FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Meraz
LA’S FAITH COMMUNITY ENDORSES ROBERT LEE AHN FOR CONGRESS
Los Angeles, CA—(May 11, 2017)—A coalition of faith-based organization leaders gathered in front of the oldest African American church in Los Angeles to endorse Robert Lee Ahn in his bid for the 34th Congressional District; calling him the type of leader residents are yearning for now.
“We just observed the civil unrest that gripped Los Angeles 25 years ago and seen the images of angry residents and burned out businesses. While the media has chosen to focus on the divide felt between African-Americans and Korean-Americans back then, we stand here today to show how far our communities have come in bridging those gaps by endorsing Robert Lee Ahn as our next Congressman from the 34th district,” said Rev. J. Edgar Boyd, senior pastor of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles (FAME).
The location at First A.M.E. Church was significant for its symbolism as a religious and cultural touchstone for the entire Los Angeles community and central starting point for the healing that has now brought the most ethnically diverse congressional district in California together.
“Robert Lee Ahn is smart and superbly qualified to be our next Congressman. He’s a man of unique character and high moral fiber. Robert is a uniter, his history of bringing people together and commitment to our community make him the perfect choice for Congress, that’s why I am proud to endorse him. Robert understands that service and helping others is what makes an excellent member of Congress. Robert’s faith is an important part of his life and his servant-mindedness will empower the people of the 34th Congressional district,” said Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray, pastor emeritus of FAME and on the faculty at the School of Religion at the University of Southern California, in a statement.
The district is the most ethnically diverse in California representing African-Americans, Latinos, whites, Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Filipino, Ethiopian, Jewish and Muslim communities and faiths. It is also the poorest district, an irony considering it includes the shiny skyscrapers of downtown LA.
“The needs of our community are many, but all too often we have not had a champion whose roots come from deep within it. In Robert, we have someone born and raised here, who has rolled up his sleeves and worked for the betterment of everyone and fought for affordable housing, keeping families together and small businesses hiring,” said Pastor Jae Yul Kim, president of the Council of Korean Churches of Southern California. “This district deserves one of its own in Washington and we believe Robert is the right man to do it.”
Faith-based groups have long been on the front lines providing housing, food, clothing, comfort, hope and referral services to this population of need and Ahn lauded the work they do and the important role the federal government should play in supporting their work.
“Politics and business as usual won’t work anymore. We have complicated issues such as gang violence, lack of jobs, slow business development, drug and alcohol addiction, an abundance of homeless and a large immigrant community and a desperate need for leadership that speaks to the needs of the people and not of lobbyists and special interests,” Ahn said.
“We need someone representing our district who has the intelligence, dedication, and moral fiber of Robert Ahn to bring about the real change we are all looking for. More than ever, it cannot be politics as usual, we need someone who has the courage to stand up against special interest groups and fight for the low income and middle class in our city who have been marginalized for too long. After spending time with Robert and seeing his track record of bringing people together to get things done, I am proud to support his campaign. Our country has become far too divided, and we need someone who will speak up for those who feel voiceless, but also be pragmatic in his approach. This is why you are seeing this historic coalition of ethnically and culturally diverse faith groups supporting a Korean-American candidate. His own experiences growing up here have helped shaped his sensitivities and awareness of what this district needs,” said Jordan Wagner, pastor at Oasis Church and Co-Founder of Generosity.org
Ahn is running to become the first Democratic Korean-American in Congress ever and the first in 20 years to serve in Congress. He also works as a public interest attorney and community organizer and was most recently a Los Angeles Planning Commissioner.
The 34th District represents all of Koreatown, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Little Bangladesh, as well as parts of Historic Filipinotown, Hollywood, Hancock Park, Downtown, Eagle Rock, Boyle Heights, City Terrace, Echo Park, El Sereno, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Lincoln Heights, Mt. Washington, Montecito Heights, and Westlake/Pico Union. For more information, go to www.AhnforCongress.com. The general election is June 6th.