For Immediate Release:
January 19, 2008
Contacts: Hee Joo Yoon, KRC, 323-397-371
Jeong Yeon Hong, NAKASEC, 323-937-3703
PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE FAILED TO DIG DEEP INTO MINORITY ISSUES
(Las Vegas, Nevada) Representatives of NAKASEC and the Korean Resource Center participated in the second “Democratic Presidential Debate,” sponsored by among other groups, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and 100 Black Men of America on January 15, 2008. Held at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, the event was promoted as the major democratic presidential debate to address minority issues.
Nevada is the second state in the nation to hold a presidential caucus and the first in the West to host an early window nominating contest. Nevada was chosen as an early primary state in part because 40 percent of its population is minority, primarily Latino and African-American, and it is also home to the fastest growing Asian American population and second fastest growing Pacific Islander population in the United States.
Given Nevada’s diverse makeup, American viewers would finally hear where the presidential candidates stood on issues such as the War in Iraq, Education, Healthcare and Immigration as it concerned minority communities. Unfortunately, for the largely African American, Latino and Asian American & Pacific Islanders in the audience and at home watching the live broadcast, the debate simply glossed over a range of issues with little depth or context for minority communities.
Among the audience was Hee Pok Kim, a member of KRC’s Community Health Promoters. “You can see the presidential candidates a hundred times on the television or the paper, but it is another thing to see them in person. They touched on a lot of issues, but not deeply enough on any of the issues nor did they take a specific and firm stance on any issue. As an immigrant senior, I was especially disappointed that they did not talk more about immigration or healthcare. From this experience, I want to go back to my community and share with them all that I learned in Nevada, and encourage people to vote. Registration is not enough. You need to get out there and vote,” stated Hee Pok Kim.