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Ron Kim is an American politician who serves in the New York State Assembly representing the 40th District, which includes portions of Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, and Murray Hill in Queens. First elected in November 2012, Kim became the first Korean American elected in New York State. Speaker Carl Heastie appointed him as Vice-Chair of the Majority Conference of the New York State Assembly in January 2017 and Chair of the Committee on Aging in January 2021.
|Net Worth||$3 million|
Ronald Tae Sok Kim was born on May 2, 1979 (age 44 years) in Korea. He comes from a Korean-American family who immigrated to Queens when he was seven. The only child of Seo Jun Kim and Sun Hee Kim, he grew up in Flushing, Queens. He graduated from the Riverdale Country Day School in the Bronx in 1997, where he was captain of the football and track teams. He later earned his Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College, where he continued his football career on the varsity team. He received his Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College as part of the National Urban Fellows Program.
Ron Kim started his career in public service in then-Councilmember John Liu’s office, focusing on quality-of-life issues in the Flushing community. He moved on to become an aide to then-State Assemblyman Mark Weprin. Following that, Kim joined the New York State Department of Buildings, followed by the Department of Small Business Services.
Kim was accepted into the National Urban Fellows Program in 2004, where he was placed in a fellowship advising the Chief Education Office of the Chicago Public Schools, simultaneously earning his Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College. In 2006, Kim joined the staff of then-New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn as a Policy Analyst, where he focused on legislative issues relating to transportation, infrastructure, and economic development.
He served as a Regional Director for Government and Community Affairs in the administrations of Governors Eliot Spitzer and David A. Paterson from 2007 to 2010, where he worked with state agencies, elected officials, and community organizations. After leaving his position at the Governor’s office, Kim worked at the Parkside Group where he advocated on behalf of children with special needs, small businesses, community organizations, and vulnerable New Yorkers.
In June 2012, Kim announced that he would seek the State Assembly seat being vacated by Grace Meng, who was running for the U.S. House of Representatives. Kim won the five-way Democratic primary on September 13 and went on to defeat Republican Philip Gim in the general election, 68% to 32%.
On December 10, 2018, Kim announced that he would be seeking the New York City Public Advocate seat being vacated by Letitia James, who had been elected as New York State Attorney General. Running on a plan to end corporate welfare in what The Villager described as “one of the most jam-packed elections in recent memory,” he and over a dozen other candidates entered a crowded race eventually won by then-Councilmember Jumaane Williams.
He endorsed Bernie Sanders for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries. In 2021, he endorsed Andrew Yang for mayor of New York City. In his first month in office, Kim helped pass legislation (A.3354) which implemented tax relief for New York City homeowners; the bill was projected to encourage housing development. He has supported bills related to education issues and services for seniors.
Ron Kim is also an active supporter of immigration issues and is a sponsor of the DREAM Act on the state level as well as the prime sponsor on a bill to make Lunar New Year an allowable school holiday in New York City, a measure which the mayor eventually adopted. Kim has sponsored legislation inspired by events that happened in his district; in January 2013, he became a proponent of the Taxi Drivers Protection Act following a robbery and assault that occurred in Brooklyn.
Kim currently chairs the Committee on Aging and sits on the Education Committee; the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee; the Governmental Operations Committee; and the Housing Committee. He is the co-founder of the New York State Asian Pacific American Task Force, and also a member of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Caucus.
He was the first public official to lead the opposition against Amazon HQ2. His policy stance led to a larger discussion around corporate subsidies, economic development, and the rate of return for such investments. In October 2018, he authored a white paper called “Gut-Checking Democracy” in which he outlined this thesis and presented several policy solutions. His legislative record as an Assemblyman reflects this philosophy.
In October 2018, he organized more than 20 labor groups, nonprofits, and community leaders to call for a one-time cancellation of student debt and outlined the economic rationale and financial mechanisms for how it could be executed. He was also the first elected official in New York to speak out against providing taxpayer-funded incentives to lure Amazon to New York City. On November 9, 2018, he and Professor Zephyr Teachout published an op-ed in The New York Times which warned of the consequences of locating a big corporation like Amazon in New York.
