Francesca Hong

Francesca Hong

Candidate for Assembly District 76

Candidate Information

Candidate Biography

(Edited from the candidate’s website for brevity) Francesca Hong is a second-generation Wisconsinite, mother, community organizer, and service industry worker Madison, Wisconsin. Hong is the daughter of hard-working immigrants who made the journey to the United States in 1980s so her father could pursue a doctorate in Sociology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Growing up, Francesca was witness to the hard work and perseverance of her parents. She learned the value of sacrifice and determination watching her mother’s journey as a stay-at-home mom who pursued a degree in Education at UW-Madison, later becoming a public-school teacher in Wisconsin for well over ten years. Hong decided to pursue her dream to become a full-time, professional chef in 2009. Unafraid to get her hands dirty, her trajectory in the kitchen started from low-wage, no benefits positions in the dish pit to slowly working her way down the line as a line cook, sous chef, and eventually one of the youngest and first female executive chefs at 43 North Restaurant. These valuable skills all contributed to the philosophies of community, inclusivity and shared spaces that inspired the opening of Morris Ramen with husband Matt in downtown Madison, a mere six months after the birth of their son. Growing her network of support amongst professional female and non-binary chefs, cooks, food and beverage producers, growers and artisans located throughout Wisconsin, Hong founded the Culinary Ladies Collective (CLC) alongside colleagues Tami Lax and Laila Borokhim in 2016. Understanding that food is inherently political, the network provides a community of service, mentorship, volunteer outreach, education, fundraising and advocacy, while acknowledging the intersectional approaches that must be incorporated to create true equity. Serving as the president of the Board of Directors of the CLC, as well as the lead organizer of the first annual Femmestival in 2020 (a festival that celebrates women and nonbinary entrepreneurs, artists and producers), Hong’s vision for Wisconsin echoes that of the festival’s grounded purpose: to cultivate economic inclusivity, equity and proliferation. As a small business owner who had worked her way up from the bottom, Hong was already keenly aware of the gaps that exist between worker’s needs and how they translated to tangible resources available to employers; basic needs such as affordable healthcare, a fair minimum wage, and transportation fell on the shoulders of struggling business owners and their ingenuity. Already unable to acquire tangible resources to provide for her family business community, these issues were only further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic in tandem with a lack of action on behalf of local, state, and federal government. Shining an unfavorable light on an already deeply problematic system, issues that arose during the pandemic have called Hong to action as a comprehensive leader and voice ready to create deep change in the state legislature.

Source: From candidate website