Leading by Example: Why Rep. Andy Kim’s Actions at the Capitol Deserve To Be Acknowledged

By: Iman Ali, MPAC Policy and Programming Coordinator

American author John C. Maxwell one said “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” Following the heinous acts of insurrection on Capitol Hill, leadership needed to be on display more than ever. This was no longer about partisanship — it was about the survival of our democracy, and Congress was tasked with showing the world, especially the domestic terrorist responsible for the vitriol that American Democracy would prevail, and that the bedrock of our nation’s principles could not be shaken. While some took to the House and Senate floors to give fiery speeches, Congressman Andy Kim (D-NJ) sent the loudest message, without uttering a word at all.

As Congress was wrapping up its session confirming the electoral votes that solidified President-elect Joe Biden as America’s next President, Rep. Kim spent his 1:00 am crouched on the Capitol floor cleaning up the trash left by those who had, just hours earlier, vandalized his place of work.

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., cleans up debris and trash strewn across the floor in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

When asked by the Associated Press (AP) about his reasoning behind the clean up, the New Jersey Congressman responded by saying, “when you see something you love that’s broken you want to fix it. I love the Capitol. I‘m honored to be there,” he said. “This building is extraordinary and the rotunda in particular is just awe-inspiring. How many countless generations have been inspired in that room? It really broke my heart and I just felt compelled to do something. … What else could I do?” he said.

Rep. Kim’s taking charge to assist in the clean up is refreshing and a direct example of his humility and devotion to public service.

The son of Korean immigrants, Rep. Kim has often mentioned that his upbringing was vital in molding his sense of responsibility for helping others, which continues to be exemplified by his generous actions helping officers and janitorial staff with trash pick up.

Rep. Kim’s behavior is an example we should all aspire to follow because it embodies stepping up to help even when it’s not expected of you. It’s well known that politics is a dirty game, but Rep. Kim redefines the phrase through his selfless acts of service.

We thank you Congressman Kim for your genuine leadership.

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