Monthly Archives: June 2007

ATL and USSF, here I come!

(**Thank you so much to all the well wishes that came through here and in person as well as on MySpace, Facebook, etc. I’m a very happy and lucky sarahkim [so much so that I’m referring to myself in the third person].)

Many, many thanks to the folks at KAWAN…… I just found out that I will be able to attend the U.S. Social Forum next week in Atlanta!! (How funny that I was just in ATL last week when the weather forced me to spend the night inadvertantly. Thank you a million times over to M. and L.T. for the great food and great company that night!)

D.C. was an amazing experience, and I met some wonderful people there, many of whom are involved in a New York-based group called Nodutdol (a Korean community development organization). I arrived on a red-eye into Baltimore and managed to make my way to the AFL-CIO building in D.C. for the teach-in, which was comprised of two panels of trade experts as well as a lobbying workshop. On Tuesday, we spent the day running among the Congress office buildings (for those familiar with the terrain, my meetings were primarily in Longworth and Rayburn).

As an overall team of 14 people, we managed to get to 34 different Senators and Representatives (as well as the Ways & Means Commmittee).  I was paired with another person and talked with staff members (not the Congresspeople directly) from Jim McDermott (WA), Adam Smith (WA), Ron Kind (WI), and John Sarbanes (MD). At one point, I misspoke and told a receptionist that we were with Korean Americans for Free Trade. D’oh!  I also took it upon myself to inform one of Jim McDermott’s staff members about the American military occupation of the Korean peninsula, only to be told later that a better term is “American military presence” (doesn’t put people back on their heels so much apparently).

The amount that I learned cannot be summarized here, but needless to say, I am incredibly grateful and happy that I decided to become involved in Sahngnoksoo. I am feeling more and more connected with the API community beyond Korean adoptees. Since I’ve been back from D.C., I’ve had meetings with the ACLF Community Leaders Program, the founder of Chinese Adoptee Links, my fellow co-director of KIDS Culture Camp, and a fantastic Sahngnoksoo study group meeting where myself and J.B. talked to our members about issues facing Korean adoptees. (I also tried Patron for the first time on Saturday night and have since become a convert.)

So I am busy, but as I told H.P. tonight, this is the kind of busy that I like–rather, love. I don’t like school-busy…… but traveling, networking, meetings with people/organizations that I care about–I’m addicted. 🙂

USSF is going to be an amazing experience, and I am SO excited to be there along with:

  • Almost everyone I lobbied (sp?) with in D.C.
  • Sahngnoksoo folks from Seattle
  • M. and L.T. (Atlanta-ites–is that even correct?)
  • L.M.R.!
  • Harlow’s Monkey and KPN (I think?? I heard this through the grapevine?)

Yay! This means, though, that I really have to get my act together this week. Laundry, e-mails, organizing, cleaning, unpacking (I should really just leave my suitcase out), working out, etc.

8 Comments

Filed under Community, Conferences, Traveling, Updates

Peace OUT

The day finally came–last Friday was the Evans School Convocation….I am officially, done, and I mean DONE DONE with the Evans School and with my M.P.A. (Master of Public Administration) degree!!!!

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

The last few weeks have been a blur….. It still hasn’t fully sunk in yet that I’m finished with everything (including my Degree Project [a.k.a. thesis]!). Realization will come later.

Tonight, I am leaving for Washington D.C. on a red-eye. I have an awesome opportunity to lobby some Congressmen against the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. (Thanks to my fellow group members at Sahngnoksoo, a Seattle group of progressive Koreans and Korean Americans, who not only informed me of the opportunity, but also set me up with other people on the East Coast who are sponsoring my flight and will provide invaluable guidance while I’m there.) Some of the people I will be working with are experienced lobbyists from Korean Americans Against War and Neoliberalism (KAWAN), Korean Americans for Fair Trade (KAFT), and the Korean Alliance Against the Korea-U.S. FTA (KoA). I admit to feeling nervous and out of my depth….. But since no one else from Sahngnoksoo was available to go, I was allowed the opportunity to gain some great lobbying experience as well as educate myself more about the KORUS-FTA issues…..

So here is how the rest of the summer is shaping up:

  • June 10-13: Lobbying in D.C.
  • rest of June: Trying to get a job, quickly, through a Seattle temp agency
  • July 9-13: KIDS Culture Camp
  • July 19-August 30: Korea!
  • August 30-September 6: Hawaii

After September 6th: Back to Seattle and trying to reinvent my life here yet again (new job search, new apartment hunt, etc.)

I will write a more detailed update here once I’m back from D.C. and finally get a chance to breathe. For now, I’m soooooooo relieved and happy to be done with school. 🙂

14 Comments

Filed under Politics, School Daze, Updates