Legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., to help reunite Korean families who had been separated since the Korean War recently made it out of committee, and the congressman wants his colleagues in the full House to pass it.
The Divided Families Reunification Act was marked up by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Oct. 30, but it is still awaiting a vote on the House floor. The bill, which has bipartisan support, would direct U.S. Department of State officials to work with their counterparts in south Korea to figure out how to reunite Korean Americans with family members in North Korea.
“There are so many American families who desperately want to reunite with their loved ones in North Korea,” said Congressman Woodall. “Nearly 70 years after the Korean War, too many Korean Americans died not knowing what happened to their parents, their siblings, and their children. This important legislation deserves a vote on the House floor.”
Woodall’s office said there have been resolutions aimed at reuniting Korean families in the past, but this bill would “compel the State Department to take diplomatic steps to address this tragedy.”
It would also direct state department officials to fill the “Special Envoy for Human Rights in North Korea” position.
“Although there have been efforts on Capitol Hill over the several years, this is the farthest any legislation on this issue has reached,” said Wonseok Song, Executive Director of the Korean American Grassroots Conference, the largest nationwide network of Korean American voters.
“Nearly a 100,000 Korean Americans have family members in North Korea whom they have not been able to reach, let alone meet, in over 70 years. In the dynamic nature of policy toward the Korean Peninsula, often forgotten and lost are humanitarian, family issues like this. We thank Representative Woodall’s bold leadership and continued support on this issue.”
Berkeley Lake voters back Sunday brunch alcohol sales
A measure to let restaurants sell alcohol earlier on Sundays received overwhelming support from voters in Berkeley Lake this past week.
The city’s “Brunch Bill” referendum passed by a margin of 121 votes to 10, according to city officials. It was the only item on the ballot that voters in the city needed to make a decision on since Mayor Lois Salter and City Council members Bob Smith and Rebecca Spitler ran unopposed for re-election.
Passage of the referendum means the time when restaurants can begin selling alcohol on Sundays will move from 12:30 p.m. to 11 a.m.
Warbington elected to Albany City Council
A Warbington has been elected to public office, but it’s not the one many Gwinnett voters may be thinking of and it’s not where they may be thinking either.
Although the Warbingtons have been in Gwinnett County for generations — and there’s been scuttlebutt about folks trying behind the scenes to get Lawrenceville City Manager Chuck Warbington to run for office in Gwinnett — it’s the member of the family who moved to Albany who was elected this past week.
Chad Warbington, son of Charles and Betty Warbington and brother of the Lawrenceville city manager, defeated an incumbent to win a seat on the Albany City Commission, according to the Albany Herald, a sister publication of the Daily Post.