My name’s David Kim. I’m running to represent California’s 34th district in the U.S. House of Representatives in hopes of bringing solutions that build a floor to stand on for all Americans. Prior to campaigning full time, I was an immigration attorney defending those seeking asylum and citizenship against the brutal unfairness and inefficiency of our current system.

I’m the son of immigrants and I learned from an early age how important it is to serve my community. My parents are pastors, and I spent my childhood days helping church members who couldn’t speak English by translating their calls to the phone company. Since then, my life experience has been one of purpose and service. I truly love helping others--in fact, I’ve found I tget bored working on anything that doesn’t!

My hope is to add support to Congress’s biggest ideas: Universal Basic Income, Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and a Homes Guarantee, along with Immigration and Campaign Finance reform. Yes, these are several massive ideas. However unlike my opponent, who is backed by almost a million dollars from corporate PACs and large donors, I do not plan on entering Congress only to offer a million tiny non-solutions.

I want to fight for the massive changes that will build our nation a foundation for a stable, healthy future. I want to fix the financial, medical, and housing insecurities that I saw growing up. I want to heal the anxiety that comes from knowing one small decision, one unexpected event can lead some families to a lifetime of crushing debt and struggle.

Yes, it sounds like a lot, and maybe it sounds overly serious to you. But you know what, the past few years have proven that government should be serious. And compassionate. And human.

Speaking of, included here is a picture that proves I am human https://i.imgur.com/Z6q0i82.jpeg. So, without further ado…

Ask me anything!

P.S. If you want to stay in touch after this, feel free to connect on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or Instagram!

https://DavidKim2020.com

Comments: 67 • Responses: 11  • Date: 

Boredeidanmark10 karma

The Green New Deal calls for the government “guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.”

I have a few questions about that and a few other provisions:

(1) Under this guarantee, anyone can just sign up for a job, automatically get enough money to raise a family, and not have to worry about working hard or even showing up because even if they get fired they can sign up for another job. Why should people be guaranteed a job regardless of their performance or if they even show up?

(2) Why should a 16 year old boyfriend and girlfriend be able to drop out of high school and have a legal right to, between the two of them, automatic jobs paying enough to sustain two families? Especially if, as per (1), they don’t even have to show up and can just stay home and play video games all day?

(3) same with old people. Why should an 85 year old in a retirement home get paid enough to sustain a family by signing up for a up for a guaranteed job they may not be willing or able to perform?

(4) If everyone is entitled to the job guarantee, what is the point of UBI, which you also say you support? Isn’t the Green New Deal basically a UBI where the universal income is just way, way higher than that proposed by other UBI plans?

(5) the Green New Deal calls for “obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples for all decisions that affect indigenous peoples ...” Things like tax rates, labor law, healthcare, and a million other things affect indigenous peoples, even if they don’t pertain specifically to indigenous peoples. Do you interpret this part of the Green New Deal to apply only ti law specifically about indigenous peoples or, as the literal text indicates, anything that affects them?

(6) The Green New Deal calls for “ ensuring the use of democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers to plan, implement, and administer the Green New Deal mobilization at the local level.” (a) Can you tell me which communities you consider vulnerable? Are Korean Americans? Turkish Americans? Greek Americans? Japanese Americans? Jewish Americans? Irish Americans? Cuban Americans? White women? (b) What about localities where few people are “vulnerable”? Do they just have to find “vulnerable” people to lead? (d) Do you think the Equal Protection Claude is consistent with mandating that only people from specified groups should lead the massive economic restructuring called for by the Green New Deal? Why or why not?

DavidKimforCongress11 karma

Hi u/Boredeidanmark thank you for asking your questions about the Green New Deal. These are very thoughtful questions, but it's important to understand the difference between a bill and a non-binding resolution in the House of Representatives.

The Green New Deal is not a binding set of policy proposals, but rather a non-binding resolution meant to guide our policymaking priorities and reframe the conversation on climate change.

