[Carrol McMorrow(left in middle) Ramon Ferro(right in middle) and KACE interns]

On August 28th 2012, Councilwoman Carrol McMorrow and Council Candidate Ramon Ferro visited the KACE for Community (Korean American Civic Empowerment) office in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Carrol McMorrow, a resident of Englewood Cliffs for more than ten years, has served on the Borough Council of Englewood Cliffs since January 2010. She was part of the Republican majority last year and sought to reduce taxes and increase services for the people of her community. McMorrow has been greatly involved during her time on council, starting road repaving programs, holding the first street fair for Englewood Cliffs, and starting the new technology committee for her borough.

Ramon Ferro, a resident of Englewood Cliffs since 1979, was elected and served on Council in the mid-90’s. He has helped to develop a clean community program for which Englewood Cliffs received an annual grant for. Having been a coach for his community’s soccer and baseball programs, Ferro has been actively involved in Englewood Cliffs as a positive voice for families in his communities that much resemble that of his own.                                                                            

Both Republicans have earned much of their political stance as “fiscal conservatives.” They plan to work together to hold the line on property taxes, rein in spending, and make the government more efficient.

About the experiences with the Korean American community, McMorrow replied that she had  learned much about the Korean culture through a Korean candidate on ballot from last year. She also added that she supported much of the Korean small businesses in the vicinities of her community. Ferro replied to this question by saying that he as well supported the multiple Korean small businesses that served to be very useful in the many years that he had lived in his community. He added that his daughter got married in a dress purchased from a Korean store and that he met many Korean families through his coaching experiences.

McMorrow said that her community had appointed a Korean American to the Board of Health, as well as its first Korean American police officer. The KACE intern also asked what Korean American issues do they candidates feel are currently significant; McMorrow stated that the issue of immigration, communication, and integration are key issues that Korean Americans should face to become more involved in the community. However she felt that the most important issue for Korean Americans involved their use of small businesses and how they can become an active part of their communities with the businesses.

McMorrow said that she would like to help with the language barrier that many cultural minorities in general struggle with in their communities. She emphasized that she would like to have a “diversity committee,” which “would make a commitment to recognize and appreciate diversity” by holding gatherings and helping people to become aware of the different cultures eminent in their town. Ramon replied to this question by saying that he’d welcome more Korean Americans into the Republican party. He also wants to encourage them to become more active as residents in their town by getting involved with their community’s issues.

Both the candidates believe that small businesses should be promoted to aid the unemployment problem surrounding many Korean Americans. They suggested that the B-3 zone in Englewood Cliffs, the zone that connects Englewood Cliffs to Fort Lee should be open to people who would like to open small businesses in the area.

The candidates mainly plan to spread political and social awareness to the Korean American community through websites and through traditional approaches with fliers and pamphlets. McMorrow mentioned that a flu plan program was started in her town, which may further help integrate different culture communities together.  

For the reason why Korean Americans should vote for the Republican candidates, McMorrow replied that a Republican defeat would ultimately result in having a one party system for the town government. She emphasized that the Korean Americans need to know the importance of a true two party government system. McMorrow also stated that lowering taxes is much needed for the town, as it would keep many people from running out of business. Ferro stated that he could relate to the immigration pressures that many Korean Americans currently face. If elected, he said that he would like to decrease the amount of difficulties involved in the opening of small businesses in Englewood Cliffs. He also agreed with McMorrow in that the town should have lower taxes.


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