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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 34

Photo of David Kim

David Kim

Neighborhood Council Boardmember
96,554 votes (47%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Eradicate poverty and end homelessness by providing every U.S. citizen a monthly universal basic income
  • Provide free Medicare For All, and free public college & vocational school for U.S. Citizens
  • Reverse climate change and promote a Green New Deal

Experience

Experience

Profession:Local Neighborhood Council Board Member, Attorney
Board Member, MacArthur Park Neighborhood Council (2019–current)
Board Member, MacArthur Park Neighborhood Council — Elected position (2019–2020)
Attorney, The Hollywood Lawyer (2014–2019)
General Counsel, East West Artists (2013–2014)
Attorney, d.y.k. law, PC (2011–2013)
Post-Bar Certified Law Clerk, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office (2010–2010)

Education

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University J.D., Law (2010)
University of California, Berkeley B.A., History (2006)

Community Activities

Member, Los Angeles Tenants Union (2018–current)
Member, Korean American Bar Association (2014–current)
Member, Democratic Socialists of America - Los Angeles (2019–current)
Member, Stone Wall Democratic Party (2020–current)
Core Campaign Team Leader, Kenneth Mejia for Congress (2018–2018)

Biography

When people ask me why I’m campaigning for Congress, they like to ask two things: why I’m running, and what experience I have. To me, both answers are related.

Professionally, my experience is simple enough. I am an elected neighborhood council board member who is used to serving the needs of my people. I am a lawyer who has worked in a wide range of fields, all tied to seeking justice for the underdog. I have investigated corruption, worked on labor cases, and, in my current job as an immigration attorney, defended those whose only “crime” is wanting to be American.

But there’s experience that’s more important to me than bullet points on a resume. For me, the experience that qualifies me to run for Congress—and in fact, is the reason why I’m running—is the life I spend grinding my way to a career, building myself up from scratch here in Los Angeles, despite financial insecurity, home insecurity, job insecurity, and all of the anxieties and problems that come with them.

My most important experience and job qualification is a life spent in Los Angeles just like most of the people who live here: working hard to barely get by. Wanting more, deserving more, and seeing my government do nothing about it.

I began my career like so many today: buried under a mountain of debt, patching together 2-3 jobs during the day—working free as an attorney, because paid legal jobs were scarce those days—and driving for Uber and Lyft when most people were sleeping.

Often, I had little to rely on other than grit, determination, and a lesson I started learning all the way back when I was eight years old.

Back then, my Los Angeles church was filled with members who couldn’t speak English. As the son of immigrants, I was the link between the world and language they knew, and the world and language they were in. It was my job, as an eight year old boy, to translate phone calls into English whenever my church members needed to call the phone company and ask about bills. It was my job to be their voice when no one else could. I was proud to take their needs and turn it into action.

Flash forward to my adult life, working all those jobs and never having a moment to breathe: I still remembered that lesson. My entire career has been fueled by a desire to help those who need a voice:

  • I’ve investigated corrupt officials in Los Angeles, helping to make our city government fair.

  • I built an entire legal company helping entry level creatives. Not the megastars, but the artists struggling to put together a living—the ones working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet—who were scared that a ten minute call with a normal lawyer would cost them a month’s income. 

  • I wrote a book for artists in need of legal advice, so they could self-advocate and never be cheated again.

  • I’ve litigated on labor and employment cases on behalf of plaintiff employees and workers, ensuring a fair and just legal process in our workplaces.

I once accepted what I thought was a dream job in the music industry, only to leave and become an immigration lawyer 9 months later. Why? Because I realized something about myself:

If I’m not helping others, I’m simply not interested. It’s why I work to defend respondents in immigration court when they receive their notice to appear, and why I fight to help my clients seek asylum here in the U.S.

I want to build us a floor to stand on, so they never have to worry about the next day ending up with nothing. I want to continue my career and stay true to my life story.

My experience is voicing the needs of others, because I know those needs firsthand. I’ve done it for 10+ years as an attorney for all of my clients, and I’ve done it life long as a son, brother and friend to many.

My experience is why I’m running.

And my experience will help your voice reach Congress.

After all, it’s what I know best.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (3)

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages to secure affordable health care?
Answer from David Kim:

I will fight to secure Free Medicare For All in the U.S., including non-U.S. citizens living in the U.S. on a similar health cover age basis, while also then working towards implementing a reciprocal health care coverage among most nations so that all citizens from various countries can have access to health care coverage even when traveling. In a global age like today, this only makes sense as being the next step to move towards doing. 

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the House of Representatives.
Answer from David Kim:

I support abolishing ICE raids, prohibiting the detention of children and separation of families, while always standing with and fighting for the Dreamers. 

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid, and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from David Kim:

We need something as comprehensive and hands-on as the Green New Deal that recently failed to pass, which allows for a major investment into our country's infrastructure, roads, parks and grid so that we can not only move towards reversing climate change at full force, but also ensure commiting to repairing and rebuilding our country's infrastructure all around as well, while guaranting our people jobs as well. We can make this all possible. This is how we save America and continue to preserve it as for our generation and the ones after us. 

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $193,557

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Whisper Entertainment
$20,000
2
Employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment
$13,460
3
Employees of Public Health
$5,020
4
Employees of Rapid Precision Mfg Inc.
$4,800
5
Employees of 153 Entertainment Group
$4,300

More information about contributions

By State:

California 76.87%
Washington 7.48%
New York 3.39%
Pennsylvania 1.83%
Texas 1.83%
Other 8.59%
76.87%8.59%

By Size:

Large contributions (63.52%)
Small contributions (36.48%)
63.52%36.48%

By Type:

From organizations (0.23%)
From individuals (99.77%)
99.77%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Ghandi, MLK Jr. are my greatest role models in life. The current U.S. leaders I look up to, although don't agree with all the time, are Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Marianne Williamson. 

Videos (3)

— January 20, 2020 Uplifted Visuals
— January 20, 2020 Ivan Valadez Films
— October 15, 2020 David Kim 2020

Talking about David's background and how it influences the goals he has for the election, along with his basic policy platform.

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