Two New York City lawmakers remain steadfast in their efforts to uplift the Korean-American community in Queens.
Continuing a series of discussions with Korean American leaders, Councilman Paul Vallone and Speaker Corey Johnson held a roundtable at the Korean Community Services’ (KCS) Bayside headquarters in order to connect the community to vital resources and help them to overcome barriers they may face.
The Jan. 31 meeting centered on obtaining City Council contracts, discussing obstacles in receiving essential services, as well as helping them work around common issues they face including language and cultural barriers. Johnson and Vallone expressed their concerns about city agencies lacking foreign language speakers who could communicate properly to Korean-American businesses and organizations.
“Since I was elected, I have sought to create bridges for the Korean-American community who make incredible contributions to our city both economically and culturally. I thank Speaker Johnson for joining us today as we work to support these organizations,” said Vallone. “Continuing the dialogue 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.”
In the past, Vallone has invited Johnson and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz to similar roundtable discussions that produced tangible results. Over the past five years, Vallone, Johnson and Katz have been able to secure a combined $11.5 million in funding for the Korean-American community.
Vallone has secured $7 million in funding to benefit Korean-American organizations while Johnson and Katz provided $4.5 million for Korean Community Services to renovate their new Bayside offices.
“The Korean-American community’s contributions to New York make our city a better place to live and work. I am immensely grateful for all this community brings to our economy, culture and society, and I was inspired and moved by our meeting with Korean leaders in Bayside, Queens. I thank my friend and colleague, Council member Paul Vallone, for organizing this wonderful event,” said Johnson.
KCS was founded in 1973 and has worked to help Korean-American New Yorkers and the wider Asian community to “fully integrate into society and overcome any economic, health and social barriers so that they become independent and thriving members of the community.” The organization provides comprehensive programs dealing with aging, education, immigration, workforce development, public health and mental health.