Tag Archives: jane kim

Wed.'s Link Attack: Daniel Dae Kim, Walking Dead, Daniel Henney

The Great GQ Pants-Off

Check out Hawaii Five-O’s Daniel Dae Kim in this GQ photoshoot.

This March we announced the Best New Designers in America and asked each of the six winners to redesign a pair of Dockers khakis. Here, Daniel Dae Kim of Hawaii Five-0 wears the pants.

the zombie engagement photos… set to music!

By now, you’ve heard of Ben and Juliana, the badass couple facing off against a zombie in those awesome engagement photos that went viral last week. But if you can’t get enough of them, check out this cool video by our composer pal George Shaw, who actually wrote a score and set the photos to music:

Check out the iAmKoreAm.com story about the zombie engagement photos and interview with Juliana!

Asian Americans face new stereotype in ads
Washington Post

Here is an interesting piece on Asian Americans in TV commercials that points out that Asians are often cast as tech support-types with technological know-how.

‘Walking Dead': Four New Clips Feast On Your Brains

At a scant 11 seconds each, the clips themselves don’t show, tell or even imply much new information about the season, but they do feature pretty much the most important of the show’s assets: Realistic-looking zombies and stark, abject terror. Featuring returning castmembers like Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun, Laurie Holden and others, the teasers show off the bleak, zombie-infested world established in the series’ first six-episode season.

Producer imbues Korean color to math animation
Korea Times

“Team Umizoomi” is a popular animated show for preschoolers airing on [Nick Jr.], solving everyday problems using math. Milly, her brother Geo and robot friend Bot work in a team, travelling in Umi Car to settle such daily problems as fixing a watering can.

The animation has a hint of Korean culture — the characters fly kites and the patterns on Milly and Geo’s clothes and of the buildings come from traditional Korean designs. Soo Kim, producer and design director of the show, has contributed to its unique atmosphere. “The characters have simple black eyes, just like Koreans,” Kim said in a telephone interview with The Korea Times.

Born in Korea, Kim immigrated to the United States when she was a child. She majored in pre-medical studies as most Korean-American children do.

Check out our April 2010 feature story on Kim and Umizoomi.

USC’s Dornsife College introduces new minor in Korean Studies
The Daily Trojan

Beginning this semester, USC is offering a new minor in Korean Studies. The 20-unit minor will cover the political, economic, social and cultural changes in Korea. It will be interdisciplinary in nature, with course subjects spanning departments such as cinema, history, international relations, language and critical studies with a particular emphasis on Korea. There is no language requirement, but students are welcome to take Korean language courses to fulfill minor requirements.

Chiu and Kim are making a quick trip to Burning Man
San Francisco Bay Guardian

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu will take a day off from his busy mayoral campaign next week to attend Burning Man, which he’ll fly into on a small private airplane along with Sup. Jane Kim and spend less than 24 hours on the ground.

Daniel Henney Says He’s a ‘Regular Korean Guy’

Daniel Henney is handsome.

Choi Sung Bong confesses that he tried to commit suicide

The “Korean Susan Boyle” told CNN, “I felt like my life was meaningless so I attempted to commit suicide multiple times.” He added, “I felt calm when I listened to music, music was my only friend when I was lonely.”

In First, South Korea Votes on Social Policy
New York Times

Voters in Seoul went to the polls on Wednesday to do what South Koreans had never done before: cast ballots in a referendum on welfare policy — in this case, whether to provide all children with free lunches regardless of family income.

For weeks, placards supporting or opposing the proposal have greeted citizens throughout this metropolis of 10 million people. Although the referendum was confined to the capital, it assumed national proportions with all political parties joining the debate in a sign that, after decades of bickering over civil liberties, the economy and North Korea, they were now entering the largely untested field of social welfare.


Friday's Link Attack: Jane Kim, North Korea, Park Ji-sung

Jane Kim, Why Are You Still Single?
San Francisco Examiner

During a campaign event in San Francisco with Mayor Ed Lee, District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim fielded an unusual question from a constituent.

