CANDIDATE FEATURE - YOUNG KIM (Challenger for Seat#4)
In most political campaigns it’s not difficult to follow a candidate’s strategy. Most will focus on their strengths, on issues, point out their opponent’s flaws, or some combination of the above.
Then there is Young Kim.
Kim’s strategy is a bit more… enigmatic. Much like water in your hands it’s elusive. He seems more concerned with conveying the wishes of his supporters and citizens of Apopka than changing the minds of voters.
He skipped a Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum because he says the public doesn’t like the timing, pricing or the format.
He speaks in front of the City Council on matters he says citizens are concerned over, but apparently without much knowledge of the subject. Here is what he said last Wednesday:
“It appears that one class of people is being effected and another class is not. There are rumors going about that agriculture is benefitting from the water rate changes and I don’t know if it’s true and it’s not what I’m stating, but it needs to be addressed.”
When Mayor Joe Kilsheimer asked Kim if he had any basis to make that claim, he said no, but he has people who want him to make the claim.
His tactics are unusual at a minimum for someone hoping to unseat a 39-year incumbent, but Kim seems unconcerned with standard operating procedure. He runs his campaign in his own image. He rides a bicycle to events. He speaks his mind. He shoots from the hip.
He is Young Kim and he is running for Seat #4 of the Apopka City Commission.
According to his website, he attended Forest Lake Academy and graduated from Apopka High School. He has a degree from The University of Central Florida in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in that subject as well from a German university. He also has a Law Degree from Florida A&M University.
He explains his campaigning style with a very familiar phrase used by many before him, but Kim seems to add his own personality to it.
“My campaign is grass roots,” he said “I have not received any major contributions from any large corporate interests or institutions. Fortunately, due to the small size of our community, a strictly grass root campaign can still be effective.”
Kim sees himself as a person who better represents the diverse makeup of Apopka.
“Apopka commissioners are not truly representative of the demographics of Apopka," he said. "We have a very diverse group of people who make up our community. My participation in the campaign will help the city to realize that we need to unite Apopka. The city needs to focus their energies not only on special interest groups, but also the marginalized persons in our community.”
“I simply do not believe that he (Arrowsmith) represents all of Apopka because we have so many different groups of people. We have diverse cultural backgrounds, persons of various ages, and different socio-economic backgrounds. I simply do not believe that Mr. Arrowsmith is a unifier of the community.”
While Kilsheimer references Heathrow/Lake Mary, Lake Nona and Winter Garden as examples of cities that did things he wants to do for Apopka, Kim looks just a few miles down 441 for his example.
“I want to attract small businesses where they can be compacted in an area such as the way Mont Dora has fashioned its city. I believe that Mont Dora has wise city planners and was quite lucky that 441 was not located directly near the downtown area. Wise city planning can help us increase property values and help attract business to the city.”
And while Kim’s tactics and style may seem unusual or hard to follow, his priorities are not. He wants to help those that need help the most.
"My platform is drawn from these three words: unity, compassion and innovation. A unity statement such as this is committed in advancing the equality of opportunity between all people within the community and fostering good relations between different people and cultures in the Apopka community. Furthermore, as Apopka continues towards rapid development, the city must also display compassion towards the less fortunate. We must balance our interests in real estate development between upper, middle and lower class homes.”
Kim is an unorthodox candidate with a big heart and a lot of ideas to help Apopka. He may be the underdog for Seat#4, but his campaign will not soon be forgotten, no matter the outcome on March 15th.