Crowded primaries in progressive districts often yield numerous candidates with nearly indistinguishable policy platforms. When Chris Taylor made it clear she would not be seeking re-election to represent Madison’s District 76 of the Wisconsin State Assembly, unabashed progressives began to flood the ballots. 

Many of them shared political ideologies and policy preferences, but few shared the experience this board felt best equipped them to serve the needs of Madison and the state of Wisconsin as a whole. 

Within this relatively crowded, politically homogeneous field, The Badger Herald Editorial Board voted nearly unanimously to endorse Francesca Hong for the Wisconsin State Assembly. 

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Hong embodies the record level of progressive women taking electoral politics into their own hands and directly fighting for their own communities. As a lifelong Madison resident and daughter of immigrants turned Badgers, Hong has demonstrated her willingness to fight for a better Madison through her penchant for political organization and her founding of the Culinary Ladies Collective that continues to fight for service workers throughout the state of Wisconsin. 

Through her background as a service worker, Hong will bring a unique perspective to the State Assembly that makes her particularly qualified to help Madison, its service industry and the greater working class through this particularly difficult time as COVID-19 continues to put a strain on the lives of service workers everywhere. 

As a self-made entrepreneur, a child of immigrants, a mother and a woman in the service industry, Hong is poised to implement the intersectional economic and social justice initiatives crucial to securing a progressive future for the city of Madison and the state of Wisconsin. 

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For those seeking a secure future for the working class of Madison when we emerge from the economic and public health crises currently facing our community, there exists little doubt among this board that Hong is the one to lead us in this fight. As an owner of her own business, she understands that equitable labor contracts, a robust minimum wage and progressive debt relief programs are all in the best interest of both workers and small businesses. 

In her own words, “when an investment is made in the mental and physical well-being of the working individual, everyone wins.”

Hong also boasts the endorsement of Nada Elmikashfi, the insurgent progressive also endorsed by The Badger Herald in her play for the District 26 of the Wisconsin State Senate. In this sense, Hong is the right candidate to continue the trend of local, progressive change that has swept Wisconsin and the nation at large over the past four years. 

In order to implement a more progressive future for Madison, Hong’s ideals in the area of voting rights and non-partisan redistricting align with this board’s vision of how a healthy communal democracy should function. 

This dedication to institutional reform, paired with Hong’s resolve to fight for Wisconsin’s working class, is ultimately necessary to ensure a long-lasting shift to a more equitable future for our state and local communities. 

The Badger Herald Editorial Board is proud to endorse Francesca Hong in her fight to represent Madison in the Wisconsin State Assembly.