While the mayor and supervisor talked to residents and merchants on 16th Street, a Chinese shopkeeper at Sam’s Shoe Services asked Supervisor Kim why she isn’t married. Kim laughed about the question after leaving the shop. Her answer? “I’m working really hard at City Hall,” she said.

(HT 8Asians)

Drug Dealing, Counterfeiting, Smuggling: How North Korea Makes Money

To learn more about the country’s illegal exports, we spoke with Ma Young Ae, a defector who used to work as a North Korean spy. Ma now lives in Virginia where she runs a North Korean restaurant. But back in Pyongyang she was one of the country’s elites.

Ma worked for Kim Jong Il’s internal police force. Her job was was to track down drug smugglers. That sounds like pretty normal law enforcement, except for one difference. She was supposed to stop small-time Korean drug dealers in order to protect the biggest drug dealer in the country: the North Korean government.

Check out our May 2009 feature story on former spy Young Ae Ma.

Edgewater woman pleads guilty for role in Palisades Park-based fraud ring

An Edgewater woman pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing identities and defrauding banks and other commercial entities out of more than $1.2 million, authorities said.

Chun-O Kim, 45, admitted to being the principal owner of a company that was created to obtain lines of credit and commercial loans, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a statement. Kim admitted falsifying and forging a number of financial documents, including tax returns and professional certifications, that are used to validate a person’s qualifications for jobs.

Kimchi Cult brings Korean staple to street food battle
Yonhap News

Street food vendor Kimchi Cult is on a mission to bring this staple of Korean food to the British masses.

While competition is fierce in the emerging London street food scene, Danny O’Sullivan and Sarah Hogg have carved out a niche with their Korea-inspired sliders, or miniature hamburgers.

Jersey City violinist Jennifer Choi performing at Governor’s Island
The Jersey Journal

When Jersey City violinist Jennifer Choi draws her bow, she isn’t just making music – she’s creating art.

“If you went into a museum and see a painting – it’s very understandable to you. A bowl of fruit, flowers,” said the 35-year-old. “The next thing is something exceptional that makes you think outside the box, like a field in the middle of a museum. You have to interpret that.

Defending Women’s Am Champ Kang Advances To Third Round

Defending champion Danielle Kang, 18, of Westlake Village, Calif., holed a 9-iron shot for an eagle to eliminate Emma Talley, 17, of Princeton, Ky., in the second round of match play Thursday of the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur at the 6,399-yard, par-71 Rhode Island Country Club.

Kang’s stellar shot on the 364-yard, par-4 14th hole ended the match, 6 and 4.

Stephanie Kono, 21, of Honolulu ended the hopes of another youngster, 14-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand, 3 and 2. Kono went 1 up at the third hole and used three birdies to steadily advance against Ko, who was co-medalist in stroke-play qualifying.

Metuchen’s Kim credits family for his success
The Sentinel (N.J.)

It’s never a surprise to hear high school athletes credit family support as an important factor for their success. Peter Kim believes he couldn’t be among the top golfers in the state without his family.

It’s no wonder, then, that the Metuchen High School junior felt a “huge sense of satisfaction and gratitude” toward his parents when he won his first American Junior Golf Association tournament two years ago at age 13.

Foes No Longer Fear Korea Without Park Ji-sung
Chosun Ilbo

Manchester United star Park Ji-sung’s name seems to be popping up even more whenever the national team plays now that he has retired from international duty.

In Korea’s first match against archrival Japan since Park hung up his boots, the team suffered a crushing 0-3 defeat on Wednesday. In contrast, when the two sides met in May last year for a friendly match, Park managed to shake off four defenders to find the back of the net, causing the Saitama Stadium to fall into a hushed, almost reverential silence.

South Korea military faces ‘barracks culture’
BBC News

Becoming a man means becoming a soldier – at least that is what the army in South Korea says. But a spate of deaths is leading some to call for wholesale change in the way the military operates.

Hak Ju Lee Promoted To Double-A

The Tampa Bay Rays’ highly-touted prospect Hak Ju Lee was promoted to Double-A on Wednesday as the shortstop had been tearing it up in high Single-A.

