On October 17th, from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM, KACE hosted a “Meet the Candidate” with Josh Gottheimer for Congress, the Democratic nominee for New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District. Anticipated to be the most competitive and the most expensive congressional district race of 2016, roughly 70% of voters in NJ-5 reside in Bergen County and is the second most Korean American voter population in New Jersey. According to the New […]
In light of the upcoming Presidential Election, Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) released its Korean American Voter Data Analysis for both New York and New Jersey on October 6, 2016. For New York State, in terms of the total number of Korean American registered voters, there is a 2,300 increase in Korean American voters when compared to the previous year’s data analysis. This brings the count of Korean American registered […]
<Losers who fulfill their duties are not losers>
The 2014 Midterm Elections have ended with the ruling Democratic Party suffering a complete defeat. The Republican Party gained control of the Senate by keeping its 3 seats and picking up 7. In addition, the GOP also picked up 10 seats in the lower chamber. While the Republican Party has achieved a sweeping victory in 70 years, the Democratic Party, which once seized control of both the Senate and the House in the 2006 Midterm Elections during the Bush administration, has degenerated into a minor party within 8 years. As the opposition party became the majority in D.C., it seems inevitable that the remainder of President Obama’s political journey be a daunting and formidable one.
According to the analysis of the 2014 Midterm Elections results, the voters seem to be holding the Obama Administration responsible; although they cast their votes for the GOP, it is not because they approved of its political strategies, but because they were deeply disappointed at the Obama Administration.
In fact, the ethnic minorities who voted for Obama in the last presidential election did not participate, making this year’s midterm election turnout the lowest in 30 years. For this reason, it is difficult to accurately comprehend the public sentiment based on this year’s midterm election results. Even though the GOP achieved a landslide victory, it is hard to predict that it will be in an advantageous position for the 2016 presidential election.
However, the current voting tendency of the electorate is favorable for the minority presidential candidates. This is because only the ethnic minority voter groups create the bandwagon effect in elections. An ideal presidential election requires two important things: a voter turnout and cohesiveness. First, the electorate must participate in elections. Voter turnout is far more important than the mere number of eligible voters because it leads to unity and cohesion, which further leads to a surge of votes. Although it is premature to say that Korean American voters show this tendency, experts are cautiously asserting that Korean American electorate possesses such potential. Thus, evidently the most important thing is voter participation.
From this year’s midterm election, the Korean American community must learn two important lessons. First and foremost, if a candidate runs for an election for the Korean American community, he or she must have a background in the grassroots activity of the community. Secondly, the election campaign fund must be made at an early stage. For example, the title as ‘a grassroots politician’ allowed Ron Kim to successfully win the seat of the House at the reelection in the fifth congressional district of Flushing. Ron Kim had a clear answer to the question, “Why should I cast my vote for you?”—his answer was “I am a son of Flushing. I was born and raised and was active in this area.” In a local district election, there isn’t a stronger winning tactic. One of the most apparent weaknesses of New Jersey’s candidate, Roy Cho, was that he did not have a valid answer to confront the overwhelming criticism that he suddenly appeared from a thin air to run for the office. Roy Cho needed to let his name be known among the local Korean American electorate at least a few years before the election. Moreover, he was also falling behind in amassing his campaign funds. Undeniably, a crucial factor in anyone who is running for an election is “Early Money”. Despite the fact that Roy Cho earnestly asked for Korean American voters to support him in raising his campaign fund, the actual fund raising campaign wasn’t initiated until June of this year, ultimately resulting in his failure. Clearly, timing is a crucial factor in a candidate’s success. Although Roy Cho had the determination, will, and capacity of being competent congressman, he did not utilize his time wisely in his election campaigns. In all, it is the responsibility of Korean American candidates to fully prepare themselves before running for an election, but at the same time, the Korean American community should also maintain a heightened level of professionalism.
The world of politics is a cold place. An incumbent assemblyman, who was able to keep his seat amidst the Korean voters who were wild for Korean American candidate, stated “Although not a single Korean supported me, I still managed to increase my polling rate compared to last year’s”. This is an important comment for the Korean American community, including Korean candidates, to acknowledge. Taking this into consideration and handling these kinds of things wisely is what promotes our political empowerment.
Midterm elections are over. What scares me is that there might be no future Korean American candidates running for elections any more. What is really needed is increasing voter registrations and encouraging voter participations for the growth of the Korean American community.
<Losers who fulfill their duties are not losers> The 2014 Midterm Elections have ended with the ruling Democratic Party suffering a complete defeat. The Republican Party gained control of the Senate by keeping its 3 seats and picking up 7. In addition, the GOP also picked up 10 seats in the lower chamber. While the Republican Party has achieved a sweeping victory in 70 years, the Democratic Party, which once […]
On October 28th, KACE hosted “Meet the Candidate” with the Republican candidates for Bergen County Freeholders and Bergen County Executive. Dubbed “Team Donovan,” the Republican candidates include the incumbent County Executive Kathleen Donovan and Freeholder candidates Bob Avery (Ridgefield) and Bernadette Walsh (Ridgewood).
Leaders of several Korean American organizations in Bergen County, along with KACE Interns, attended the event to eagerly discuss with the candidates their concerns and ask questions regarding issues that affect the Korean American community in Bergen County. The attendees included President Taebok Kang of Korean American Senior Citizens’ Association of NJ, President Kenneth Yu of the Korean American Association of New Jersey, and President Myung-geun Park of Korean American Chamber of Commerce of NJ.
