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MinKwon Announces New Leadership

MinKwon Announces New Leadership

On June 5th, the MinKwon Center welcomed new leadership announcing that the current Deputy Director Grace Shim will be named the Acting Executive Director of the MinKwon Center starting June 17th. The current Executive Director, Steve Choi, will become the new Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition on June 24th. Grace Shim (formerly Grace Cho) first worked at the MinKwon Center in 2005 as a legal intern and joined the MinKwon Center staff in 2009 as a Staff Attorney for the areas of labor law and housing law. She recently rejoined the MinKwon staff as the Deputy Director.

Current Executive Director Steve Choi said, “I have been honored by the opportunity these past six years to be part of an amazing team of committed activists at MinKwon." MinKwon Center’s Acting Executive Director Grace Shim said, “I am excited to join the MinKwon staff again in this new capacity. I hope to continue the organization’s rich tradition of working with and advocating for the Korean American community and the wider immigrant community.”

Read more here.

MinKwon Holds Queens Borough President Candidate Forum

MinKwon Holds Queens Borough President Candidate Forum

On June 5th, MinKwon Center, Common Cause New York, NAACP, and NY1 co-hosted the Queens Borough President Candidate Forum at the Queens Library Flushing Branch. With five candidates from both Republican and Democratic Parties participating, panelists including MinKwon President S.J. Jung asked questions on local development, immigrant support, education, disaster preparedness, and traffic. The forum was broadcast on NY1 as well.

Korean New York Daily (in Korean)

MinKwon joins “Remember November” Campaign

MinKwon joins “Remember November” Campaign

On May 29th, New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform (NYRIR), a coalition which MinKwon Center is part of, held a press conference announcing the start of "Remember November" campaign. This campaign places focus ties the 2012 elections where the immigrant community casted the deciding vote and the vital need for immigration reform in our communities. Coalition members will hold voter registration drives, town hall meetings, legislative visits, and other grassroots events to actively push for immigration reform. At the press conference, MinKwon Board President S.J. Jung stated, "In the past, we said 'We march today, we vote tomorrow!' and we did what we said we were going to do last November. The time is now for the immigrant community to amplify our voices and to show our strength!"

MinKwon Participates in Press Conference Urging for the Passage of New York State DREAM Act

MinKwon Participates in Press Conference Urging for the Passage of New York State DREAM Act

On May 28th, MinKwon Center, other community groups, and local politicians held a joint press conference calling for the passage of the New York State DREAM Act in the New York State Senate at the Baruch College Press Center. With about 10 days left in the legislative session, this is the latest effort to apply pressure on the New York State Senate. Emily Park, MinKwon youth program coordinator pressed the State Senate to pass , "The New York State Dream Act requires only 2% increase in the education budget. It would open doors for many DREAMers who are already high school graduates and provide them with more opportunities to give back."

MinKwon Participates in Citizenship Day Clinic

On May 25th, MinKwon Center co-hosted the second Citizenship Day of the year at the Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York (KCS-MNY). This is the second Citizenship Day of the year hosted in collaboration with New York State Office of New Americans, KCS-MNY, and Chinese Planning Council (CPC). With the help of volunteer attorneys, MinKwon staff provided members of local Asian American community with free legal consultation and application assistance. MinKwon and the host organizations plan to hold additional clinics throughout the year.

New York State DREAM Act Passes in the Assembly

New York State DREAM Act Passes in the Assembly
On May 22nd, the New York State Assembly passed the New York State DREAM Act for the second time with the overwhelming majority of 88 for and 46 against.   For the NYS DREAM Act to take effect, it would also have to pass the New York State Senate and be signed by Governor Cuomo.  Three other states, Texas, New Mexico, and California, have legislation that allows undocumented youth access to state financial aid.  Upon the passage of the bill in the Assembly, MinKwon KORE Member Emily Park stated, "We applaud the Assembly's continued leadership on this critical issue and urge the State Senate to promptly pass the legislation this year." 
 
Read More: Korea Daily (In Korean)

MinKwon KORE Member Angie Kim Meets President Obama and Vice President Biden

MinKwon KORE Member Angie Kim Meets President Obama and Vice President Biden
On May 21st, MinKwon Center's KORE youth leader Angie Kim and seven other immigrant youth met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.  Organized by FIRM (Fair Immigration Reform Movement), the youth shared their stories and pain brought on by our broken immigration system that separates families.  Angie reiterated the importance of family unity to the President and the Vice President and shared her family's struggles and pain after the passing away of her grandmother who was petitioning for her family. "I felt empowered after the President told us to have hope, and it was a truly valuable experience," said Angie. 
 
Read more: White House / Korea Daily (In Korean)
 
Photo via the White House

MinKwon Participates in APA Mayoral Candidate Forum

MinKwon Participates in APA Mayoral Candidate Forum
On May 20th, MinKwon Center participated in the "Growing Numbers, Growing Impact: Mayoral Candidates Forum" at LaGuardia Community College along with 50 other Asian-led and Asian-serving organizations, led by CACF.  Moderated by MSNBC Anchor Richard Lui, leading candidates for the mayoral race had the opportunity to answer questions on issues pertinent to the Asian Pacific American community in New York such as housing, immigration, budget, and education.  MinKwon's Civic Participation Coordinator James Hong also asked questions on expanding voting rights to noncitizens.
 

MinKwon Participates in Queens CB7 Hearing for Willets Point Development Plan

On May 13th, MinKwon Center and the Queens Housing Coalition (QHC) participated in a hearing for Queens Community Board 7 regarding the initial stage of the Willets Point West development plan.  With a vote of 22 for and 18 against, the Community Board approved the zoning change to allow for development for a mall at the current CitiField parking lot.  MinKwon Tenant Group Member Ms. Yoon also testified at the hearing.  Ms. Yoon emphasized that the developers need to keep their initial promise of building affordable housing.  In the meanwhile, MinKwon and QHC plan to continue mobilizing for more affordable housing.

MinKwon Joins a Press Conference Announcing Language Access Win

MinKwon Joins a Press Conference Announcing Language Access Win

On May 2nd, MinKwon Center Board President S.J. Jung participated in a press conference held by New York State Senator Tony Avella on the withdrawal of SB 681, legislation mandating English language signs.  This law would have restricted business owners from having less than 50% of their signs in English.  MinKwon has previously sent a letter to Senator Avella protesting this legislation, fearing its effect on immigrant small business owners.

Photo Courtesy of Korea Times

Korea Times (In Korean)

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