Lee, one of the key prospects acquired by the Rays in the Matt Garza trade during the winter, was hitting .317 with four home runs, 22 RBIs, 81 runs scored and an .831 OPS in 398 at-bats with Charlotte. Although he runs well, Lee was only successful on 28 of 42 steal attempts, a subpar 66.67 percent success rate. His hitting success though was impressive considering the Florida State League favors pitchers. He got on base at a .389 clip, which helped him use his legs to score a boatload of runs.

Squatting for your rights in Hong Kong

Two Korean artists want Hong Kong people to take up squatting as an artistic and political activity. That’s squatting as in occupying an abandoned space, not doing exercises to strengthen your butt.

Hong Kong community arts group Woofer Ten hosted Korean husband-and-wife artist-activists Kim Youn Hoan and Kim Kang in July. While in Hong Kong, the Kims explored the potential for squatting in our city’s vacant spaces.


SF Supervisors Fundraiser for Japan

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors (which includes our February cover girl, Jane Kim) is hosting a fundraiser for the victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami TONIGHT!

Although there is a suggested $20 donation at the door, the program will primarily raise funds from Silent Auction items donated by the Board of Supervisors. The night will include a presentation from the Consulate General of Japan, music by DJ B-Haul (Tasty), and food from Papalote and Bar Bambino.

If you feel like donating to a truly needy cause while having fun and getting some great stuff in return, definitely make sure to stop by, or email your legislative aid to bid online.

You’ll be able to bid on items such as tickets to the Academy of Sciences, a bike ride with Supervisor David Chiu, live jazz at Yoshi’s with Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, a show at Yoshi’s with Supervisor Jane Kim, luxury box seats to the SF Giants game, and a pair of VIP tickets to Outside Lands in August.

(Click here to see full list.)

Donations will be made to JCCCNC: Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund and the Japan Multicultural Relief Fund.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
5:30pm – 8:00pm
at SOM
2925 16th Street (between Van Ness Ave & Capp St)
near 16th Street BART

RSVP here.


Following Her “True North”

Her moniker may carry a generic John Smith quality, but JANE KIM is anything but. The civil rights attorney last November pulled off a stunning upset victory in the race for the San Francisco District 6 supervisor seat—and she did it sans major endorsements from media, labor and her own Democratic party.

At just 33, Kim, a former Board of Education president, is the first Asian  American candidate to win a non-historically Asian district in San Francisco. How did this young, hip politico do it? The old-fashioned way: one conversation at a time.

Story by Bernice Yeung
Photographs by Shane Sato
Make-up by Grace Kim

LAST MONTH, after an upset victory in the November elections, San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim moved into her second-floor digs at City Hall. A civil rights attorney, and a former community and arts organizer with an impressive pedigree—Stanford University followed by law school at UC Berkeley—Kim spruced up her office by hanging edgy, graffiti-inspired paintings by a local artist on the walls.

It was classic Jane Kim, who’s an unlikely mix of wonky and cool. As the past president of the city’s school board, she’s the unabashed policy geek who conducts business in designer 4-inch heels and drives to appointments listening to old-school hip-hop. Though she has a black belt in taekwondo, Kim’s not an aggressive shouter like her predecessor on the board; she’s poised and confident, but when it’s an issue that she cares about, she can be searing and tough.

For the next four years, Kim, a 33-year-old Democrat, will oversee the political machinations of San Francisco’s District 6, which is home to a wide swath of the city’s population, including immigrant families, high-tech professionals, hipsters and low-income residents. (It is also the district where Kim currently resides.) It’s an area that some view as a political challenge because it features some of the greatest diversity and disparity of the city—from tony South Beach with its gleaming high-rise condos, to the Tenderloin, a grittier, low-income neighborhood populated by single-room occupancy hotels.

Winning the District 6 supervisor slot took a fight, and Kim was perceived as an underdog because she didn’t receive endorsements from major media or political organizations. In what has been dubbed the “Fifty-Nine Precinct Strategy” (where the campaign pledged to outreach to every distinct corner and constituency of the district), Kim borrowed from her experience as a community organizer in Chinatown, and pounded the pavement harder than her opponents. It worked.

