ELECTION 2020: City Commissioner candidate Francisco Serrano
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - 13 News full interview with Bowling Green City Commissioner candidate Francisco Serrano.
Q: If anything, what are you going to do to ensure more affordable housing in Bowling Green? What kind of policies are currently in place or planned (if any) for more affordable housing?
A: “So the policies that we’re looking at, are working more directly with organizations that are already doing a lot of this groundwork and building that groundwork for us to build off of. So, working with organizations like Hotel Inc, and also ensuring that we have more affordable housing in Bowling Green, so being such as incentives for local developers. And, you know, to build more affordable housing, because right now we’re seeing a huge waitlist in the affordable housing that we have currently. And we definitely need much more of it, especially during these COVID times where we’re requiring people to quarantine and people can’t quarantine safely if they don’t have a home to live in.”
Q: With 19 cities in KY that have adopted the fairness ordinance, do you believe Bowling Green should or shouldn’t have one. Why or why not?
A: “Absolutely. This is something that should have been passed long ago. And the reason why is because we have to be representative of Bowling Green. Right now our population looks like, having LGBTQ folks that live here. Our team, something that I’m proud of, is that our team looks exactly like what Bowling Green is-- where queer, we’re black, we’re autistic, we’re female, and we’re LatinX. This is what we have to remember-- is that we have such a diverse population here in Bowling Green, and we have to make sure that these populations are not only protected through policy, but also represented in our government.”
Q: Do you have plans on expanding broadband internet within the city? If so, how?
A: “Yes, absolutely. So this is something that is very close to my heart because I remember growing up and having to go to the library to be able to get some homework done. We didn’t have internet in my home. So you know, it’s a huge thing for us to be able to work within our city to address this problem. Right now we’re seeing more and more of it because children are having to do their school work from home, people are having to work from home. And it’s just not possible if they don’t have access to internet. And so, you know, we’re looking at making sure that we can find the best possible solution-- whether it be providing hotspots to families, or you know, whatever it may be in terms of what the family needs, those are going to be things that we absolutely address.”
Q: What role do you think the city plays in keeping the community safe during COVID-19 -- even working with the county?
A: “Sure, so the role of the city government should be to help businesses thrive and help businesses survive during this troublesome and trying time. These are things that, you know, we did not foresee, but they are things that many local businesses, and our local people are looking to us to help them. And so we absolutely have to address their needs. I’ve sat down and talked to very many business owners, and right now they are in need of just know, for everything from funding to more foot traffic, you know, there are things where we can absolutely help. And those are things that we have to sit down and talk to our local businesses to address.”
Q: What ideas do you have to help diversify city leadership and employment?
A: “The ideas I have, start with our campaign. So you know, it’s a big thing for us to have representation in our government. Growing up for me, I never saw anyone that looked like me in our government... that spoke Spanish -- that was never a thing. And so it was a big deal for us to run to be the first Latino on Bowling Green City commission, and to be the youngest. These are things that we have to consider when we’re looking at our workforce. You know what, what type of people do we want to recruit and keep in Bowling Green. Those things that we have to keep in mind, you know, the only way that our city is going to survive and thrive is if we can retain our youth here in Bowling Green. And the only way to do that is by ensuring that we have good jobs, ensuring that we meet the needs of this community, because these needs are constantly changing. And so I know that we are the best and most qualified to do each one of those things.”
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