Steve Choi, a Harvard-trained attorney, has been selected as the new Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. The coalition is the largest statewide immigration coalition in the country. I have known Steve for half-a-dozen years and in that time I have seen him work creatively with a variety of immigrant organizations in the City and on Long Island. Steve started his career as a civil rights litigator and then went on to head the MinKwon Center in Flushing, Queens. A dynamic speaker and a skillful strategist, Steve doubled the size of that organization based in the Korean community during his tenure there.
Steve arrives at a critical time in the struggle for immigration reform. His knowledge of the issues and his experience as a lawyer make him the perfect choice to guide the coalition. His character and innovative spirit will help him grow with the job.
Guillermo Chacon takes over as the Chair of the Board of the Coalition. He has deep roots on Long Island. I first met him in 1982 when he was a young activist working with the Salvadoran community in Westbury. His sister still works there for St. Brigid’s Church. After becoming a national leader of the Central American refugee movement, he turned his attention to working with Latinos who are HIV+.
I was very happy to be selected to serve as Vice Chair of the Board. I have served on the board now for 22 years and I have always been impressed by the quality of the staff and the board. I think that the choices for leadership show an understanding by the Coalition of the key role Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens play in the immigration community.