With her campaign victory, Kim became the first Asian American candidate to win a non-historically Asian district in San Francisco at a moment when Asian American politicians are charging the halls of power. Here, the Manhattan-born Kim, who has lived in San Francisco for 11 years, talks about what motivated her to seek public office, her city’s growing Asian American political presence, and the sacrifices she’s willing to make for the job.

BERNICE: How would you describe yourself as a politician?

JANE: The reason I wanted to run for office and why I’ve enjoyed serving is that, one, I’m passionate about being part of making change that brings more equity. There are many ways to go about it. I was able to do it as an organizer, and I enjoy the challenges of doing it from a legislative and elected position.

The second reason is that I really believe in connecting public resources to constituents. I definitely come into politics with a progressive vision about how politics can provide more equity in cities.

BERNICE: Why are you interested in issues like equity?

JANE: Having grown up in a variety of neighborhoods in New York City, I was very aware of racism; it was much more in-your-face when I was growing up. The tangible experience of watching your parents get treated disrespectfully is hard to understand as a child. Then in eighth grade, I first learned about the hate crime [by Detroit autoworkers] that killed Vincent Chin, and that was when there were growing tensions between African American communities and Korean American businesses, and it moved me. The 1992 Los Angeles riots also made an impact. In high school, I got involved in community service groups, and I had teachers that picked me out and put me in leadership development programs. Then before I knew it, this kind of work was all I wanted to do.

BERNICE: You ran a campaign where you purposefully sought to have a presence in every neighborhood of your district. What are the ways that you brought something new to how campaigns are run?

JANE: Our campaign was not innovative at all. What we relied on was really old-fashioned. The basic premise of our campaign was: Out of any candidate, we were going to meet the most voters. We were going to knock more doors, be on more street corners on more days, and I, as a candidate, was going to be out that many more hours than any other campaign. Because we had nothing else. When I decided to run a year ago, I made the decision knowing that I would not get any major media endorsements, or endorsements from labor or the Democratic Party.

One of the things that inspired me before I announced my run was [New York chef] David Chang’s cookbook, Momofuku. It’s so funny that I got inspired from a cookbook. He talked about what inspired him to start Ko, that little eight-person restaurant. He was at a restaurant in France and had the most perfect meal he’d ever had. What struck him about the restaurant was that anyone can do what this restaurant did—the meals were super-simple, the service was impeccable. Anyone can do it, but it’s so hard to do. What we did was very similar, and what we did, anyone can do. But the attention to detail and the perseverance to do it well are very hard. We do see campaigns like that, but a lot of times people depend on the formula of endorsements and money. And we decided to do it without that.

BERNICE: Given the perseverance that was necessary, how did you keep people inspired and motivated?

JANE: I had an amazing campaign team [that included campaign manager Sunny Angulo, campaign consultant Enrique Pearce and campaign coordinators Viva Mogi and Jen Low]. If you bring on good people, then people will join the campaign because they trust the principles of the organizers.

Lillian Sing, a judge in San Francisco, once said in a speech to young Asian Americans to “always remember your true north.” That’s really important, but being in politics, what my true north is has been challenged a lot. And what has kept me true to my principles are the people who I surround myself with—people who share your true north because they’re the people that keep you centered and hold you accountable. And because I had so many of those people on the campaign, others were inspired. It’s not me; it’s a larger community that [the campaign] is part of. People don’t realize it, but the candidate is only one person on this team.

BERNICE: What do you think is the takeaway in terms of being able to win despite not having endorsements? How did you overcome those challenges?

JANE: It was the personal connection we were able to make. Being highly engaged with voters is important, and you can’t take for granted actually meeting somebody for five seconds. It makes me hopeful that grassroots [efforts] do work. We also did a good job of bringing on people who had never been involved in electoral politics before—seniors and young people, in particular. And nobody had the linguistic capacity that we had. We had people speaking Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish. We were the only campaign to have dedicated literature to each of these communities.

BERNICE: Describe a typical day during your campaign.

JANE: My day would usually start around 7:30 a.m. I’d pick transit stops and pedestrian corners, and would start out my morning greeting commuters. Then it’d be a mixture of meetings, campaign work and phone banking. In the evenings, we’d go back out for evening commute. At night, we’d go to events. My day would end at 11:30 p.m., and then I’d come home and respond to emails.

