Raymond Baccari Anchor Staff Writer
On Friday, November 20, 2020, I had the honor to interview Cranston Mayor, Allan Fung. I asked him questions on a wide range of topics such as his notable accomplishments, how his years as a student at Rhode Island College were like, and what his plans are after his last term as Mayor is over in January.
When asked about what he will miss the most about his time as Mayor of Cranston, he said,
“I loved this job from day one. Come January when Mayor-Elect Hopkins gets sworn in, I am going to miss it. The most important part that I will miss is the people. I’ve been proud to see the transformation in the city in that 12 years from when inheriting that fiscal crisis with the recession, to floods that we had in the early parts of my administration, to even holes in the budgets that we had on the city and school side; to take that transformation, 12 years later to see the differences that you’ve made, I am going to miss it. But the most rewarding part was I worked with a lot of great people, met a lot of the residents all throughout the city, and just to see that transformation throughout different parts of the city, it’s one of the things that I will definitely miss."
Before this interview took place, I had found out that Mayor Fung had attended RIC, and I felt that it would be cool to ask him about what his time at RIC was like. Mayor Fung said, “I loved RIC. It was the best value, great education, and I loved the experience, and I was your typical RIC student. I didn’t start out at RIC, I transferred in because I wasn’t crazy about the initial freshman year experience that I had at the university that I went to. I missed my family, I’m very close with my family, so I transferred into RIC, and I lived at home, worked at my family’s restaurant, went to school. I was still able to play on the varsity tennis team, I was part of student-community government, I was a part of so many different community experiences that we had at Rhode Island College. That’s what I loved about it; before I became Mayor, I was part of the alumni association because I wanted to help give back to see the next generation of RIC students that had the same pathway as I [did] and have that same opportunity.”
Alongside questions that reflected on his time as Mayor and when he attended RIC, I also asked questions towards the end about what was next for him after his final term is over in January. His answer was: “Right now, after 12 years of this office, I’m going to take a little bit of a break especially over the next couple of months; I’m going to help support my wife, I’m so proud of her I can’t say that enough with the big win she had.” Mayor Fung here was referring to when his wife, Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung (R), had unseated Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (D), the incumbent, in the district 15 General Assembly race in an impressive and historic win on election night. He also said in his answer,
“I’m also going to continue to take a look at where my career’s going to take me. Public service is something that’s in my blood, something I really love, and I’ll take a look to see where my next career goal is because in the interim, now I’m taking a look at a lot of different options, whether it’s in education, business, you know as a lawyer, even possibly in law. There’s no rushing anything, but I can tell you I love our city [Cranston], love the state, and I’m not going to go away anytime soon.”
After hearing that end portion of his answer, I asked a follow-up question to see if I could figure out if that meant a possible third gubernatorial bid in 2022:
Me: Is there a chance that it might be an elected office that starts with the letter “G”?
*We both laughed*
Mayor Fung: I love the question, love the determination, who knows, it’s a possibility. But in this state [Rhode Island], my heart is really here, it’s given so much to my family. I’m never going to turn my back on it; it’s a wonderful state, offers so much, I want to see it succeed, and I’m gonna be a part of it.
Overall, it was a great interview with a wide variety of topics covered, and I was honored to be able to have Mayor Fung appear on my show. The full interview can be seen here.