During the series of questions, the incumbent County Executive Kathleen Donovan cited her involvement with the “Comfort Women” victims and dedication of a memorial in their honor as the most memorable of the many experiences she’s had with the Korean American community in the past 4 years.
The candidates of “Team Donovan” then explained that their priority is to decrease the county government’s spending, with a particular focus on lowering the property tax across the county, as the incumbent has in her first term. Bob Avery elaborated on the “shared services” initiative that the county government has been working on and argued that the amount of property taxes throughout Bergen County can be reduced by a third, simply by combining police, fire, and public works departments among 5 to 6 neighboring municipalities.
Regarding the LG Electronics HQ project in Englewood Cliffs, Donovan defended the construction project, saying that LG followed all legal steps for approval, even though she respects all the criticism against it. She further shared her optimism for an increase in employment and revenue that the new LG headquarters is expected to bring in.
The candidates further expressed their support for more involvement of the Korean Americans in not only the private sector, but also the public sector. Citing her recent employment of 2 Korean bilingual dispatchers in emergency services and 4 Korean bilingual candidates for the County Police, Ms. Donovan remarked that she and her running mates will always support any Korean Americans become community leaders so that the face of Bergen County truly represents its people.
Lastly, regarding the Blue Laws in the county, the candidates cautiously responded that although the Laws are necessary, there should be more flexibility, such as allowing each municipality to decide to suit its own needs.
On October 28th, KACE hosted “Meet the Candidate” with the Republican candidates for Bergen County Freeholders and Bergen County Executive. Dubbed “Team Donovan,” the Republican candidates include the incumbent County Executive Kathleen Donovan and Freeholder candidates Bob Avery (Ridgefield) and Bernadette Walsh (Ridgewood). Leaders of several Korean American organizations in Bergen County, along with KACE Interns, attended the event to eagerly discuss with the candidates their concerns and ask questions regarding issues […]
August 28, 2013, Tenafly councilman candidates of both party visited KACE New Jersey Office. Councilwoman Martha Kerge (Republican) is running for her 6th term and Mr. Daniel Park, Korean American, is running for his first term in November General Election. Daniel Park is a young Korean American candidate who works to improve Tenafly’s school system, maximize services for Korean Americans, and revamp the downtown small businesses. Three main projects he […]
On August 8th, Bergen County Freeholder Maura R. DeNicola visited Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) to discuss her platform for her re-election in this General Election. She discussed her plans and perspectives on issues critical to the Korean American community, ranging from expanding business opportunities for Korean Americans to ensuring diversity in county government. Freeholder DeNicola graduated from Boston College with a B.A. and earned her Master’s degree at […]
Councilwoman Ila Kasofsky of Fort Lee visited Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) for an interview regarding her current stance in the community on August 6, 2013. She has been councilwoman for the past 12 years and has been working toward keeping Fort Lee green, making the citizens safe and healthy, ensuring government transparency and keeping taxes as low as we can humanly keep them. During her years in office, she […]
[Fort Lee Republican candidate Gary Schwartz and KACE staff and interns.Participating interns from left, Heesung Kim, Dabin Jung, Kyungmin Do, Shinhye Kim, Soyoung Park, Miji Park, Jenny Kim, Shena Sung.]
June 27, 2013, Fort Lee Republican Candidate Gary Schwartz visited KACE to outreach to Korean American voters.
Son of the Jewish and Russian immigrant, Mr. Schwartz has lived in Fort Lee for about 25 years and has a background of working for the New York County Lawyers Association. During the last couple of years, he has worked as an investor.
He is particularly concerned with the increasing development in Fort Lee, especially the building of high rises. He stated that the continued development of high rises will drain the resources of the city. He believes that the taxes will rise and the quality of life will decrease.
Fort Lee has a Korean population of 7,282, out of a total population of 35,411. Koreans account for approximately 20.6% of the town. Fort Lee is noted to have the highest Korean American Voter density of Bergen County. There are 5,437 Korean American citizens and of that number 1,974 are registered voters, which amount to approximately 36.3%. Fort Lee Korean Americans needs to register to vote and actively participate to vote.
When he is elected into office, he plans to reduce the government into a system of basic essentials. He wants to focus on working on education and the town necessities. He also wants the town to become more involved in government and is interested listening to people’s suggestions.
Mr. Schwartz also recognizes the importance of Korean Americans to the Fort Lee population. He stated that many Korean Americans own small businesses, which are essential to the structure of Fort Lee and the United States. In order to revitalize the town economy, Shwartz plans to make sure that tax rates are not too high and remove regulations on businesses. He wants to the challenge the status quo and work for what the towns people need.
[Fort Lee Republican candidate Gary Schwartz and KACE staff and interns.Participating interns from left, Heesung Kim, Dabin Jung, Kyungmin Do, Shinhye Kim, Soyoung Park, Miji Park, Jenny Kim, Shena Sung.] June 27, 2013, Fort Lee Republican Candidate Gary Schwartz visited KACE to outreach to Korean American voters. Son of the Jewish and Russian immigrant, Mr. Schwartz has lived in Fort Lee for about 25 years and has a background […]
On June 16, 2013, the Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) held its 8080 Campaign at New Jersey Harvest Church (Pastor Kim Young Ho). KACE created the 8080 Project in aims to increase the voting participation rate and registration rate amongst Korean Americans. Currently, the Korean American voter registration rate is only around 50% and the voter participation rate is only around 30-40%. KACE aims to raise both of these rates […]
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 […]