BERNICE: That sounds grueling. How did you personally stay motivated?

JANE: I was hyper-vigilant about taking care of myself. The campaign was pretty good about making sure I slept. They didn’t sleep, but I did! I went to a boot camp class once a week. I had to work seven days a week, and boot camp was the thing on Friday night that would reset me for Saturday so it was almost like I had a weekend.

What I love about politics is meeting people. I love the organizing aspect, and I’ve always loved the field. So in a way, not getting endorsements and not having to do the political wrangling made this the most enjoyable campaign that I’ve had. That’s what energized me—my time spent out in the field.

BERNICE: Describe your district.

JANE: It’s a district that is changing, that is very young and energetic. It has  neighborhoods that didn’t exist 10 years ago, but it also has historic areas that have long been ignored or disenfranchised. It’s a very diverse district, and a very hopeful one, too. And it’s not as entrenched along political lines as other neighborhoods might be.

BERNICE: How did you connect with such a diverse constituency during the campaign?

JANE: I feel very comfortable around tenant and housing issues because that’s the work I came from as an organizer. There are a lot of immigrants and seniors and youth in the district, and low-income tenants in single-room occupancy buildings. In some of the newer neighborhoods, there are a lot of young professionals that are liberal leaning, and I went to Stanford and Berkeley. ( Laughs.) I very much identify with the breadth of District 6.

BERNICE: How has your political and arts organizing background influenced your campaign and who you will be as a supervisor?

JANE: I have tremendous respect for organizing. It is the one thing I will always support and fund in this city because [community-based] organizations can really bring about change. Helping found the Japantown arts space Locus [now merged with Kearney Street Workshop] in 2000 really taught me the importance of having spaces for people to get together and build community, and that was also a big part of the campaign. As little time as we had, we carved out time for social dinners. I never wanted to downplay the importance of social community building because it makes the team stronger. It’s important for people to truly care about one another, and that bond will outlast the stress and tension and disagreements that always occur on campaigns.

BERNICE: How important was it that you were an Asian American candidate in this election?

JANE: I’m almost amazed at what has happened in the last 10 years for Asian Americans in San Francisco. Even though we haven’t had a population increase, the flex of political power for the Asian American community has catapulted. And it’s also diverse. It’s not just one type of Asian American. You have Ed Lee, Leland Yee, Fiona Ma, David Chiu, Phil Ting. These Asian American elected officials in San Francisco represent a diversity of political perspectives that I think is healthy.

Even seven years ago when I was working on campaigns, campaigns wouldn’t go to Asian American communities, and the response was that those communities didn’t vote, so why bother? Now I doubt that there’s any campaign that doesn’t have an Asian strategy.

BERNICE: Do you think what’s happening in San Francisco in regard to the emergence of Asian American political leaders and voting presence is an indication of what will happen nationally?

JANE: I don’t see that yet. I do think it’s really exciting, and there is a sense of wariness, excitement, awe or respect for what Asian Americans are accomplishing politically in San Francisco. It’s a mix of, “This is kind of cool, but what does it mean?”

BERNICE: There was some grumblings on blogs and the internet during the campaign that you were playing the race card. Did you play the race card?

JANE: I don’t think so. I don’t think we ever thought about [using my race during the campaign]. I found that having an immigrant family experience allowed me to connect with a lot of different communities, whether it was Filipino, Vietnamese, Central American or Mexican. I do think being a daughter of immigrants [helped voters relate to me].

BERNICE: Public service holds some level of sacrifice. What have you given up in order to serve?

JANE: Politics is emotionally grueling. It’s a really tough job because being subject to public scrutiny—while an important aspect of being an elected because it holds you accountable—is wearing. And people start to forget that you’re a real person.

It’s also a huge time commitment and I haven’t seen a lot of elected officials who are successful at managing families and spouses. You don’t see a lot of young women in politics—this is a time when you might want to have kids or get married. A lot of women in politics got into politics later on, after they had kids. Carving a way for women to be in politics is important. That was definitely something I thought a lot about. I haven’t really figured out the answer to it all. But it will all work out. (Laughs.)

