February 27, 2024

Congressman Andy Kim Meets with Essex County Black Community Leaders and Seniors to Find Solutions to the Current Affordability Crisis

Essex County, N.J. - Today, Congressman Kim spent the day meeting with Black leaders, community activists, and seniors to discuss the ongoing affordability crisis. He first met with local leaders at Cornbread and Soul in Montclair where they discussed the recently released Study on the Availability and Utilization of Small, Minority, Women, and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses, which showed concrete evidence concluding there has been an ongoing wealth and opportunity gap for the Black community in New Jersey. This led to a productive and collaborative discussion on ways to curb this imbalance, and how they can work to solve problems with the assistance of federal funding.

After, he visited and spoke with residents at the Peter Antonellis Tower in East Orange, which is part of the Region 9 Housing Corporation, where he heard directly about the issues their seniors are facing. Region 9 is a nonprofit created to sponsor, promote, and provide affordable housing to meet the needs of low to moderate-income seniors, persons with disabilities, and families. They currently manage 1,110 affordable housing units across the state, bringing much-needed relief to New Jersey residents and families.

“Today, I met with Essex County Black community leaders, activists, and seniors on the ground to discuss ways we can work together to address the affordability crisis which disproportionately negatively impacts the Black community across our state in terms of small business opportunities, rising healthcare costs, and pay disparity,” said Congressman Andy Kim. “I was able to speak directly with seniors who are living with the repercussions of this crisis every day and heard their calls for help when it comes to rising prescription costs and crumbling infrastructure. As Senator, I will be a champion for all communities in our state and I am confident we will be able to make lasting change by continuing to have open and collaborative discussions like we had all day today. I look forward to continued partnerships to make New Jersey a more equitable state.”

"I am grateful and impressed that Congressman Kim took so much time to hear my thoughts and concerns about the Black community and the struggle to build generational wealth,” said Alexander McLucas, Alpha Phi Alpha NJ District Director. “He listened with an open mind and is committed to finding solutions that will help my family and my community."

"I appreciate Congressman Kim taking time to sit and talk with me about the disparities in our State,” said William Scott Montclair House Commission Member and Montclair’s NAACP Housing Committee Chair. “He listened with an open mind, and I believe he is committed to learning and working to improve the lives of families in our community."

First elected to Congress in 2018 at the age of 36, three-term Congressman Andy Kim is one of the younger members to serve in Congress and is the first Asian American elected to federal office from New Jersey. If elected to the Senate, Andy would be the 4th youngest Senator, and the first Asian American elected to the Senate from the entire east coast of America. In 2018 and 2020, Andy defeated two self-funding millionaires in a district carried by former President Trump, and in 2022 Kim defeated his third self-funding millionaire opponent by 12 points.

As a son of immigrants, a graduate from New Jersey public schools, and a young dad, Andy represents a new generation of leadership in the Democratic Party and is committed to making sure all voices are heard when making decisions. He, and his wife Kammy, are raising two troublemaking boys down the road from where he grew up.