Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 34

Photo of David Kim

David Kim

Immigration Attorney
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Provide affordable quality health care for all
  • Give all Americans a floor to stand on through Universal Basic Income
  • Pass big, bold housing reform policies including a Homes Guarantee

Experience

Education

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

Biography

I am the son on immigrants.  It was my job, as an eight-year-old boy and as the pastor's kid, to translate phone calls into English whenever my dad's church members needed someone to talk to and advocate on their behalf in English.  It was my job to be their voice when no one else could.

Professionally, my experience is simple enough. I am an attorney who has worked in a wide range of fields, all tied to seeking justice for those less fortunate. I served as an elected neighborhood council board member who was privileged to serve the needs of my people. I have investigated corruption, worked on labor cases, defended the most vulnerable parents in Los Angeles County from having their children removed from them in children's court, and, in my current job as an immigration attorney, defended those whose only "crime" is wanting to be American.

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 get by.  Wanting more, deserving more, and seeing my government do nothing about it.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

What legislation, if any, would you support to reduce American greenhouse gas production?  Please explain the reasons for your position.
Answer from David Kim:

Our most urgent infrastructure and climate problems concern a lack of an effective, fully reaching transportation system; heat islands; continued use of harmful energy sources, like fossil fuel, oil and gas; and pollution. We must implement a permanent free-fare transit system and commit to and secure federal support to decarbonize, expand and provide people with more access to public transportation systems, which means expanded free service and coverage of routes, through all neighborhoods, expanding protected bike and bus lanes, and increasing green spaces and tree coverage everywhere, and especially in low-income neighborhoods that suffer most from the urban heat island effects in our city. Further, we must shut down the LADWP plant in Sun Valley and the SoCal Gas plant in Aliso Canyon while also working to shift fastly away from fossil fuels and oil sites, and towards creating more alternative and equitable green energy sources and building more green, equitable infrastructure, with green space and housing for all. 

 

We must continue to work towards decarbonizing Los Angeles, in buildings, and in transportation. The federal government must go above and beyond to help Los Angeles in these efforts, and in decarbonizing transportation as well, while also providing more incentives to shift away from fossil fuel. Lastly, I envision a Los Angeles where all families and communities have the ability to eat from locally sourced food from their neighborhoods or buildings due to indoor farming.

Should immigration laws be changed?  What changes would you support?  Please explain why.
Answer from David Kim:

 

Our inhumane immigration system, including its quotas, is stuck in the past from an era that no longer fits. Its exclusionary, racist policies and enforcement from the past (i.e., Naturalization Act of 1790, Asian Exclusion Act of 1875, Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Asiatic Barred Zone Act of 197 and the National Origins Act of 1924), along with the couched mentality of keeping “the other” or foreigner out, is something that continues to hurt and restrict America’s own livelihood, morals and strength as a nation and people. To make matters worse, inefficient administration has led to a system that makes immigration near impossible, with too many examples to provide such as family-sponsored immigrants receiving green cards this year from applications filed in 1997. We’re long overdue for a change that brings us back to the moral, immigrant centered country we have always been.

  • Clear bureaucratic backlogs to employer-based and family-sponsored visas

  • Reclassify spouses, permanent partners and children of Green Card holders as immediate relatives

  • Strengthen LGBTQ+ protections by allowing citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their partner even if the partner lives in a country that does not recognize marriage equality

  • Allow children, permanent partners, and spouses of H1-B visa holders to obtain a work permit

  • Create statutory exceptions to the one-year filing requirement for asylum seekers 

  • Provide expanded work permit authorization and protection to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in our country, including the ability to renew work permits when EOIR proceedings are on appeal

  • Expand and expedite the asylum-seeker track by eliminating the 1-year asylum filing requirement, codifying certain particular social groups 

  • Protect Dreamers and make DACA permanent

  • Make prosecutorial discretion to dismiss or administratively close proceedings, permanent

  • Reassess and stipulate an expanded number of visas for each respective category, including, clearing waiting lists like those waiting to receive permanent residency relief through a 42B grant.

As Congress Member what, if any, policies or legislation would you support to preserve democracy for all US residents?
Answer from David Kim:

Clean Campaign Finance: 

  • Restrict corporate PAC, super PAC, and dark money contributions to federal candidates.

  • Increase transparency in the political fundraising process by supporting bills like the DISCLOSE Act

  • Ensure that people’s voices hold more power than that of corporate money by supporting efforts to overturn or reverse Citizens United v. FEC, such as Rep. Jayapal’s We the People Amendment – an amendment to the Constitution that would end corporate personhood and reverse Citizens United.

  • Advocate for ways to publicly-finance elections, such as a federal Democracy Dollars Program similar to those that have seen success on the city level. Democracy Dollars allow all voters to financially support the candidates of choice and have led to more diverse representation and increased participation in elections.

  • Ban foreign corporate money in U.S. elections.

Voting Rights: 

  • Make Election Day a federally recognized national holiday.

  • Support bills that protect our fundamental right to vote and ban partisan gerrymandering, such as the For the People Act and John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

  • Eliminate the filibuster to pass transformative bills such as guaranteed housing, universal healthcare, and Green New Deal.

  • Push to implement ranked-choice voting, which has been used successfully in other countries over our current “all or nothing” system. 

  • Push Congress to endorse the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would effectively replace the electoral college with a national popular vote.

Holding Elected Officials Accountable: 

  • Introduce an accountability bill requiring elected officials to co-govern with constituents in their district through monthly town halls where they provide a summary of upcoming votes for feedback and discussion, giving the people a direct channel to their representation. 

  • Enhance Federal Election Committee enforcement.

  • Prohibit representatives serving in public offices from holding stocks and enforce existing restrictions on lawmakers trading stocks.

  • Shut the “revolving door” by prohibiting lawmakers, senior-level government appointees and high-ranking military officers from registering as lobbyists for foreign agents after they leave the government.

Water

The Federal Government plays a part in California water allocation and use through a variety of projects and laws.  What, if any, new programs or projects or reforms to existing programs and projects would you support in an effort to handle water shortages caused by the current and any future drought?

No answer provided.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $0

More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Too many of our current representatives take the majority of their donations from wealthy donors and corporate PACS.  They must answer to healthcare companies, insurance corporations, weapons manufacturers, and debt collectors - not the people.  I want to put my community first and I answer directly to my consititiuents.  

I am a true progressive Democrat.  People are suffering but corporate incumbents do the bare minimum by only making small, incremental fixes here and there under the guise of being "progressive" instead of proposing big, radical changes that will help empower and bring new life to all people.  I want to build a floor for all to stand on, so that no one has to worry about losing everything when times get hard.

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