Advocacy & Community Organizing
MinKwon Center believes fostering community action is at the heart of what we do. We represent our community’s needs and demands on the local, state and federal levels of government through targeted campaigns that are organized, directed and supported by members of our communities -- our friends, colleagues, neighbors, families and allies.
Rezoning and Housing Organizing
MinKwon’s Rezoning and Housing Organizing work builds grassroots power with Limited English Proficient immigrant and low-income tenants in Flushing. We fight for tenant rights, housing justice, and community-based affordable housing. We fight against predatory equity practices of developers, harassment from landlords, and unjust and unsustainable rezoning by the city.
We develop tenant leaders by providing “know your rights” workshops, involving tenants in legislative advocacy, organizing tenant associations in their buildings, and building alliances with other tenant organizing coalitions and community groups.
MinKwon organizes tenant meetings, community meetings, door knocking campaigns, and street outreach in order to build the base of the Flushing community. We host multilingual workshops to educate tenants on their rights under local and state law, on safe and unsafe housing conditions, on illegal and predatory actions by landlords, and on how to talk with their neighbors on housing issues.
In 2019, MinKwon partnered with Housing Justice for All and No More MCI's to advocate for Universal Rent Control legislation in New York state. Tenants led rallies, marches and town halls to express public support for housing reform, and organized petitions, phone drives, lobbying visits and other direct actions to state officials. Thanks to tenant organizing, on June 14, 2019, the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act was passed and signed into law, overturning many legal loopholes to raise rents and unjustly evict tenants, and authorizing the most pro-tenant legislation for NY in decades.
MinKwon believes that if tenants come together in their building, they can demand and win improvements to their housing conditions better than they could alone. In tenant associations, tenants decide on what issues are affecting them, how to collectively demand and bargain with their landlord and management company, and how to report violations to government agencies and the media. In Flushing, we found that predatory landlords take particular advantage of Limited English Proficiency tenants. We're excited for our long-term work to help create tenant associations at apartment buildings in Flushing. We envision a world where every neighbor does not have to face an unsafe living condition and unjust eviction.
We call on low-income tenants and allies to come together as a united movement for housing rights. If you live in the Flushing area and would like to be involved in tenant organizing, contact our lead housing organizer Seonae Byeon at firstname.lastname@example.org for our latest campaigns. If you belong to a tenant association or organization and would like to partner with us, contact Seonae to make an appointment or call.
MinKwon Center has two active groups comprised of community members who investigate and educate themselves on critical issues that impact their daily lives and who lead campaigns for long-term solutions and social change. We base our organizing groups in Flushing, Queens — home of one of the largest Korean, Asian American and immigrant populations in New York City.
Immigrant Rights Group
Members of our Immigrant Rights Group stay up-to-date on the latest developments and changes to federal and state immigration policy and law, and on recent victories, setbacks, controversies and campaigns by other local and national immigrant rights organizations. Our members lead campaigns for immigrant justice, including campaigns to pass the federal and NY State DREAM Act, to educate the community about their rights regarding confrontations with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and to lobby for state lawmakers to pass legislation for undocumented immigrants to be eligible for NY state drivers’ licenses. Our Immigrant Rights Group has free, public meetings once a month.
Our DREAMer Group is comprised specifically of DACA recipients and young undocumented immigrants who have their own space to organize. We empower our DACA community members to become engaged in advocating for immigration reform, and they come together as peers to collectively envision a just and comprehensive immigration system, and respond to the attacks on DACA and related protected statuses. Our DREAMer group has monthly meetings that are open to DACA recipients and young undocumented immigrants.