New York, NY—New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) today announced his candidacy for New York City Public Advocate.
“New York used to be bold,” said Ron Kim. “If you were trying to make something better for yourself and the next generation, New York was the place for you.
“But like most Americans, New Yorkers today find themselves in the middle of a crushing debt crisis. It’s keeping people from getting ahead—no matter what they look like, or how hard they work.
“And while mega-corporations get billions in handouts, and predatory financial companies continue to turn profits on the backs of working- and middle-class New Yorkers, politicians never address the core problem: our system prioritizes corporations over people.
“That why I’m running to transform the Office of the Public Advocate and put people over corporations.
“When New Yorkers have nearly $35 billion in student debt, but tens of thousands of them won’t ever be able to pay it back, it’s time to put people over corporations.
“When politicians give $3 billion to Amazon, but say we don’t have money to fix our crumbling subways, it’s time to put people over corporations.
“When real estate developers get millions of dollars in tax breaks, but lead paint is poisoning thousands of children across our city, it’s time to put people over corporations.
“The issues are big, and complex. But the solution is simple if we’re willing to be bold and put people over corporations.”
Ron Kim is serving his fourth term as the New York State Assemblyman from the 40th district. Raised in Queens to immigrant parents, Ron is the first and only Korean-American ever elected to the New York State Legislature.
As a State Assemblyman, Ron is New York’s leading advocate against taxpayer subsidies to corporations and the only elected official speaking out about the need to relieve New Yorkers from the crushing burden of debt. He often cites his own experience watching his parents’ challenges as mom-and-pop store owners as inspirations for his career in public service and for his people-focused policy agenda.
Ron is a vocal proponent of eliminating all student debt and paying for it by discontinuing taxpayer subsidies to large corporations like Amazon. In October 2018, he organized more than 20 labor groups, nonprofits and community leaders to call for a one-time cancellation of student debt and outlined the economic rationale and financial mechanisms for how it could be executed.
Ron was the first elected official to speak out against giving taxpayer subsidies to Amazon to lure them to New York City. On November 9th, 2018 he published an op-ed in the New York Times which pointed out the inequities of subsidizing one of the world’s wealthiest companies and warned of the consequences of locating a massive corporation like Amazon in New York.
Also, in October 2018, Ron authored a white paper called “Disrupting Student Debt” which showed how student debt and corporate giveaways prevent families and individuals from climbing the economic ladder and perpetuate economic disparity.
In the State Legislature, Ron has introduced legislation to create the first-in-the-nation Office of Financial Resilience which would work to reverse the cycle of debt under which so many New York families are living.
Ron has also been an advocate for New York’s small businesses. He has worked to pass legislation that expands access to small loans and seed funding for micro-businesses, and sought to create a fund in the 2017 State Budget to help small businesses in New York comply with increasingly burdensome regulations.
Ron is a particularly fierce advocate for immigrant business owners. He’s introduced legislation to create an entity within the New York State Department of Financial Services called the “State Office of Financial Services for Immigrants.” The purpose of this office is to foster financial literacy among immigrant communities; help recent immigrants navigate mainstream financial institutions as they seek to borrow, lend or invest; and help recent immigrants build credit.
Raised in Flushing, Queens, Ron graduated from the Riverdale Country Day School in 1997, where he was captain of the football and track teams. He earned a B.A. from Hamilton College, and a Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College. In 2004, he was accepted as a National Urban Fellow where he advised the Chief Education Office of the Chicago Public Schools. Ron has devoted his career to public service, working in various capacities on the City, State and Federal levels of government. He was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 2012 and has been re-elected three times since.
Ron lives in Flushing, Queens with his wife, Alison, and his three daughters, Olive, Hazel and Autumn.
Source: Ron Kim for Public Advocate