By Lee Chi-dong
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) — Dozens of Korean-American leaders from across the U.S. held an event Saturday to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama for a second term.
Obama will take the oath of office at the White House on Sunday, followed by a public swearing-in ceremony at the west steps of the U.S. Capitol the next day.
“2012 marked a historic year for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” said Laura Shin, a member of the Korean American Inauguration Committee. “This is a time for us to celebrate our community’s increased engagement and build upon the progress we have made together.”
The committee is an ad-hoc group working to bring together the Korean-American community during the upcoming presidential inauguration.
It is also recognizing the political achievements of the Korean-American community.
The newly-elected Korean-American state legislators were honored at the event held at a Korean restaurant in northern Virginia.
“It’s a tremendous privilege to be one of the honorees recognized before the Korean-American community,” Ron Kim said. “I look forward to working with our community to forge new paths and engaging Korean-Americans.”
Last year, the Seoul-born Kim became the first Korean-American ever elected to the New York State Legislature.
Patty Kim, the first Asian-American woman elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, also attended the ceremony, along with other Korean-American politicians, officials and volunteers.
There are more than 1.7 million Korean-Americans living the U.S. and their community is stepping up efforts to gain more political clout.