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News from KRCC: Community Comes Together To Talk Politics – Over 200 Attended Candidates Forum Organized by Korean American Organizations

By October 17, 2008No Comments
NEWS RELEASE: October 17, 2008
Contact: Sohn Sik, 773.588.9158,

Community Comes Together To Talk Politics

Over 200 Attended Candidates Forum Organized by Korean American Organizations
First for Chicagoland

(Chicago, IL) For the first time in the Chicagoland area, candidates for Congressional House Districts 6, 9 and 10, as well as Illinois State House Districts 17, 57 & 65 addressed the Korean American community in a candidates’ forum. Responding to hot-button issues such as civil rights, economy, education, healthcare, immigrant integration, and immigration reform, participants included Dan Seals, Jill Morgenthaler, Elaine Netkritz and Elizabeth Coulson.
Inhe Choi, Senior Organizing Director at the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) said, “A historic first for the Korean American communities in Chicago, we organized this forum in response to the overwhelming interest by community members, many who will be voting for the first time this year. They want to hear from candidates about issues they care about. According to a recent survey by KRCC, we found that a third of Korean Americans are small business owners and another third work for small businesses. More than 70% of the Korean American small businesses do not provide health insurance for their employees or even for themselves. There is great concern in our community about the economy and how to fix the broken health care system. What the candidates say will be closely listened to and impact people’s decisions on November 4th.”
“I came to tonight’s candidates’ forum because I’ll be voting for the first time and wanted to hear firsthand from the candidates. I think that it’s great that someone like me who wants to fulfill my civic duty, but has English as my second language, could be this close to the candidates and understand their positions “, stated Sang Kyun Lee, a 78 year old new U.S. citizen.
“The presence of all these candidates shows that the Korean American’s voice is being heard. Like other immigrant communities, we are a growing force paying attention to races at the national, federal, state and local levels. I liked how the questions were posed to make it clear that Korean Americans share a vision of tomorrow that is inclusive, respects diversity, and values equality,” Young Ju Ji, a working mother of two small children.
“While I will not be able to vote in November because I’m too young, it was exciting and encouraging to see my peers and multiple generations of Korean Americans come together to ensure that our community’s values are communicated to these public officials. I can’t wait when it’s my time to vote since I also have a stake in building a better community, like with education,” stated Joo Young Ji, a junior at Mather High school in Chicago, Illinois.