During February and March, NAKASEC and its affiliates gathered strong momentum from Korean American organizations, churches, and small businesses to support the pending introduction of the DREAM Act.The effort came in the form of the national DREAM Act Statement of Support campaign, spearheaded by the United We DREAM Campaign and coordinated by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). NAKASEC and affiliates mobilized 263 groups from Korean American and Asian American communities in California, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Washington DC.In total, more than 800 organizations nationwide endorsed the DREAM Act.The DREAM Act will be re-introduced in the Senate shortly.It is extremely unusual for a legislation that has received relatively little publicity to have accumulated so much recognition and support at the grass roots level, boding well for the proposal as it works its way through Congress.
Aside from the national efforts, NAKASEC local affiliates have also been conducting grassroots education and mobilization efforts.
KRC in Los Angeles held a community forum for parents, students, and community leaders to learn more about the legislation and the youth-led campaign on April 29.More than 30 individuals participated in the forum which included a multi-media slideshow on past campaign highlights as well as KRC’s 2005 work plan.The forum also featured speakers from KRC and NAKASEC who gave a more in-depth look at the current political climate, importance in community participation, and strategy in passing the DREAM Act.
Chicago’s KRCC Youth Empowerment Program held its kick-off event on April 20, which featured a skit about the DREAM Act, written and performed by youth to educate and inspire their peers. Close to fifty students from several high schools in the area filled KRCC’s office. Eshu, a local Korean band from Chicago performed a short set while dining on a potluck dinner. The kickoff was successful in bringing together large groups of ethnically diverse youth within the Chicago land area.