Chung’s Pledge to Korean Voters of Palisades Park

Christopher Chung (Photo via The Korea Times)

In an exclusive interview with The Korea Times, Christopher Chung, who is running in the Democratic mayoral primary in Palisades Park, New Jersey, said: “I am running for mayor to make a town which respects not only Koreans but also all of the residents.”

Chung, who is hoping to be the first Korean mayor of Palisades Park, is offering strong competition to current Mayor James Rotundo, who is seeking his fifth term.

Although the Democratic Party has controlled the town since 1960, the Koreans within the party have only recently had the political influence to put forward a Korean candidate for mayor.

While Chung was randomly assigned the fourth position on the ballot, he has the advantage of having received the endorsement of the local Democratic committee. Chung pledged:

    • Frequent communication through the Korean Palisades Park website and smartphone application
    • To improve the quality of education
    • To solve the parking problem
    • To hire more Korean-speaking police and government employees
    • To strengthen public safety
    • To be transparent about taxation

Chung appealed for the support of Korean-American voters, saying that “Although more than half of Palisades Park residents are Korean, Koreans’ opinions have not been reflected well enough in the town’s administration because of cultural differences.”

He added, “I promise to be a mayor who meets the needs of all residents.”

Chung has secured a foothold since 2009 when he was first elected as a Board of Education member. Then he became a councilman in 2014.

In 1978, Chung came to New Jersey when he was 10 years old with his parents from Namwon, Jeollanamdo, South Korea. After graduating elementary, middle, and high schools in Tenafly, Chung studied business management at Hartford University in Connecticut.

After that, Chung joined Ssangyong USA Inc. in NJ in 1991 and participated in the “Yulgok Project,” a modernization project for the South Korean armed forces. He is working in the real estate business now.

Chung will hold an event to meet voters, with Palisades Park Board of Education member Barnabas Y. Woo and his running mate Youbong Won-You, April 19 at 8 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of New Jersey.

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