Young-Gil Song, South Korean politician and fifth popularly elected Mayor of Incheon, will discuss “Incheon City: A Mayor’s Vision” at the Charles B. Wang Center, Lecture Hall 2, on Monday, May 14, from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm.
Song was born in Goheung, South Jeolla Province in 1963 and experienced the Gwangju Democratization Movement when he was in Dae-Dong High School. He became the first ever directly elected president of Yonsei University’s student council. While he was president of the student council, Song participated in the democratic movement with students from other universities. In 1985 he was sent to prison for one-and-a-half years for violating the Law on Assembly and Demonstration. Following his release Song worked as a laborer, including time as a welder for Daewoo Motor, and as a taxi driver for seven years.
At the age of 30 he took the National Bar Examination to challenge human rights violations and improve unfair treatment of the underprivileged. After passing the exam he became an active human rights lawyer working alongside the weak and the poor. In 1999, to further help those in need, he ran in the 1999 by-elections, but lost. He was later elected as a National Assemblyman in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 general elections.
As a lawmaker Song has proven his firm vision and affection for the nation through his activities as a member of Special Committees on the Historical Distortion of Japanese Textbooks, Against the Iraq War, the Korea-US FTA, and KIKO. He was also a member of the Legislation and Judiciary Committee and the Finance and Economy Committee. When he was a member of the National Assembly’s Committee on Health, Welfare and Information and a Supreme Council Member of the Democratic Party, he ran in the Incheon mayoral election and was elected Mayor on June 2, 2010.