2009 is the most important year for the Korean American Community. It’s because the everyday dream of Korean politician showing in politics have becoming real as time passes by. There were total of 4 Korean candidates that ran in the elections, and out of those 4, one Korean democrat candidate named Kevin Kim won the primary election as City council of District 19. Of course, there is the general election to run for, but his chances are very high.
From many years, Korean American community desired for Korean politicians. Not a lot but many Korean American citizens registered to vote, and the percentage of voting participation have rapidly increasing. However, the Korean Americans should continue to next year 2010 Census participation as well. To increase the right of Korean Americans in our community, the only result is to get accurate population rate of Korean Americans in our community.
There believe to have approximately 500,000 population of Korean American in our community (including New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut). 10 years ago, they mentioned there were 300,000 populations, but in the 2000 Census evaluation, the Korean American showed only 190,000 populations. Then where are the remaining 1/3 of the population? It only meant that almost 100,000 people did not participate in the Census…
However, to much extent, increasing amount of Korean Americans in our community let us to make one space in Flushing, NY. That was the space of current Assemblywoman of District 22- Grace Meng. Along with, as much Korean American population was increasing in the Queens County, it let the New York Government office to start a Korean service to the community. This service let the Korean American citizens in Queens to vote in Korean, and hired many Korean interpreters. Also, by the Koreans of Queens, the State of New York made a Korean voter registration form.
2000 Census, it programmed a special Dual Language class (PS32) to Korean American community (Flushing,NY), and made a Korean class in Eastern Western International School. Afterward, the Korean community specializing in the non-profit institutions, and the service was upgraded.
Even though many Korean Americans might not need as much, in New York City, the hospitals, schools, and public offices might demand Korean interpretation. If there are no interpreters, a system that translates Korean to English by phone line is used by IRS, and hospitals. In the past, these demands were not that easy, and New York City did not take legal action in supporting the system.
You can see the difference of the areas that response to the Census and the area that did not. Just by driving down the neighborhood, some were places that you want to live, and some were just places that you want to get out. These neighborhoods have high differences by the number of responses in Census participation. The government distributes approximately $4,000 million dollars, but it gets distributed according to the number of population in the community.
The decrease of school budget, road construction budget, and social welfare expenditure made the local residents to leave their community. Hence, residents should understand that the Census Participation (which takes effect every 10 years) is so valuable and important to our community.