.

4. The greatest problem we have is jump-starting the local economy. Local small businesses are crucial for the revitalization of the local economy especially. As a member of the state legislature, what kind of activities will you pursue to help small business owners?

The middle class needs tax relief from school taxes and otherwise. The middle class needs more purchasing power to buy products and services from businesses and in so doing would empower businesses to grow and hire more people.

5. How much discretionary funding does an assembly member/senator can use and how will you spend it? In your opinion, how much of it will the Korean-American community receive?

I am not aware of how much funding I will have or how much I would spend on the Korean-American community. However I do believe that Korean-Americans who spend money on private tuition should get tax credits for that. Also, there should be ample funding to lend to small businesses to get started.

6. After you are elected, do you have any plan to partake with the Korean American community? How will you start it up?

I would hope to be in contact with all of my constituents including the Korean-American community. It would be my job to be in touch with the major concerns of all of the communities that I would represent. Korean-Americans are industrious and contribute greatly to our community and they need and deserve the concern and attention from their elected officials.
 

New York State Assembly 40th District

The Republican Candidate Phil Gim did not answer.

Democratic Candidate

Ron Kim(Former staff of NYS Governner ofice)

  1. What made you run for office? Why should voters vote for you? 
    Ever since my family came to the United States in 1987, I have made my life here in this community. I have spent my whole professional life trying to work to make the larger Flushing community and Queens a better place to live, work and raise a family. I want to continue this work on behalf of the people I care about in Albany.

             I hope people will vote for me because I have the experience and energy to make a difference for them in Albany on Day One. I will not be going to Albany to gain favor or be popular. I am there to serve the people of this district.

  1. What kind of people are in your district? How do you plan to represent their interest in the NYS legislature? Please tell us your top three priorities.

This is one of the most diverse districts in New York City, if not in all of the United States. I plan to be a representative that represents and listens to all of the people of this district, regardless of demographic or ethnic background. My top three           priorities are:

  1. Passing of the DREAM Act
  2. Bringing back all of the court-ordered funding to NYC schools from Albany
  3. Stimulating the local economy by providing incentives for small businesses
  1. If elected, in which committees are you planning to participate and what should be done in the committees?

Committee assignments are made primarily through the Speaker’s Office. I would like to participate on the Ways and Means Committee, Housing Committee and Small Business Committee, among others, because these are the committees  that will bring the most resources and attention to this district. Regardless of what committees I am assigned, I will work hard to learn the issues and represent the residents of the 40th Assembly District in the most professional and diligent manner possible.

  1. The greatest problem we have is jump-starting the local economy. Local small businesses are crucial for the revitalization of the local economy especially. As a member of the state legislature, what kind of activities will you pursue to help small business owners?

We need to stimulate small business activity by looking at new tax credits and/or cuts to ease the burden for expanding and hiring new workers. We need to work with our colleagues in other branches of government and the private sector to provide amenities that our small businesses need, like parking and better mass transit options. We need to provide resources to small business owners in a manner accessible to them – whether that be language, time or place – so that our entrepreneurs can make the very best of the resources the State has to offer.

  1. How much discretionary funding does an assembly member/senator can use and how will you spend it? In your opinion, how much of it will the Korean-American community receive?

Prior to being elected, I cannot commit to securing a set level of discretionary funding for our community, as economic and fiscal factors play a large role in those decisions. I will commit to providing whatever resources I can negotiate for in Albany to the Korean community at a level commensurate to their portion of the total district’s population.

  1. After you are elected, do you have any plan to partake with the Korean American community? How will you start it up?

I will be interacting with the Korean community on a daily basis. I will be attending many events, not just in the Korean community, to engage with residents and stakeholders about the issues critical to them.

 

 

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