BERNICE: Do you think being an Asian American woman in public office has a positive impact on younger people?

JANE: I try not to overemphasize identity politics because, at the end of the day, issues matter more. I’m not for supporting a candidate just because they’re Asian, a woman or a person of color if I disagree with them. But you can’t discount identity either. I do think it matters for young people to see Asian Americans and women in office.

BERNICE: How do you deal with the demands for your attention as an elected official? Do you consider yourself an extrovert?

JANE: More than most electeds I know, I need downtime. I need to be alone, and I enjoy being alone. I do thrive off of people; I wouldn’t do this if there wasn’t also  something in it for me, and I love being part of something. Most people want to feel they’re a part of something, and that’s what I learned as a youth organizer: To get  young people who may feel apathetic engaged, [you need to give] them the opportunity to be a part of something larger. People crave that connection, and I definitely do, too.

BERNICE: Do you foresee a long-term career in politics?

JANE: I love it, and I would not have run if I weren’t passionate about serving and figuring out how to harness public resources to make change and create a level playing field of opportunity for all people. But there are a lot of ways to make change, and electoral politics is just one of them. It’s the path I’ve chosen for now. I’m enjoying it, and honored to be in it.

* * *

Photo by Kenni Camota

district supervisor is responsible for the needs of the people in his/her district. In San Francisco, which is both a city and a county, the Board of Supervisors, made up of 11 elected representatives, comprises the legislative arm of the city. To ensure a diverse body of legislators, the supervisors are directly elected by the constituents of their respective districts. As supervisor of District 6, one of the largest in San Francisco, Jane Kim oversees the budget, can pass and repeal city policies and ordinances, and manages/appoints public staff. “She’s a young supervisor, so the new feel of the district being at a crossroads in its development really vibed with her campaign,” said Sunny Angulo, Kim’s campaign manager. “It was a beautiful and diverse campaign.”

* * *

The Campaign Trail: Jane Kim‘s Political History

2004: Ran for a seat on the S.F. Board of Education (lost).

2006: Ran again for a seat on S.F.’s Board of Education (won).

2007: Sworn in as the first Korean American elected in San Francisco, as a commissioner on the Board of Education.

2009: Graduated from UC Berkeley School of Law.

2010: Unanimously elected as the president of the San Francisco Board of Education.

2011: Sworn in as the District 6 Supervisor for San Francisco and the first Korean American Supervisor nationwide.

To learn more about Jane Kim, or to join her cause,  check out her website at http://janekim.org/.

Editor's Note: February 2011

So I put a BFF (left) on the cover. Any objections?

Ten years ago, Jane Kim and I were both budding community organizers. She worked for the Chinatown Community Development Center in San Francisco, and had co-founded Locus, an arts space that screened a video short I’d directed on spoken word and race. Despite living on different coasts, we both fell into the same crowds and befriended the same people—the Asians Americans who were performing poetry, editing ‘zines, organizing rallies, working with youth or clocking in for nonprofits.

Four years later, I ended up covering Jane during her bid for a seat on the San Francisco School Board. My assignment was to spend the entire day with Jane to witness her “on the campaign trail.” What I remember most vividly about that day was the sheer physical strength and stamina this young candidate exerted in her gutsy first run for political office. We spent more than 12 hours together, talking while she drove us from rallies to meetings to panels to events. It was exhausting.

As we pounded the pavement with her volunteers in the Inner Mission, I noticed that there was something very extraordinary about this woman’s ability to inspire others to join her cause. Her peers carried around ladders, nailing her posters to telephone poles. Young students had rolled out of bed to spend their Saturday passing out literature. And that evening, artists and comedians and musicians performed at a low-lit lounge for a fundraiser for Jane. I took in the scene—the voices and clinking of glasses—thinking, this is a person others truly believed in.

Jane and I have since become friends—yet, as well as I know her, Candidate Jane Kim still carries a certain mystique. Last year, after Jane pulled off a stunning upset victory in the race for the San Francisco District 6 supervisor seat—making her the first Asian American candidate to win a  non-historically Asian district—I began to wonder, as I did as a cub reporter in 2004, “What’s Jane’s secret?”

Click on iamKoreAm.com to find out.