Congressman Gomez Leads House Colleagues in Honoring Korean American Day 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (D, CA-34), Congresswoman Judy Chu (D, CA-27) – Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) – and Congresswoman Young Kim (R, CA-39) introduced a resolution commemorating Korean American Day, the 118th anniversary of the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States on January 13, 1903.

“Every year, neighborhoods across the United States celebrate Korean American Day by recognizing the many contributions Korean American communities have made to our country,” said Congressman Gomez. ”Home to Koreatown, California’s 34th Congressional District – and all of Los Angeles – uniquely understands and appreciates how Korean Americans have uplifted and strengthened our city as educators, first responders, essential workers, small business owners, and more. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Korean American communities particularly hard last year, forcing businesses to close, putting livelihoods in jeopardy, and taking the lives of family and loved ones. But in the face of this shared struggle, I take great pride in knowing that all of us are working hard to turn the page on this public health crisis and rebuild stronger together in 2021.”

"118 years ago, the first Korean immigrants arrived in Honolulu aboard the S.S. Gaelic. Since then, Korean Americans have continued to lay deep roots in the United States, bringing a new vibrancy to our communities and contributing greatly to the fabric of our nation as entrepreneurs, doctors, veterans, faith leaders, award-winning actors, Olympic athletes, and more. I am particularly thrilled that after decades of having no Korean representation in Congress, we now have a historic four Korean American Members of Congress: Reps. Any Kim from New Jersey, Marilyn Strickland from Washington, and Young Kim and Michelle Steel from California. With this increased representation, Korean Americans will now have a stronger voice than ever in Congress, which is critical as our nation works to address the COVID-19 pandemic," said Chairwoman Chu. "Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Asian Americans have had a disproportionate burden placed on them due to higher than average mortality rates, small business closures, unemployment, and anti-Asian discrimination. Despite this, the Korean American community has shown great resilience in the face of adversity, and I am especially grateful to our Korean American frontline workers who have kept our communities healthy and safe during these challenging times. As CAPAC Chair, I am honored to join with my colleagues in celebrating Korean American Day and recognizing the invaluable contributions of Korean Americans across the nation!"

“America’s rich diversity is part of what makes our country great. I am proud to be one of the first Korean-American women to serve in Congress, and humbled to represent a district that includes such a vibrant Korean American community,” said Congresswoman Kim. “Korean Americans have made great contributions to the growth and success of the United States since the first Korean immigrants arrived on January 13, 1903. I am proud to honor my heritage, honor the 1.8 million Korean Americans in the U.S. today, and recognize the important role that Korean Americans play in defining America as a land of opportunity by introducing this resolution to honor Korean American Day.”

Congressman Gomez, Congresswoman Chu, and Congresswoman Kim – who joined the 117th legislative session as one of the first Korean American women to serve in Congress – were joined by 53 of their House colleagues in commemorating Korean American Day 2021.

“The entire Korean American community of Greater Los Angeles is very grateful to Rep. Jimmy Gomez and Rep. Young Kim for this bipartisan resolution that recognizes the 118-year history and contributions of Korean American immigrants,” said James An, President of the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles (KAFLA). “Now more than ever, KAFLA’s work to empower Korean Americans is vital as we advocate for and respond to our community’s critical needs. We’re the lead agency in California helping our constituents receive economic aid to withstand these challenging, uncertain times.”  

“The Korean American Grassroots Conference thanks the leadership of Rep. Jimmy Gomez in celebrating the Korean American Day with a House Resolution for the fourth consecutive year,” said Wonseok Song, executive director of the Korean American Grassroots Conference (KAGC), the largest network of Korean American voters. “From standing in solidarity with our community against racial violence, to working to provide relief for small businesses, from advocating for close U.S.-Korea relations, to recognizing the invaluable contributions of immigrant communities, Congressman Gomez has been a staunch champion for our community over the years.”

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

Congressman Gomez and Wonseok Song’s op-ed on the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War can be found here.

Congressmen Gomez and Woodall’s op-ed on commemorating Korean American Day 2020 can be found here.

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