Cranston Mayor Allen Fung announced he's running for governor Monday morning at TACO on Cranston Street to a crowd of about 150, pledging to create 20,000 jobs in RI in four years.
A lively crowd crammed themselves into a small reception room inside TACOS's corporate offices at about 10 a.m., prompting Fung's campaign manager to ask the crowd to clear the exits.
Among the people waiting on Fung's announcement were Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, former Gov. Lincoln Almond, GOP Chairman Mark Smiley, and John White, President and CEO of TACO, who introduced Fung.
Fung spoke to the crowd about his parents, who immigrated from Hong Kong to Rhode Island 44 years ago to provide a better life for their family, "...and give them the extraordinary opportunities available in the United States."
While working in a restaurant on Cranston Street in Cranston, Fung said, he learned about hard work and the value of a hard-earned dollar, and about the opportunity his parents had capitalized on in the US through hard work. "This is the Rhode Island that I want for every resident in the state," Fung said, "I want to be your next governor."
Fung outlined the success and expansion of Marchetti's Restaurant, Garden City's shopping center, Alex and Ani and TACO, which have each located their corporate headquarters in the city, as Fung has worked to make Cranston business-friendly for service, retail and manufacturing. "This is what I intend to do as governor in every community throughout the state of Rhode Island."
Fung said he'll dedicate himself at the state's chief economic development officer. "I'm asking the state of RI to give me four years, four years, to create 20,000 jobs," Fung said.
Fung also pledged to work to make the Director of Education answerable to the governor's office, to review the state's tax system, to freeze tuition at URI and RIC for four years so families can budget their future investments in education and to find an alternative to the recently imposed tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
"Tell your friends, tell you neighbors, tell your co-workers, that I am a proven leader," Fung said.