Monday, October 21, 2013

Councilor At-Large 2013 Q & A: Hong Net

Incumbent Councilor At-Large Hong Net was first elected to the Lynn City Council in 2011. Here he answers a few questions regarding his candidacy for re-election and where he hopes to see Lynn in five years.

Why have you decided to run for another term on the Lynn City Council?
I’ve decided to run for reelection because I want to continue working alongside other hard-working community leaders and residents to build a more inclusive and dynamic city.  I also want to continue to model how our city’s elected officials can work with integrity to ensure that all voices are heard in city hall. 

Because of my difficult experiences in Cambodia, I am deeply committed to advocating for civil and human rights, tolerance, and justice.  My campaign team, my family, and I are dedicated to upholding our beliefs and values in regard to personal integrity, servant-leadership, and grassroots community building.  Our hope is that we would be able to strengthen the people’s faith in government by modeling integrity, honest, and commitment while empowering others to be more civically engaged.

Since you were first elected to City Council, how would you describe the frequency and depth of your personal interactions with Lynn residents regarding any concerns they may have?  Based on your interactions with constituents, what do you believe to be the most common areas of concern for Lynners?
During my first term I’ve done my best to listen to residents’ different perspectives and opinions in order to represent the people’s concerns and best interests.  I’ve consistently sought out many community groups and members of Lynn’s diverse ethnic communities to hear their perspectives on various issues, and I believe this has been evident in the way I vote on the Council.  The residents of Lynn are concerned with issues regarding the future of Union Hospital, the overcrowding of our public schools, the lack of employment opportunities, the trend of foreclosures throughout the city, the high rate of drug-related crimes, and the state of our local economy.

In 2012, I authored the ordinance creating Lynn’s first Human Rights Commission (HRC) and continue to serve the Commission as an advisor.  The HRC now has 11 volunteer commissioners and has begun work on its mission to increase mutual self-respect, harmonious inter-group relations, and the peaceful enjoyment of life in our diverse community.  I also initiated and continue to advise the Asian Business Association of the North Shore (ABANS) which has already begun partnering with other business organizations to increase the economic successes in our city.  I have also brought leaders of diverse civic organizations together to address shared community needs.

I have advocated and voted for fairness in approving the 4 million dollar bond to clean and upgrade our city’s infrastructure, including our parks and playgrounds.  I also voted for improving transparency and home owners’ rights regarding foreclosure.  And I always remain available via phone, email, or in person to hear residents’ concerns and help them find answers and solutions.

In terms of amenities, where do you feel Lynn is most deficient?  How could this be addressed?
One of the keys to enhancing inclusivity and the sharing of ideas in regard to building community is to have easily-accessible public spaces where residents can come together to safely play, learn, and interact.  I will continue to advocate for, and promote, green public spaces, such as parks, playgrounds, and open areas that are attractive, enjoyable, and safe.

  What type of city do you believe that Lynn should be aspiring toward?  Long-term what would Lynn ideally look like in 5 years?
I envision open, transparent communication between the people of Lynn and their elected officials, city hall departments, and public servants in order to effectively and fairly respond to residents’ concerns and address their issues.  I hope to improve the quality of life for the city as a whole by continuing to bring a forward-thinking, big-picture perspective to city committees and departments that are involved in planning for the city’s future.
I will continue my work to ensure that all voting stations throughout the city are located in neighborhoods that provide logical, easy access for all citizens to exercise their right to vote.  I’ll also work with our city and state officials to find resources to bolster the LPD to at least 225 officers.  I plan to communicate with the mayor and our DPW about replacing aging equipment and hiring the necessary staff to ensure the efficient upkeep of our streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces.  Doing this would produce immediate results in improving trash/recycling pick-ups, fixing potholes, snow removal, etc.
I will continue my collaborations with the mayor’s office, the EDIC, and Community Development to hire a multilingual business outreach specialist to help local businesses continue to succeed.  I will also pursue and promote the acceleration of green energy programs in the city, starting with improving the energy efficiency of all city-owned buildings by requiring that all new renovations and buildings be approved by a Green Energy Commission.
Where can voters get more information on your candidacy and learn more about you?
You are all welcome to visit my Facebook page, “Councilor at Large Hong Net,” and my website,  I also check my email,, frequently and I can be reached by phone at 781.309.7771.

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