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On August 14th, 2014, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein visited the interns of Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE).  KACE interns invited Assemblyman Braunstein to learn about his thoughts as an incumbent running in the upcoming election, and his plans for the future. After a brief introduction given by the assemblyman, the interns asked him questions that touch upon various issues pertinent to New York state residents.

Intern Kevin Yoon asked Assemblyman Braunstein about his agenda for future term, and assemblyman replied by stating that he plans to advocate for issues that matter to his constituents the most, ranging from abatement of taxes on co-op residents, to a new legislation that criminalizes people engaging in “revenge porn,” a sharing of sexually explicit images without consent.  Intern Ludia Ock asked what compelled the assemblyman to propose the East Sea legislation. Braunstein stated there are still many disputes surrounding the term “Sea of Japan”, and the students should be exposed to such debate, as well as the reasons behind it.

Ludia Ock also pointed out that overcrowding has become a big problem in the public school system, and asked how the assemblyman plans to address it.  Braunstein answered by saying that he realizes it is a serious problem, and has been pushing to build more schools in his district; however, his initiative has been hindered by funding and his constituents who are opposed to creation of new schools because of the chaos they will create. Intern Andrew Ock asked for the assemblyman’s stance on dramatic increase in MTA fare, and the assemblyman said that he acknowledges the need for the increase in fare due to opening of new routes, but he understands the difficulty it brings to the commuters. Intern Scott Min brought up perhaps one of the most controversial topics in New York at the moment, which is the change in the admissions process for specialized high schools. Braunstein stated that he believes the admissions process should remain the same as of now.

Braunstein concluded the meeting by telling the interns that it is important for young people to understand what difference they can make in our community just by participating and raising light into issues that are currently occurring, and thanked the interns for their insightful and piercing questions.

KOREAN AMERICAN CIVIC EMPOWERMENT
NEW YORK OFFICE: 163-10 NORTHERN BLVD. #307 FLUSHING, NY 11358 TEL: (718) 961-4117 FAX: (718) 961-4603
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