Xyza Junior Reporter Clarissa R. wanted to learn more about Mason Fong, a challenger and twenty-six-year-old candidate for the three seats on the city council in Sunnyvale, California, so when the opportunity arose to ask him questions, she and fellow JR Celeste M. jumped right on it! Read what Celeste and Clarissa had to ask and what Mr. Fong had to say!
Clarissa: How do you plan to make more affordable housing in Sunnyvale?
Sunnyvale is already leading in housing development in the region; however, we need to think bigger about master planning for all diversities of housing, both in the amount of income distribution per household as well as the type of housing we are building, whether it be looking at Single Room Occupancy (SRO) high-density developments near transit like Lawrence Station and Downtown, or duplexes for median income earners. Items that I will focus on, if elected, include but are not limited to workforce housing, accessory dwelling units—also known as granny flats—urban village plans, safe parking sites for RVs and other vehicle dwellers, homeless transitional services, and much more.
Clarissa: What do you feel are the best ways for young people to get politically involved?
Young people can start first in their own local communities, whether it be a student getting involved with student government or a student organization or in their own district for a city council, county, state, school board or even congressional candidate. I first got my start at De Anza College where I joined Circle K International, a community service organization. I quickly learned how to get politically involved by volunteering at various nonprofits that provided food and shelter for the homeless, programming services for disabled youth, and more. I am so pleased to see young people march for things like gun control reform and women’s rights, and the recent advocacy by young people has been very inspirational to me.
Celeste: Do you plan to move on to bigger things (politically) if you win the election?
I will be completely content being able to serve my community on the city council. My passion is in land use and making it work for the community. If I can accomplish many great feats in this field, I will feel nothing but gratefulness to Sunnyvale voters for allowing me the privilege to serve.
Celeste: Do you have any idea what type of bills you plan on proposing if you win?
I aim to introduce various study issues, such as a master plan to fill our vacant positions in our city departments, an office of cultural affairs that will work on cultural celebration and community outreach, and a smart cities initiative to use technology to improve city services, whether it be rolling out 5g wireless technology or optimizing signal lights to improve traffic and improve emergency response times for our firefighters, police officers, and local hospitals.