Queens Candidate S.J. Jung Champions Working Class

On March 25, S.J. Jung visited the Korean American Association of Greater New York to ask for the organization's support in the Democratic primary in September. Joined by members of his campaign organization, Chonghun Daniel Song and Woo Chun Kwak, S.J. Jung, second from the left, and Minsun Kim (to his left), president of the Korean American Association of Greater New York, hold hands with hopes of victory. (Photo via The Korea Times)

On March 25, S.J. Jung visited the Korean American Association of Greater New York to ask for the organization’s support in the Democratic primary in September. Joined by members of his campaign organization, Chonghun Daniel Song and Woo Chun Kwak, S. J. Jung, second from the left, and Minsun Kim (to his left), president of the Korean American Association of Greater New York, hold hands with hopes of victory. (Photo via The Korea Times)

S. J. Jung announced on March 22 that he would run against incumbent Toby Stavisky for the 16th State Senate District seat in the Democratic primary on Sept. 22. Jung, who moved to the U.S. from South Korea in 1986, served as the former president of the MinKwon Center for Community Action. Find excerpts below of coverage on Jung from the local Korean press, as well Queens papers.

The Korea Times gave some background on the 16th District, as well as advocacy groups with which Jung has been involved.

It is the second time Jung is running against state Sen. Toby Stavisky. Stavisky defeated Jung in 2014 57 percent to 43 percent. District 16 includes Flushing, College Point, Elmhurst and other Queens neighborhoods with a high Asian population. Asians make up about 53 percent of the district.

Jung has finished assembling his campaign staff and will start his official schedule on April 9 with a benefit concert in Bergenfield, New Jersey.

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Jung moved to the U.S. in 1986 [from South Korea]. (…) He has formed a broad network not only in the Asian community but also with Hispanic, African American and other ethnic groups after working for many coalitions: the New York Immigration Coalition, the 13% and Growing Coalition, and One New York Coalition: Fighting for Fairness.

Korea Daily provided more details on the Bergenfield concert.

In a bid of support for his campaign, the benefit concert will be held twice – on April 9 and in May. The April 9 concert will be at the Love & Truth Church [a Korean church] at 6 p.m.

The concert is organized by David Chan from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and will feature Catherine Ro, violinist; Mariko Anraku, harpist; and Hyesang Park, soprano. They will perform classical music.

Chan, concert organizer, said, “Candidate Jung’s activities in speaking up for Asian Americans, immigrants and the working class inspired me and I got to plan the benefit concert.”

Jung was a volunteer at the Young Korean American Service and Education Center (YKASEC) – which became the MinKwon Center for Community Action in 2009 – before being elected president in 2006.

Queens Tribune‘s Domenick Rafter noted that Jung ran in 2009 for the vacated City Council seat of John Liu – who became city comptroller that year – and had the support of the Working Families Party.

He gained the support of the Working Families Party and finished a close section behind Yen Chou. He remained on the ballot that November, receiving 4 percent of the vote as the Working Families nominee.

QNS‘ Raisa Camargo wrote that Jung looks to stand up to special interests.

Jung’s electoral platform resembles a similar agenda he campaigned on in 2014, when he championed immigration, campaign finance and minimum wage reforms.

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Moving forward, Jung hopes to win over working-class voters by tackling income inequality, transparency in the budgetary process and education.

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