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California's 40th District

Feb 24, 2021 | In The News, Small Business

Rep. Young Kim (R, California) sits down with Yahoo Finance’s Jen Rogers to discuss her role in the Republican party and what it took to flip her district to back to Republican. Kim is an Korean immigrant, former small business owner, mother of four, and has been named part of Yahoo Finance’s exclusive list THE NEXT: 21 to watch in 2021.

YOUNG KIM: Hi, my name is Young Kim, representing California’s 39th Congressional District. If someone like me can do what I do and be able to give back to this country and to the community that I love, I know there is the American dream is very much alive and it’s real.


JEN ROGERS: Representative Young Kim, 21 to Watch in 2021. Definitely among the most moderate members of this freshman class. How do you get along with those colleagues though that seem more inclined to pick partisan battles? Because you seem so focused on the common ground.

YOUNG KIM: I am very focused on finding common ground. You’re right. That’s why when I went to Washington. Two years ago, when I was first running in 2018 cycle, I had learned about Problem Solvers Caucus. And so I had known about the work they did, how the Problem Solvers Caucus was able to negotiate a bipartisan relief afterwards in December of last year. This is exactly what I went to Washington DC to do. I came to Washington to get things done in a bipartisan way. So I kept my promise by hitting the ground running with my like-minded members on both sides of the aisle.

JEN ROGERS: What part of your background, either having an immigrant root or owning a small business, have been most helpful to you in navigating Washington so far?

YOUNG KIM: I think I say both. As a mother of four, I think I’ve learned naturally to be a negotiator, to fight for a win-win solution. When one of your child gets into an argument with the other, you know I’m also a Libra, born in the year of Tiger. So I call myself a Tiger mom, someone who is able to negotiate and judge productively and constructively, and to try to find a solution that works for all of them. And so I think that really helps me.

JEN ROGERS: I mean, it’s no secret in listening to you, you can see why we’ve got folks like Leader McCarthy saying that he looks to members like you as the future of the party. Is it possible for both you and Donald Trump to be the future of the party?

YOUNG KIM: Um, I think so. You know what, I represent my district. And I look like the district, which is very diverse. My district is one third Asian, one third Hispanic, and one third Caucasian. And I speak one of the very diverse languages. There is about at least 17 different languages being spoken in my district in Southern California. But I am my own person, and I’ve always run on my own record. And President Trump is very unique to say the least. He’s very opinionated. I supported his policies, but not necessarily his rhetoric or his attitude or the way that he delivers his remarks.

But again, I think at the end of the day, we all get elected to do the right thing for the right reason. I believe I’m the future of the Republican Party, bringing diverse, unique, different perspective. And I want to be able to use my common sense, background, and be able to stand up for what I believe is the right thing to do. Once you’re elected, you are elected to represent all people, whether they voted for you or not.

So my priority will be just stand firm, listen to everybody, both sides. But at the end of the day, people elected me to represent them. They need to trust me that I am doing the best in my power to do the right thing for the right reason. We’re not going to agree on everything 100% of the time. This is why I ask people, remember what President Ronald Reagan said, you don’t have to agree on everything, but if you agree with someone at least 80% of the time, that is a damn good thing. We can get a lot of things done. And I learned early on, if you don’t care who takes the credit, you can get a lot of things done.

JEN ROGERS: When I was listening to you just talking about really how few Asians there are in Congress. In all the news that we’ve had recently, there’s just been this spike in violence really against Asian-Americans. And I would love to know your thoughts.

YOUNG KIM: Especially during the pandemic, because the coronavirus originated from China, unfortunately, Asian-Americans have been the target of hateful comments. It was unwarranted because coronavirus was not caused by any one ethnicity or any social class as you know, but because the Asian-Americans were unfairly targeted, it was compounded and I guess inflamed further, when President Trump referred to COVID coronavirus as a Kong flu. I looked at him and I said, you know what, I support his policies and I think he has been a great president, helping our economy as strong as we’ve seen before the COVID. But when he called it Kong flu, I said, enough is enough.

Leader’s words have consequences. And the leaders has to be very sensitive about what they say. That comment was very insensitive. And I called him out on that. And I wanted to make sure that– we love immigrants. We love diversity. And this pandemic was not caused by any one ethnicity or any group of people. I wanted to make sure that my community know that I’m with them, I understand, and that message had to be sent.


Yahoo! Finance

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