From NPR: “Importantly, [the Green New Deal] is a nonbinding resolution, meaning that even if it were to pass... it wouldn't itself create any new programs. Instead, it would potentially affirm the sense of the House that these things should be done in the coming years. Lawmakers pass nonbinding resolutions… to send political messages — for example, telling the president they disapprove of his trade policies, as the Senate did in summer 2018.”

You are certainly right that it wouldn’t make sense to give every American an automatic livable income with paid vacations (our UBI, by contrast, is not high enough to be a living wage -- it merely supplements private income, which means people must still work for a living). We do not interpret “jobs guarantee” to literally mean “give every single American a job forever no matter what.” The “jobs guarantee” provision of the GND merely speaks to a goal of implementing our environmental protection efforts in ways that create meaningful employment opportunities for American workers. As CNBC explains, the GND resolution “provides a ‘loose framework’ and not guidance for how these goals would be carried out.”

In the 1940s, President Franklin Roosevelt called for an “Economic Bill of Rights,” including a “right to employment.” That did not mean hiring 85-year-olds for construction jobs out of their retirement homes. It meant a series of government programs that gainfully employed millions of Americans while building essential infrastructure that rebuilt our economy stronger than ever after the Great Depression. We are in the middle of an economic recession with unemployment levels not seen since the Great Depression. We need another New Deal.

You bring up another thoughtful point in your question on the definition of “vulnerable communities.” “Vulnerable” is certainly a vague term, but the GND defines “vulnerable communities” as “indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.” Of course, since the GND is a loose, non-binding framework of priorities, that does not literally mean that a council of indigenous elders must approve every decision made by the government. It just urges our policymakers to consider the impact their decisions may have on these communities, who are often overlooked in matters of infrastructure and environmental policy.

Honest_Joseph10 karma

What’s a realistic solution to California’s homeless problem? Do you think that other states are intentionally busing their homeless to California because it’s cheaper than creating homeless shelters where they are? As a representative, would you try to convince other states to stop sending their homeless to California?

DavidKimforCongress10 karma

Hi u/Honest_Joseph thank you for asking. The realistic solution is a Universal Basic Income, and a Homes Guarantee (HR 4351), both of which my opponent does not support. This country could eradicate poverty overnight, and that truth is the foundation of my campaign. I’m running for office to create federal legislation that will ensure no one in our country is unhoused in any state, rather than mediate whose problem this should or shouldn’t be. Homelessness is America’s problem, and Congress has the power to end it.

millennialproblem6 karma

Why don’t you use the Oxford comma?

DavidKimforCongress15 karma

Hi u/millennialproblem ah, great question! This is a contentious choice among the writers on my team 😂. I’ve decided that in an effort to shoot for a little more flow and clarity, I had to say goodbye to the oxford comma. It was not an easy choice, and a tiny part of me cringes every time I exclude it. But I stand by this decision. :)

masonlee4 karma

What's your favorite podcast?

DavidKimforCongress2 karma

Hi u/masonlee thank you so much for asking. One of my favorite podcasts is Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday as each episode is full of empowering life lessons, wisdom and treasures that we can take away and apply in our own lives and world around us.

Another favorite is 34 for 34. I might be a little bit biased, but I do highly recommend it. It’s a podcast highlighting interviews with our volunteers and staff that has all the inside scoop about our campaign. You can check it out here https://www.podpage.com/network/justlikemedia/show/34-for-34/

Boredeidanmark4 karma

What is the point of having a universal basic income and a homes guarantee and the Green New Deal’s guarantee of a job paying enough to sustain a family? Aren’t these things duplicative?

Does your home guarantee include guarantees about size of home, location of home, or upkeep? For instance, if my home falls into disrepair am I entitled to a new one? If I want to live in San Francisco or NYC, am I guaranteed a home there, or could I have to move to Alaska or something? If I have a wife and 2 kids, and I entitled to a bigger house than a single person? Are my spouse and I each entitled to a home? At what age does the guarantee kick in?

