KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – 25-year Kissimmee resident, entrepreneur Andrew Jeng will officially launch his 2018 campaign for Kissimmee City Commission, Seat 2, at the Seasons Florida Resort on U.S. 192 in Kissimmee at 6pm on Saturday in hopes of making history as the first Chinese American elected in all of Florida. In an exclusive interview with Florida National News, Jeng shares what makes him the best candidate, what his values are, and what he senses the City of Kissimmee needs to grow as a smart city.
FNN News: As a 25-year Kissimmee resident, how have you seen the city evolve?
Jeng: Over the years, I’ve watched the Kissimmee City Council evolve to allow greater representation that reflects the community it serves, including women and minorities.
FNN News: Why are you running for Kissimmee City Commissioner? What makes you the best candidate?
Jeng: I’m running because I strongly believe in the value of public service and I’m looking to bring new ideas that will improve the lives of the people of Kissimmee. I’m the best candidate because I have a strong track record of serving the public.
FNN News: Lets talk about your position on: a) public service; b) struggling small businesses downtown and within the US-192 City limits; c) family, community, and homelessness; d) growth and infrastructure.
Jeng: a) Concerning public service, I’m honored to have the public trust me to take action on their questions and concerns about how Kissimmee government should be run.
b) As a small business owner, I understand the complexities of zoning ordinances and permitting processes when operating a business. I will work with City staff and business organizations to ensure that Kissimmee is a city that welcomes small business and fosters business growth while also protecting the interests of the community.
c) Kissimmee families and the communities they live in are very important to me, that’s why I’ll be working hard to make sure our parks and recreational spaces are safe for them to enjoy. I’m deeply concerned about the homeless crisis in Kissimmee, especially when it affects our veterans, seniors, and children. I will look at what has not worked and visit other cities to find what will work for a city of our size. I will work with county, state, and federal officials as well as the private sector in seeking ways to reduce homelessness here in Kissimmee.
d) I believe that I am the right candidate to help improve Kissimmee’s growth by turning Kissimmee into a smart city where technology can be a major employer. When elected, I’ll take a look at the spending plans for our city’s infrastructure to determine if the current sales tax is working.
FNN News: We understand your vision is to make Kissimmee a smart city. Why is that important to you and how will that benefit Kissimmee residents?
Jeng: Making Kissimmee a smart city is important because it will bring high paying jobs here and increase job opportunities overall. Our city will be known for tourism, hospitality, and tech.
FNN News: If you’re elected, you will make history as the first Chinese-American to be elected to the Kissimmee Commission. How do you think that distinction will benefit the city?
Jeng: That distinction will allow this city to have better relations with China and other Asian nations around the world in order to nurture investment and business growth, which I’ve already begun.
FNN News: What are the other goals you have for Kissimmee if/when you’re elected?
Jeng: When I’m elected, I’ll also work on education initiatives that will help our children be workforce-ready.
FNN News: Imagine this is day one after you’re sworn in. What’s the first project you’ll work on?
Jeng: The first thing I’ll work on is appointing community, religious, and business leaders as well as public officials to create an action plan for our first 100 days.
FNN News: What are the most common issues you’ve heard from Kissimmee residents that you plan to work on once you’re elected?
Jeng: I’ve heard concerns about job opportunities, public safety, and lower taxes.
FNN News: You did a tour of Kissimmee after Hurricane Irma and helped residents get assistance. What changes have you seen since then? How has Kissimmee fared since the hurricane?
Jeng: Since Hurricane Irma came through Kissimmee, I’ve seen residents get federal assistance for their families and elected officials at all levels working in collaboration to ensure Kissimmee recovers.
FNN News: Talk about your tenure with the APAPA. What has the organization been able to accomplish and how has it impacted Kissimmee specifically?
Jeng: The Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs has increased awareness of the Asian community here in Central Florida. Kissimmee’s elected officials have a much better understanding of Asian culture and the Asian community here in Kissimmee.