By Mark Hallum
City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) unveiled his four-year plan with leaders of the Korean community within his district last week and said it will focus on providing support to small businesses, particularly Asian- American concerns.
Vallone’s work throughout his first term included mediating between the Korean community and city government agencies, including the Queens district attorney’s office, to help the immigrant community achieve goals in the private sector. Vallone was joined at the Korean Community Services building in Bayside at 203-05 32nd Ave. by Minsun Kim, president of the Korean American Association of Greater New York; Thomas Kim, president of the Korean American Association of Queens; and Kwang Kim, president of KCS.
“Today’s announcement is just the first step in what is a comprehensive plan to continue working with and supporting our Korean American community,” Vallone said at the Oct. 18 event. “Partnering with these incredible organizations will be critical as the combined knowledge, experience, and passion expressed by all of the leaders present today will benefit not just the Korean-American community but all of northeast Queens.”
Vallone also introduced Young Jin Kim as his liaison between the councilman’s office and the Korean community who will arrange solutions to issues small business owners face.
“Over the last four years, KAAGNY and many other Korean organizations have attended the round-table discussions at Councilman Paul Vallone’s Office. It is at these discussions that problems and solutions of our organizations and our community were discussed,” said Minsun Kim. “I’m happy to hear of the continuation of the round table talks with Councilman Vallone. The talks give opportunities for our Korean community to get more involved to voice our concerns.”
Vallone also made a commitment to raise the overall awareness of the contribution of the Korean community to the city economy through the goods and services their businesses provide.
“I look forward to our partnership with Council member Vallone and I thank him for the leadership and initiative he has shown in his first term,” said Thomas Kim. “Working together will allow us to effectively address the issues and concerns of the Korean-American small business community.”
Vallone’s office said he will be announcing a four-year plan for non-profit assistance, youth networking and senior support.
Vallone faces land-use expert and Reform Party candidate Paul Graziano in the Nov. 7 general election. He defeated Graziano in the Democratic primary.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall