The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

February 24, 2015

Garry South (310) 600-9001


President of Union Group Calls Sukhee Kang “Terrific in Every Way on Education”

SAN JOSE – The California School Employees Association (CSEA), AFL-CIO, has endorsed Democratic candidate Sukhee Kang in the Senate District 29 race. The district is at the confluence of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

CSEA, formed in 1927, is the largest classified school-employees union in the United States,   representing more than 215,000 school support staff throughout California. CSEA members perform a wide range of essential work in the state’s public schools and community colleges, including security, food services, office and clerical work, school maintenance and operations, transportation, academic assistance and paraeducator services, library and media assistance, computer services and more. The union has more than 750 chapters throughout California.

“The California School Employees Association, AFL-CIO, is pleased to endorse Sukhee Kang for state Senate,” Association President Ben Valdepeña said. “His support for public education and labor issues of importance to classified employees made this an easy choice. His record as a big-city mayor was terrific in every way on education, and he always dealt with public employees with respect and dignity. As a university educator himself, Sukhee will be a strong voice for education at all levels in the Senate.”

“I am enormously grateful for the endorsement of CSEA in my race for the state Senate,” Kang said. “I am particularly gratified that so many education organizations have come on board my campaign, and I look forward to working with educators and education organizations at all levels to improve our public schools and make a high-quality education within the reach of all Californians.” Kang previously has won the endorsements of the California Federation of Teachers and the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.

Kang also has won the support of Sen. Kevin de León, the current president pro tempore and Democratic leader of the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning, and Sen. Connie Leyva, chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus.  In addition, four past presidents pro tem of the Senate have come out in support of Kang’s candidacy.

Kang was a two-term city councilmember in Irvine, as well as a two-term mayor of the city, reelected overwhelmingly in 2010 with more than 64 percent of the vote. He and his wife Joanne, also a South Korean native who immigrated to the U.S. with him in 1977, have been residents of Orange County for 39 years and now live in Fullerton.

Kang announced his candidacy for the open 29th Senate District on April 22, 2015, the first Democrat to do so, and has since picked up dozens of endorsements from state and local officials, community leaders and organizations throughout Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.  The district is currently represented by former Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, who cannot run again due to term limits.

Kang has been recognized numerous times for his outstanding public service and community leadership, including receiving the American Diabetes Association’s “Orange County Father of the Year Award” in 2012, the Carnegie Corporation’s “Pride of America” award in 2010, and the International Leadership Foundation’s “Public Servant of the Year” award in 2010.  The Irvine Chamber of Commerce also recognized Kang in 2010 as “Business Leader of the Year.”

A veteran, Kang served in the South Korean Army, then graduated from the prestigious Korea University with a degree in agricultural economics, and in 2011 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Dongseo University in Busan, Korea.  He also has served a special advisor to the chancellor of UC Irvine, and as an adjunct professor and Chancellor Fellow at Chapman University.

The Kang children, Alan, 35, and Angie, 33, attended public schools in Anaheim, where the Kang family lived for 10 years. Alan, a graduate of USC’s Marshall School of Business, is a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Angie, a graduate of Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall), is senior counsel at Hulu.

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