KRC 32nd Anniversary Fundraiser Banquet
Good evening and welcome to our annual fundraising dinner marking KRC’s 32nd anniversary.
This evening is an opportunity to come together to both celebrate our accomplishments and recognize important individuals and organizations that made our work possible.
KRC follows a holistic empowerment model that combines social service, education, and culture with advocacy and organizing. Annually, KRC assists 11,000 individuals access public health care programs, naturalize, register to vote, file their income tax, protect their home from foreclosure, and apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We also believe in the power of an informed and engaged citizenry. By mobilizing our community, young and old, KRC and the Korean American community have won significant legislative victories benefitting all low-income families and immigrants at the local, state, and national levels. To strengthen our community’s voice, KRC has been building a robust membership program and currently has over 700 dues-paying members throughout southern California.
Last October, we expanded into Orange County, opening up a new office in Buena Park where we have been building our base of seniors, parents, and youth. Over the past year, we have provided vital services to our community and engaged in exciting campaigns throughout Orange County, including putting district elections on the November 2016 ballot in Fullerton.
Next year, KRC will open two new low-income senior apartments in Koreatown Los Angeles, which has been ten years in the making. This was made possible thanks to our incredible partner, Little Tokyo Service Center, and our passionate senior activist group, the Community Health Promoters, who have worked tirelessly to advocate for more affordable housing in Los Angeles.
We are looking forward to continuing this work in the coming years. There are still challenges ahead --- realizing just and humane immigration reform, ensuring health access for all Californians, advocating for vital health and human services for immigrants, and expanding affordable housing development for seniors. But we are emboldened as we look ahead because we know that the community stands with us.
Thank you all for joining us tonight. Enjoy your evening.
Julie Kil Joo Lee Kurumada, KRC Board Chair
Jenny Seon, KRC Interim Executive Director
Honorary Host Committee
Karen Bass, U.S. House of Representatives
Xavier Becerra, U.S. House of Representatives
Judy Chu, U.S. House of Representatives
Mike Honda, U.S. House of Representatives
Bao Nguyen, Mayor of Garden Grove
Herb Wesson, Los Angeles City Council President
Mary Anne Foo
Stephen Kurumada, DDS
During the banquet, KRC will award the Standing for Justice Award, Dream in Action Award, and Community in Action award to recognize outstanding organizations and individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to improving the lives of young people, working families, immigrants, and other marginalized communities.
This year, we are honoring the following exceptional champions in our community:
Standing Up for Justice: Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Jon Youngdahl, Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD)
Dream in Action: Dream Riders Across America, Steven Kim 김하람, Emma Jeon 전윤진
Community in Action: Community Health Promoters 가주보건리더 모임
Since 2006, OCCORD has led large and diverse progressive coalitions to advocate for community benefits, affordable housing, and fair representation for low-income communities in Anaheim. OCCORD began organizing residents in Anaheim neighborhoods, training new leaders to take on campaigns to improve their communities, and engaging and mobilizing voters through their door-to-door GOTV efforts.
OCCORD is a lead organization in Santa Ana Collaborative for Responsible Development (SACReD), a coalition advocating for policies that prioritize the needs of low-income neighborhoods. SACReD was successful in its 2012 campaign for the Sunshine Ordinance, likely the most comprehensive open government law in the United States, which mandates public participation, transparency, and accountability in City’s decision-making processes.
Since 2009, OCCORD has assisted over 4,300 lawful permanent residents with their applications for U.S. citizenship. OCCORD’s program is recognized nationwide as a model of citizenship assistance built on a foundation of volunteer participation and strong community partnerships. Free legal advice and assistance with fee waiver applications address applicants’ financial obstacles; application assistance from attorneys and trained volunteers, and our free, 8-week citizenship classes build applicants’ knowledge and confidence to pass the citizenship interview.
In 2014, after years of lawsuits, citizens advisory committee meetings, city council meetings, and an extensive GOTV effort, OCCORD and our allies were successful in winning district elections in Anaheim. Anaheim was the biggest city in California still electing its councilmembers under the at-large system, so it was a historic opportunity to have real representation by giving every section of Anaheim a voice. In 2015, our coalition was successful in getting “The People’s Map” as the districts map to be adopted by the city. This map will ensure that the needs of all residents of Anaheim will be best served.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District
Since he was overwhelmingly elected in November 2008 and reelected in June 2012 to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas has distinguished himself as a strong advocate for the Second District’s nearly two million residents.
He has promoted the district’s interests on a variety of fronts, including transportation, job creation, retention and local hiring. In the area of health policy, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has overseen the construction of a new Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, as well as a network of cutting-edge healthcare facilities throughout the district.