DavidKimforCongress8 karma

Hi u/Boredeidanmark, great questions. Thank you. The formal proposal for a Homes Guarantee, as outlined in this briefing book, is a patchwork of proposals that would create more housing opportunity for those who most need it, in the form of social housing units, community support, and tenant protections, including a national tenant bill of rights. The Homes Guarantee is meant to create the conditions that will lead to housing for all, rather than a literal guarantee that if someone wants a home anywhere, they will get one. Like any government solution, there are limits and boundaries. Nevertheless that shouldn’t stop us from trying to improve the world around us.

These are complementary and intersecting proposals that, along with Medicare For All, form the core of my platform, “A Floor To Stand On.” Not everyone would have a job or home through these plans; rather, it’s about strengthening our safety net so that no citizen falls under a certain threshold. It’s about utilizing our country’s immense wealth and power to fight poverty in ways that we have long been capable of doing, but have rarely ever pursued.

Homelessness is not just a moral crisis in our country, it’s also an unnecessary one. Frankly, it’s shameful that a nation of such wealth and resources would not consider over half a million unhoused residents to be a top priority. This issue is particularly important to me because my district, CA-34, includes Los Angeles’s Skid Row. Thousands of unhoused folks live there permanently, and it’s hosted that large unhoused population for nearly a century.

But a homes guarantee policy is more than addressing the acute homelessness crisis in many parts of our country. It also helps everyone achieve safe, sanitary, and dignified housing, which we as a country have the means to provide. A Homes Guarantee includes passing HR 4351 and S 1919, building new social housing units, investing in existing affordable housing, and protecting renters’ rights in order to ensure universal access. The incentives to move from renter to buyer will still exist, and will also be more attainable by ending things like discriminatory lending practices and real estate speculation. A Homes Guarantee is not a matter of “everybody gets a house!” It is a matter of a family of four not dying of carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping in their minivan. https://www.latimes.com/nation/ct-homeless-family-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-20180316-story.html

Grunt_21_UT2 karma

What are some fundamental things we need to change that can stop the stalling and obstruction in our legislative branch?

DavidKimforCongress11 karma

Hi u/Grunt_21_UT thank you for asking this important question.

First, we urgently need campaign finance reform that removes corporate and dark money from politics. I wrote about this in a piece published on Medium about my “A Floor to Stand On” platform. Right now, money from corporate PACs and large donors have an outsized influence on the choices that our elected officials make when casting their vote on the Hill. Big donors (those who donate over $200) account for 71% of campaign contributions, despite being only 1% of the population. No one should have 70 times the influence over a candidate. Studies have shown that political donations actively affect senators’ voting records. When some of the biggest campaign donations come from weapons makers, fossil fuel, and healthcare companies, that is a major problem - as corporately funded Congress members end up making empty campaign promises to their constituents.

For example, my opponent promises Medicare For All, but is funded by big pharmaceutical companies and healthcare companies. My opponent promises Free Education For All, but is funded by our country’s largest student debt collector. See why nothing ever gets done?

Dark money is a big concern. Voters deserve the right to know who funds their leaders’ campaigns. Supporting the DISCLOSE act, which requires more transparency in political fundraising, and overturning Citizens United vs. FEC, which allows unlimited political spending by corporations, will increase transparency and allow us a better view of whose money buys what policies.

Second, we should end common partisan gerrymandering practices to ensure a more proportionally representative Legislative Branch. The Washington Post has a great visual explanation of how gerrymandering affects outcomes. Basically, it allows political operatives from one party to draw district lines in a way that favors their ideals and perspectives, even in places where theirs is the minority viewpoint. This tactic has been employed extensively by Republicans since the last Census to tip the scales in their favor. Forcing states to employ fairer redistricting tactics will make a world of difference.

Installing term limits for members of Congress will, as Andrew Yang put it, “get Congress back in the habit of serving the people, not serving out careers.” Thanks to the incumbent advantage, those in Congress are able to amass power and keep it, increasing opportunities for themselves indefinitely with each passing term. Term limits puts the power back into the hands of the voters who will have more opportunities to decide which members of their community will serve as effective representatives for their community.

My platform also includes a Representative Accountability bill, which would require elected officials to co-govern with their constituents by holding monthly town halls in which they would present a summary of upcoming votes, giving voters a direct channel to the official they send to Congress to represent them.