He went on to lead the #PeopleOverCorporations agenda, calling for an end to corporate welfare and repurposing of taxpayers’ money to liberate New Yorkers from a lifetime of debt. Kim has worked with state legislators to pass a bill expanding access to small loans and seed funding for micro-businesses and sought to create a fund in the 2017 State Budget to help small businesses in New York struggling to comply with increasingly burdensome regulations.
Ron Kim has introduced legislation to create an entity within the New York State Department of Financial Services called the “State Office of Financial Services for Immigrants.” The purpose of the office would be to foster financial literacy among recent immigrant communities; assist recent immigrants with navigating mainstream financial institutions as they seek to borrow, lend, or invest; and help recent immigrant build their credit scores and history.
Kim has also introduced legislation to create the first-in-the-nation Office of Financial Resilience, which would work to reverse the cycle of debt under which so many New York families are living. In the summer of 2015, following an investigative report by The New York Times, Kim helped to draft a measure to improve the conditions in the nail salon industry.
The law Kim passed created a trainee nail specialist program and modified the Secretary of State’s enforcement of licensing requirements. Soon after, however, Governor Andrew Cuomo called a state of emergency and unilaterally implemented other requirements, such as wage bonds for nail salons, that were not part of the new law. These additional requirements caused excessive hardships for small business owners in the industry, and many of them were forced to close their stores.
Ron Kim spoke out against the new unilateral mandates imposed by the governor, which were not part of the law their offices had worked on and agreed to. He subsequently introduced and became the primary sponsor of a bill to relieve the financial and economic burdens that small business owners, including those in the nail salon industry, were facing. As a result of his efforts, the bill passed both houses of the New York State Legislature, but the governor refused to sign it.
In November 2015, The New York Times initially published a report claiming Kim had changed positions on the nail salon issue as a result of campaign contributions, which he vigorously countered in a letter to the Times. Reason and Crain’s New York Business each published stories examining the record and refuting the Time’s allegation that Kim had changed his position. In December 2015, the New York Times made a correction, stating that its report “included incorrect information about some political donations to Mr. Kim from the industry.”
After the publication of The New York Times’ nail salon investigative report, the validity of its claims about the industry soon came into doubt. Amid increased scrutiny, the accuracy of its reporting on nail salons was challenged by several media outlets. Richard Bernstein, a former New York Times reporter, expressed serious doubts about its claims of widespread abuses and “astonishingly low” wages and showed that its translation and understanding of job ads in the industry, one of its key pieces of evidence, were either inaccurate or false.
In October 2015, Reason published a three-part re-reporting of the story by Jim Epstein, charging that the New York Times series was filled with misquotes and factual errors with respect to both its claims of illegally low wages and of health hazards. In November 2015, the Times public editor concluded that the Times’ exposé’s “findings, and the language used to express them, should have been dialed back — in some instances substantially” and recommended that “The Times writer further follow-up stories, including some that re-examine its original findings and that take on the criticism from salon owners and others — not defensively but with an open mind.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic in New York, Kim was one of the few New York elected Democrats who questioned Governor Cuomo’s handling of infections in nursing homes and the reporting of deaths of nursing home residents. According to Ron Kim, Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him if he did not retract or change his statements. On September 17, 2015, Kim tackled an alleged purse-snatcher, Daniel Fish, to the ground while walking to his office. He broke his own glasses as he took down and held the suspect until police arrived to arrest him.
Kim stated that he believed the suspect was suffering from a mental health problem, and expressed hope that the individual was not simply punished but also given the help and treatment he needed. Kim said that the incident, and the efforts to understand how the would-be mugger ended up in that situation, gave him more insight into the importance of effective policies to address homelessness, mental health problems, and other long-term issues.
Ron Kim is a married man and has three children with his wife. He wedded his wife, Alison Tan in the United States. The couple resides with their three daughters in Flushing, Queens.
Ron Kim net worth
How much is Ron Kim worth? Ron Kim net worth is estimated at around $3 million. His main source of income is from his primary work as a politician. Ron Kim’s salary per month and other career earnings are over $312,012 dollars annually. His remarkable achievements have earned him some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy car trips. He is one of the richest and most influential politicians in New York, United States. He stands at an appealing height of 1.71m and has a good body weight which suits his personality.