Monday, May 18, 2009

Kim '01 kicks off campaign for NY City Council

Former USG president PJ Kim ’01 has decided to seek higher office: a seat on the New York City Council.

Kim made things official a couple weeks back and threw his hat into the District 1 race. He’s got a snazzy new website, a Facebook site with 1,300 supporters and has already raised $70,000 for the Sept. 15 Democratic primary in which he will face four opponents, including incumbent Alan Gerson.

The son of Korean immigrants, Kim went to McKinsey after graduation before heading to Harvard for a joint MBA/MPA. A Wilson School concentrator, he also served a four-year tem as Young Alumni Trustee. Not too shabby.

The real estate Kim hopes to represent couldn’t be sweeter: Chinatown, Little Italy, Lower East Side, Tribeca, Soho and the South Street Seaport. Oh, and don’t forget the Financial District and Battery Park. The stretch of downtown Manhattan includes Wall Street, City Hall, the World Trade Center site and NYU.

Kim’s tenure at the helm of the USG was busy time for the University. The trustees voted for the plan to expand the undergraduate population from 4,800 to 5,200 students — a goal that will finally be realized in 2012. Kim also presided over the USG meeting where Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel first announced the idea of a required writing seminar for freshmen. Kim also sat on the selection committee that ultimately made Shirley Tilghman the University’s 19th president.

Kim was also president when the U. decided — without soliciting any undergraduate student input — to convert Chancellor Green, which was a popular café at the time, into academic library and study space. After students piled on the criticism of the move, Kim said the issue meant "[administrators] can't just do business as usual, which is to steam roll it through."