5 Questions for Congressman Andy Kim as He Pushes for More Asian Americans to Run for Office

Congressman Andy Kim of New Jersey is the first Korean American in history to get re-elected to the U.S. Congress and the first Korean American Democrat to ever get elected to this office. Earlier this year, we had an opportunity to speak to Rep. Kim in an exclusive interview where he candidly reveals insights on a wide range of topics including the one thing he would like most to accomplish in Congress. He also touches on the great challenges faced by small businesses in our community during this pandemic and how he feels about getting more Asians in elected office. We even find out what Congressman Kim’s favorite Korean food is!

The famously unassuming Kim caught the nation’s attention with a photo that showed him as a remarkable servant leader as he picked up the trash left behind by the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., cleans up debris in the Rotunda of the US Capitol, January 7, 2021, Andrew Harnik | AP

Rep. Kim’s unexpected act of humble leadership quickly went viral but he claims it was no grand gesture. “We are all ordinary people in extraordinary times,” tweeted Kim, “What I did isn’t special, it’s the same thing that drives us to volunteer at a homeless shelter or donate to a food bank: the idea that if something is broken, we can work to fix it.”

Andy Kim launches In Our Hands

Rep. Kim recently launched a political action committee called In Our Hands to help Asian Americans and other people of color run for office. Until this last election in 2020, Andy Kim was the only Korean American in Congress, and he knows only too well how difficult the road was for him to even get a shot at getting elected.

After last month’s mass shootings in Atlanta that killed eight, including six women of Asian descent, Kim announced plans for a political committee to recruit and support Asian American candidates. In a statement, Kim said he created the committee to empower candidates of color who may be discouraged from running — like he was.

“When I first ran for Congress, insiders told me I can’t win because my majority-white district wouldn’t vote for an Asian American or a candidate of any color. With the help of many people, we proved them wrong and I want to now work with you to lift up AAPI and other candidates of color all over the country,” said Kim, the first Korean American from New Jersey to serve in Congress.

“If AAPI and other minorities don’t fight for a seat at the table, we’ll never have a say in the solutions necessary. We can win seats at the table if we realize that the power to make change is in our hands. This PAC will aim to serve as a catalyst for change and support those eager and ready to make it,” he added.

The AAPI vote grew by about 46% in the 2020 presidential election compared to 2016, according to preliminary estimates from the Democratic firm TargetSmart, one of the largest increases ever among any racial demographic. But the fact remains that there are zero Korean Americans in the Senate and only four in the House of Representatives.

Interview with Congressman Andy Kim

Get to know Andy Kim in this short video and follow the links below if you’d like to donate to his campaign or to the In Our Hands PAC to help support the effort to get more AAPI elected to public office.

Donate to In Our Hands

AAPI and communities of color do not have nearly enough representation in Washington, and hate crimes are on the rise. The country is changing, and we need a new generation of leaders who reflect the diversity of our country. In Our Hands is committed to supporting AAPI and minority candidates, ensuring that they have the resources they need to run and win. 

Donate to Andy Kim

One of the best ways to ensure that Andy Kim will get re-elected in 2022 is to build a strong war chest ahead of the election. Contribute to Andy Kim’s campaign as he continues to fight for all of us.

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