HomeCity NewsKwong Will Make Another Run for City Council Seat

Kwong Will Make Another Run for City Council Seat

Tells Tribune He ‘Feels Like A Winner’ Despite Falling Short In 2015 Race

Scott Kwong, who made a similar run in 2015, has told The Tribune he is declaring his candidacy in the race to fill three seats on the five-member San Marino City Council at the November, 2017 election.

Kwong – a San Marino High School graduate and local business owner – joins Susan Jakubowski, Calvin Lo and Dr. Hai-Sou Chen as the four declared candidates thus far, assuring there will be an election should nobody back out. A one-month candidate-filing period with the county registrar begins on July 18.

Then just 25 years old, Kwong opened the 2015 San Marino City Council campaign with an unconventional January announcement, but failed to get enough votes to garner a seat as Steve Talt and Dr. Steven Huang sailed to victory, outpointing Kwong—who finished 5th—as well as incumbents Eugene Sun and Dennis Kneier.

“I love my community, I love to serve and I have been serving since that first election,” said Kwong when asked why he was tossing his hat back into the ring. “As far back as college I immediately went into public service.”

Now 28, Kwong is San Marino’s representative on the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District Board and a Rotary Club of San Marino Paul Harris Fellow. He is also an advisor for the Rotary Interact Club at San Marino High School, a board member for the East Meets West Parent Education Club and is active in the City Club and Chinese Club of San Marino.

Kwong said he “enjoyed every single moment” of the 2015 campaign.

“Even though I lost, I still see myself as a winner,” he told The Tribune. “I never give up. You have to be goal-oriented. If you have no goal, you have no destination. You’re just like a pilot circling around and around, looking for somewhere to land.”

He said the 2015 campaign was also helpful in other matters.

“I really learned what the community was about and got a good feel for the residents,” he said. “I learned what city government is like.”

Kwong said his main goal is to improve public safety in San Marino and pinned blame on California State Propositions 47 and 57, which reduced penalties for some crimes and allowed parole for non-violent criminals. Local safety officials have pointed to 47 and 57 for increased burglaries in San Marino and other communities.

“I will work closely with the police department and the fire department,” Kwong said. “They are much more knowledgeable than I am but I want to make sure we can assure public safety. The last time I checked, we had 4 or 5 cops patrolling at night. If I was a criminal, San Marino is an affluent community, and that makes them think ‘where can I go?’”

Kwong also said he would “increase transparency” if elected.

“There has to be a way to get information out to the citizens more effectively and more efficiently,” he said, indicating he would accomplish this goal through “technology.”

“Everything is now so fast and so instant,” he said. “How we do it is the challenge and that is what I want to do.”

He also indicated a desire to “increase civic engagement.”

“I went to every house in San Marino two years ago when I ran,” he said. “I didn’t get to speak with everyone, but I wanted to see what the residents want to change or keep the same. I want to invite community members to get involved. Last Friday, there was a special budget meeting. And there were less than 100 people in attendance. This is a city of 13-14,000 people and a lot more should have been there.”

Kwong graduated from San Marino High School in 2008 received degrees in Business Management and History from UC San Diego in 2013. He opened an auto repair shop in Montebello in 2014 and earlier this year, launched a smog tests station in Azusa.

Kwong said he offers “new blood and new energy” to the community.

“I have both the time and the energy and I am willing to learn about the laws and regulations,” he said.

Kwong volunteered his email address – Kwong4citycouncil@gmail.com –to residents who want to contact him or ask questions about his campaign.

“I would love to answer any questions or explain my candidacy,” he said.

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