“Ready to Begin Our Campaign for Stamford’s Future” — William Tong

By William Tong, Candidate for Mayor of Stamford

Stamford, Conn., Feb. 7, 2013, — Today, the Stamford Advocate published a column I wrote about Stamford’s readiness to move forward, united by a shared vision and plan, to make our city the finest city for families in the country.

This is a goal I know we can achieve, and I am ready to work with you to make it happen.

Over the coming weeks and months I will be reaching out to you and many others, people who care about our city and believe in its future. I hope to hear your ideas, earn your support and share my plan for Stamford 2020: A City for Families.

Stamford is a City for Families

Stamford is ready. As I speak with my neighbors and friends across the city, people are ready and eager to push forward again and embrace a vision that spans generations. We are ready to move past the political drama and disagreements that hold us back and leave that baggage behind. We’ve been through so much and we’ve managed in difficult times. But we are now ready and anxious for what comes next.

I am ready to lead the charge forward as your mayor. As a city, we need to stop going through the motions and do what we all know we have to do to get our city going again. We cannot continue to drift and wander, and find our future by neglect. This mayoral election gives us a fresh opportunity to determine where we are going. We have what it takes to succeed. Stamford is a vibrant, well-educated community full of energy and possibility. Our businesses, from smallest to largest, are invested and ready to grow. Legions of volunteers are ready to pitch in. First, we must reconnect with who we are. I believe that Stamford is a city for families. Families like the Uvas, who have owned Sorrento Pizza on High Ridge Road for the past 24 years. Like my parents did, the Uvas work six days and nights a week in their restaurant. They are the very best of us; they have a strong family that has remained close across generations, they’ve been patient and resilient in a tough economy and they run their business honorably and in service of our community. The Uvas are a constant reminder to me of how I was raised, and of the sacrifices many families make every day for each other.

Next, we need to decide where we are headed. When I think of what Stamford can be, I see a city where families look to strong schools and can confidently raise their children. Where children grow up and return one day to raise families of their own. Where parents and grandparents can enjoy a comfortable retirement in the neighborhoods they know so well. Where all of our family members can find good paying jobs, housing they can afford, and stay tight with each other across generations. A city where we come together in a larger family, from the young, single person who lives in an apartment downtown, to our seniors who debate world affairs in the Senior Center, bound together by our common strength and ambition to be better.

We are ready. Together, I believe we can make it happen. That is why I have started work on a plan forward called Stamford 2020: A City for Families. By 2020, Stamford will be the finest city for families in America. In the first 100 days of my administration, we will hold town hall meetings across the city to develop a 2020 Plan for every neighborhood. Our focus will be on rebuilding our infrastructure, investing in schools, fostering small business growth, keeping families safe, and doing as much as we can to ensure that we can all afford to live here. Each 2020 Plan will be complete by the end of my first year in office, and I will appoint a cabinet-level director of Resident and Community Affairs to make it real.

I am ready to work hand-in-hand with the Boards of Representatives, Education and Finance and unite our city in this shared vision. As one of your representatives in Hartford over the past six years, I’ve done just that. I took the lead on gun control legislation, the Lost and Stolen Firearms bill, and worked with my colleagues to secure its passage, despite staunch opposition from the National Rifle Association. As chairman of the Banks Committee, I worked hard to keep homeowners facing foreclosure in their homes, and pushed banks to lend to small businesses. While we’ve had to make tough decisions to balance our state budget, I’ve fought for families and the affordable housing, health care, and social services they need. As mayor, I will bring people together and leverage the relationships I’ve built in Hartford to increase funding for education, public safety and capital investments in our neighborhoods.

Some people have asked me, why do you want this job? It’s simple: Stamford is our home. It is the ground in which my wife Elizabeth and I have anchored our dreams, as have so many other families. And it’s where we’ve chosen to raise our family. Elizabeth and I have discussed the immense responsibility of serving as mayor, and we know it will be harder than we can imagine. But we’ve never shied away from hard work. And that’s why we are here, at home in Stamford, ready to begin our campaign for Stamford’s future.

Announcement of Candidacy for Mayor of Stamford on Feb. 4, 2013

As many of you know, I’ve spent the last few weeks traveling around Stamford talking to voters – from the A&P grocery store in North Stamford to Elm Street Diner off Cove Road – hearing many things we love about Stamford and also the things we must change to make it a better city.

Yesterday, we made it official and announced our campaign to run for mayor of Stamford.

Stamford has been going through the motions lately. But I do not believe we can reach our future by neglect. As mayor, my focus will be giving Stamford the long term vision it needs to succeed. With the right leadership and vision, Stamford can be the finest small city in the country for our families.

Please visit our campaign website, williamtong.com to send me a message, get involved in my campaign or make a contribution.