Councilmember Peter Koo was joined by co-sponsors Councilmembers Paul Vallone and Corey Johnson, Mark Weprin, other elected officials and leaders of the Korean community on the steps of City Hall to celebrate Korean American Day. In December, the City Council passed a resolution which commemorates January 13 as Korean American Day in New York City.Councilmember Peter Koo, Commissioner Nisha Agarwal and the City Council declared January 13 Korean American Day inNew York City.
Koo was joined by his Council colleagues, Commissioner Agarwal of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and jubilant Korean Americans from across the city to mark the First Annual Korean American Day in New York. January 13 is significant in the Korean American community because it marks the date the first Korean immigrants came to America in 1903.
On Dec. 17, 2014, the City Council unanimously adopted Resolution 417-2014, recognizing and commemorating January 13 as Korean American Day in the City of New York.
“With the passage of my resolution, we formally acknowledge the many contributions made by Korean Americans to our society, and celebrate their achievements,” said Koo. “It was an honor to lead the effort to have this day officially recognized by the City of New York. And it was a privilege to work with the many Korean American organizations and my colleagues, particularly Speaker Mark-Viverito, Majority Leader Van Bramer and Councilmembers Vallone and Johnson, to get this done. The community truly deserved this recognition.
This is a day to recognize and celebrate all the contributions that the Korean-American community has made to New York City,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I’d like to thank Councilmember Koo for his leadership on this resolution and wish all New Yorkers a happy Korean American Day.”
“I was proud to work with Councilmember Peter Koo and my colleagues in passing Resolution 417 which officially recognizes January 13 as Korean American Day in the City of New York,” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “On this commemorative date we forever establish a time for us all to come together to honor the many contributions Koreans Americans have made toward strengthening the fabric of our city and our nation.”
Councilmember Paul Vallone said, “Today we recognize all Korean Americans for their hard work and cultural contributions. I am so proud to stand here with leaders and advocates for the Korean community as we declare today a day that celebrates them. Now all New York City residents will recognize their accomplishments, and I thank Councilmember Koo for spearheading today’s celebration.”
Councilmember Corey Johnson said, “Today we celebrate Korean American Day in New York. We celebrate Korean American culture and recognize the contributions they have made to our city. My grandmother was Korean, and it is a part of my heritage of which I am very proud. As someone who identifies as an Irish-Korean-American, I am thankful to Councilmember Peter Koo for sponsoring the legislation that made this day possible.”
Others who spoke on the occasion include Councilmember Mark Weprin, Grace Yoon, executive director of the Korean American Family Services Center, Jim Wohn, president of the Korean American Community Foundation, Paul Yoo, president of the Korean American Association of Queens, and EJ Thorsen, vice president of communications for the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York.
According to the 2010 United States Census, there are now over 1.4 million Korean Americans living in the United States, including an estimated 97,000 living in New York City. There are 24,000 Korean-owned businesses in New York State, the second largest number in the United States, which generates an estimated revenue of $7.7 billion annually. In addition to business, Korean Americans have made tremendous contributions to all sectors of our society, such as law, government, the visual and performing arts, academia, medicine and science.