Q & A with congresswoman-elect Young Kim, one of 3 female Asian Republicans to win a House seat


Image used with permission from Young Kim.

After donating masks and hand sanitizers with Karat Packaging, Young Kim (right) meets with firefighters from the Chino Valley Fire District on Nov. 25.

Aaliyah Magana, News Editor

Young Kim will be sworn in to Congress Jan. 3 after narrowly defeating Democratic incumbent Gil Cisneros in last month’s elections.

When that happens, she will be making history as one of three Asian Republican women to be elected to the House of Representatives in the same election year.

Young will represent the 65th District, which includes Fullerton.

The Accolade’s news editor got a chance to ask her some questions about the elections.

Q: Do you think your achievement foreshadows the start of a new wave of Republican women and/or Asian Republican women? Why or why not?

A: This was a groundbreaking year for women, especially Republican women. We have the record number of Republican women serving in the history of Congress and I am among the first Korean American women to be elected to Congress. This was especially meaningful because this year was the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which established women’s right to vote. We will bring much-needed perspective to Congress and to our national conversation, and I know we will all fight for the American people and our districts. This is just the beginning, and I hope my election will inspire many more women and especially Asian Republican women to step forward.

Q: What are your thoughts on being a woman of color winning this seat in the House of Representatives?

A: I am very proud to be among three of the first Korean American women to be elected to the United States Congress. I think this shows that, in America, anything is possible and that the American Dream is alive. I want to spend my time in Congress working to ensure that the American dream I was able to achieve remains alive for all Americans for generations to come.

Q: What are your forecasts for what could happen in the next election for House seats in two years?

A: There is a lot that can happen before the next election, and I don’t want to speculate. However, if the 117th Congress can work together on finding solutions for the problems that the American people are facing, get results and make our government work for the people again, I trust that the American people will recognize that.

Q: What are some issues currently affecting Orange County, Fullerton or the local area that you’re pushing to fix during your term?

A: COVID-19 has upended everyone’s lives, including in Fullerton and the 39th District. So my first focus in Congress will be to fight for COVID-19-related aid for our area, work on getting the economy back on track and fighting for affordable, quality healthcare.

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 14 print issue, which can be read here.