Mark Ridley-Thomas was first elected to public office in 1991 and served with distinction on the Los Angeles City Council. He later served in the California State Assembly, where he chaired the Assembly Democratic Caucus, and then served in the State Senate.
He is widely regarded as the foremost advocate of neighborhood participation in government decision-making. By virtue of his founding of the Empowerment Congress, arguably the region’s most successful 23-year experiment in neighborhood-based civic engagement, he is considered the founder of the Neighborhood Council movement.
Ridley-Thomas’ political career was preceded by a decade of service as Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles.
He is married to Avis Ridley-Thomas, Co-Founder and Director of the Center for Non-Violence in Los Angeles. They are the proud parents of Morehouse College graduates Sinclair and Sebastian, a California State Assembly Member.
Executive Director of Service Employees International Union California State Council
Jon Youngdahl is the Executive Director of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California, which has over 700,000 members in 15 Local Unions. In this capacity, Jon oversees the coordination of member involvement and public outreach on SEIU’s organizing, legislative, and electoral campaign work statewide with a focus on building member strength and growth. Jon is also a Vice President with the California Labor Federation and serves on its Strategic Planning Committee and Organizing Committee.
Previously Jon served as Chief of Staff to Mary Kay Henry, International President for SEIU in 2010. Immediately prior, he served for four years as SEIU’s National Political Director managing the union’s electoral and legislative field campaign operations. As national political director, Youngdahl also oversaw the independent expenditure operations of SEIU and served on the boards of several national organizations, including the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC), America Votes, Priorities USA Action Fund, Progressive Majority, Jobs with Justice, and the National Labor State Table.
In 2010, Youngdahl received the Progressive Leadership Award from the Midwest Academy, a national organizers’ training institute, and in 2006 an activist of the year award from Progressive Minnesota. Over the years, he has received extensive organizing training from the Midwest Academy and the Industrial Areas Foundation, and anti-racism training from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.
Jon lives in Sacramento and has two wonderful children, Serena (age 13) and James (age 9) who love to dance.
Steven Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea and came to the United States in 2000 when he was five years old. After graduating from Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School, he attended UC Irvine where he is currently a third year majoring in Criminology and Law and minoring in International Studies. In the summer of 2015, he started volunteering and interning at the Korean Resource Center after an eight-week intensive civic training academy, learning how to organize. He developed a strong interest in organizing the Asian American community in Orange Country. In the fall of 2015, he began outreaching to high schools for a yearlong voter registration program in preparation for the 2016 elections.
Emma Jeon is currently a senior at Cypress High School. She participated in the summer SOEE Academy at the Korean Resource Center, Buena Park office, where she worked on campaigns around District Elections in Fullerton, petition drives around Deferred Action, and voter registration for eligible voters in North Orange County. She has continued to organize peers and fellow student leaders on campus around civic engagement has continued to participate in youth community forums in Orange County.
- Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
- Service Employees International Union - California
- Sang Ho Yoo, CPA & Co.
- Service Employees International Union - United Service Workers West
- Stephen Kurumada and Julie Kil Joo Lee Kurumada
- Syncis Insurance Solutions, Inc
- Myung Kwi Lee
- Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development
The mission of Haneulsori is to spread Korean cultural knowledge and traditional music to the community at large. Haneulsori at USC provides a social space as well as opportunities to learn traditional Korean instruments. It is open to anyone and everyone interested in learning Korean Traditional Drumming. They host numerous performances throughout the year at community events and on special holidays, including ChuSeok (Korean Thanksgiving), Lunar New Year, Korean Culture Night, and collaborations with other organizations. They finish off the year with an annual spring showcase as a way to show all the hard work their members have been doing.
Alice Lee is a second year student at UCLA. She is currently studying Mathematics of Computation and is an active member of UCLA’s Korean American Student Association (KASA). She became involved with KRC when KRC spoke at a KASA meeting about KRC’s immigrant rights work. Since the summer, she has been interning with KRC as a Multimedia Intern. She has met a lot of inspiring people through KRC and has learned about the different issues affecting both her and her community. She is excited to be part of the annual banquet as a performer.
Dream Riders 2015
with emcees Jinkyung Park and Ju Hong
- Opening Performance: Haneulsori
- Opening Remarks: Jenny Seon, Interim Executive Director; Kil Joo Lee, Board Chair
- 2015 Activity Highlights
- Capital Campaign
- Standing Up for Justice Awardees: Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas; Jon Youngdahl; OCCORD
- Dream in Action Awardees: Dream Riders Across America; Steven Kim; Emma Jeon
- Community in Action Awardees: Community Health Promoters
- Closing: Alice Lee
- Photo Opportunity