Q&A: Federal Way City Council Position 4 candidates

Incumbent Hoang Tran is challenged by newcomer Daniel Miller.

The Federal Way Mirror asked Federal Way City Council candidates a few questions about their priorities and plans if elected.

The Mirror’s 2021 candidate debate is from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 at the Twin Lakes Golf & Country Club. The event will be in-person and live streamed. Masks required.

Federal Way City Council Position 4 candidates:

Editor’s note: Candidate Daniel Miller did not return answers to the Mirror’s Q&A request.

Hoang Tran (incumbent)

Brief description of yourself: In 1979, I fled the communist Vietnam with my sister in a small wooden boat at the age of 18 searching for freedom and avoid persecution. In 1980, we were allowed to travel to the United States as refugees. In 1985, I became a proud American citizen. I have been working in social services agencies for the last 30 years, fulfilling my promises to help others. In 2017, I was elected as the first Vietnamese American to the Federal Way City Council.

Top three priorities, if elected: Public safety; economic recovery and revitalization of the downtown core; affordable housing and reducing homelessness.

Why are you seeking a position on the Federal Way City Council?

It was my honor to represent you on the council for the last four years. I am running for re-election to continue advocate for your views and your voice on our city council. Federal Way is growing and we have many opportunities to shape our city’s future. I want to ensure our city lives up to its motto “Centered on Opportunity” by continuing to focus on public safety, friendly business environment, jobs creation and affordable housing.

Aside from the pandemic, what is the largest issue impacting Federal Way residents and what do you intend to do about it?

Public safety, affordable housing and homelessness continue to be major challenges for our residents. Public safety has been and will continue to be my top priority. While I favored increasing the number of police officers, the key to success will be ensuring police reform is implemented effectively and equitably.

Homelessness is a very complex issue. As a resident of Federal Way and administrator of our local Community Service Office (DSHS), it is very evident that we do not have enough resources or housing available to tackle this chronic problem. I would develop policies that coordinate services among human services providers i.e. housing, mental health, drug and alcohol treatment, social services agencies, non-profit agencies, employment services, etc.

King County is planning to open two shelters for people experiencing homelessness in Federal Way in the coming months. Do you agree with the county’s approach, and how will you address homelessness in Federal Way, if elected?

I understand the frustration of our residents regarding King Counties purchase of hotels and plans to create these hotels as homeless shelters. While I disagreed with one of the locations of this homeless shelter, there is nothing we as elected officials could do to prevent these transactions as they were private sales. What we need to do is to work with the county to ensure there are screenings, evaluating and selection processes before assigning individual into these shelters. Develop policies that require individuals to participate in coordinated of services among human services providers i.e. housing, mental health, drug and alcohol treatment, social services agencies, non-profit agencies, employment services, etc. Develop procedures to safeguard our residents and businesses.

With the incoming Sound Transit Link Light Rail route coming to town, Federal Way has development opportunities on the horizon. What will you do to make Federal Way a desirable place to live and work?

By continuing to improve public safety and positive policing efforts. In conjunction with the Chamber and City Councils partnership work to continue attracting and bringing in new businesses resulting in the creation of more local jobs. Advocate for more investments to revitalize the downtown core making it a friendly pedestrians area with high rise buildings that house residential housing units and retails businesses.