I hope my answers above give you an idea of at least where we need to start, in order to move our country forward. As I am running a 100% grassroots, people-powered campaign, I pledge my allegiance 100% to the people, and this is disruptive to the world of politics in DC, as Tulsi shares in her interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6urQjuO9eI. If you'd like to donate to our people-powered campaign, you can contribute here: https:/www.davidkim2020.com/call.

coryrenton2 karma

What are typically the highest costs in running a campaign that you would gladly pay a competitor to handle if one existed (e.g. advertising, canvasing, monitoring, etc..)?

DavidKimforCongress4 karma

Hi u/coryrenton, thank you for your question. I’m not sure what you mean by “competitor,” but the most expensive part for us has been spreading awareness of our campaign to people in our district. I’m running a grassroots, entirely people-powered campaign, while my opponent has a massive war chest funded 98.8% by corporate PACs and big donors. He may have more money, but we have the advantage of enthusiastic, engaged human volunteers. I’ve been humbled, honored, and deeply grateful to have so many hardworking volunteers who offer their time to phonebank and textbank with voters in our district. Still, we need even more help to make sure we reach every voter in the district -- this is an especially important time as people are sending in their ballots now. You could make a huge difference in our race by signing up to phonebank or help with our ground game at https://davidkim2020.com/volunteer/

ballisnotlife221 karma

What are your favorite and least favorite things so far about the campaign trail?

DavidKimforCongress5 karma

Thank you for this question u/ballisnotlife22. My favorites: (1) talking with my constituents; (2) spending time with my campaign team members; and (3) inspiring hope and empowering everyone we reach. My least favorite: fundraising.

Pretty_Tonight69311 karma

What’s your favorite food(s)?

DavidKimforCongress6 karma

Hi u/Pretty_Tonight6931, my favorite foods are french fries; any type of soup; and breakfast sandwiches.

Honest_Joseph-2 karma

Do you think Andrew Yang was sexist for calling Pelosi by her first name when calling out her reluctancy to settle on a stimulus bill?

DavidKimforCongress4 karma

Hi u/Honest_Joseph, I think he was frustrated. Certainly not intentionally sexist, but all of us -- particularly powerful, influential men -- must push ourselves to be more aware of microaggressions and implicit biases in the ways we speak.

agreemints-3 karma

Do you think capitalism works like democracy?

Where it works better when everyone has a vote?

DavidKimforCongress3 karma

Hi u/agreemints thank you for your question. While the two are distinct systems with very different purposes, there’s no reason capitalism can’t borrow from the best of what democracy has to offer, and vice versa. For decades, corporations have run under the assumption that they are most accountable (and in some cases only accountable) to shareholders. From the 70s and 80s onward, they abandoned the ideal of the social corporation, a company built to support its workers and community. There is no reason we cannot incentivize that once again.

When workers have a voice in their company, and when companies are held accountable to their workers, all the way down the payroll, that is what gives us power and a voice in capitalism. Hold companies accountable to their workers, users, and customers, and we should see increased responsibility and radically better version of capitalism than the oligarchic, wealthy-centric, ruthless closed market for the privileged and few that we now have.

That said, we need to take immediate action to wrangle the capitalism run wild in our country. Our democracy is being eroded by the oligarchy we have in place and we must be quick to dismantle this oligarchy before masses of our people suffer even more. This starts with breaking up our current oligopolies, like big tech, appropriately regulating our markets so they serve in the best interests of everyone, removing the influence of corporate and dark money from our politics and ensuring that every American has a floor to stand on. Because in many ways, democracy is acting like capitalism right now, and that shouldn’t be. Instead of a candidate winning their office based on vision, policies, leadership and track record, candidates now win based on how much corporate money they raise and how much corporate interest they secure.

That’s why I promise to always be 100% people powered and grassroots fueled, pledging my allegiance to the people and not to corporate interests. My focus is on my community, first and always. A healthy, responsible economy and democracy will help us all create a better floor to stand on. If you'd like to donate to our people-powered campaign, you can contribute here: https:/www.davidkim2020.com/call.