Assembly District 40 - General Election 2012



Age: 33

Occupation: Consultant, Parkside Group

Education: BA (name of degree-granting institution not provided);  

MPA (name of degree granting institution not provided)

A third-generation Flushing native, Ron Kim is running to represent the community where he first served as a staffer to then-Councilmember John Liu and later in working for Assemblymembers and two different gubernatorial administrations. He is running now to represent the working-class, immigrant communities of Flushing in which he grew up. On reform issues, Kim strongly supports redistricting reform, and while lamenting the incremental progress in last year’s redistricting deal, he would vote for the constitutional amendment implementing an independent redistricting commission as a needed first step. He also supports campaign finance reform as a means to both increase voter engagement and create a more level playing field for candidates. He is focused on using technology to make government more performance-driven, thereby increasing the government’s efficiency and responsiveness to its constituents. He strongly backs the DREAM Act and raising the minimum wage. He also wants to bring resources back to his community, stating that economic development will happen, but that it must be shaped to benefit the community being developed. Kim sees no perceived or actual conflict of interest if lobbied by clients of the Parkside Group, his former employer. He expressed pride in representing non-profit clients which he believes lack access to government decision-makers. Citizens Union is impressed with Kim’s political and community experience, and his clear vision for how he will achieve his goals if elected, though he needs to be more sensitive to a possible perception of conflict given his ties to a lobbying group. He is supportive of reform issues and recognizes the need to serve all constituencies in this diverse district. Citizens Union endorses Ron Kim in this race.



Age: N/A

Occupation: Wireless Support Specialist, NYC Dept. of Transportation

Education: University of Scranton (BA)


Phil Gim has been a resident in the Flushing community for 26 years.  He is seeking office because he believes he can best represent the community in the newly drawn district in Albany. As a small business owner, Gim feels as though he can no longer sit on the sidelines while people in the community, specifically college graduates, struggle to find jobs. Concerning reform issues, Gim believes that although Governor Cuomo has started to address endemic corruption through the new state ethics body (JCOPE), it can be made more independent. Gim also strongly believes that there needs to be independent redistricting reform as well as a campaign finance system with public matching funds based on New York City’s system. He is opposed to candidates accumulating campaign war chests and believes contributions should be curtailed when a candidate has an opponent. Other issues that Gim is passionate about include helping small businesses and changing the way the state allocates funding for schools. Gim highlighted that to accommodate the diverse constituency in this new district he would hire staff that spoke multiple languages. Gim also emphasized that he is not beholden to any lobbying group or political party because he has done everything concerning the campaign on his own with the help of volunteers and small contributions. Citizens Union is impressed by his knowledge of the issues and political landscape considering this is his first campaign. Citizens Union believes Gim is an admirable candidate but his opponent’s experience outweighs his many fine attributes.


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