‘Voices like mine need to be heard,’ says Francesca Hong, State Assembly hopeful

Morris Ramen co-owner announces her 76th District campaign.
Francesca hong a woman sitting in front of Mint Marks leafy wall and staring off to the left and smiling
Photo by Nikki Hansen
Francesca Hong

Francesca Hong, co-owner of Morris Ramen, announced over the weekend that she is running to represent the 76th Assembly District in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

A mom, service industry worker and local community organizer of Culinary Ladies Collective, Hong aims to take on special interests relating to the COVID-19 crisis that are lacking action in Wisconsin. Hong wrote on Facebook that “going into politics wasn’t the plan. But after watching the leadership in the State Assembly fail our community, I decided now is the time that voices like mine need to be heard.”

The next couple of weeks and months will present many challenges, Hong says. Navigating the pandemic as it continues to directly impact communities is an adjustment for every Wisconsinite, and Hong says she sees this time of uncertainty to also be a time of rare opportunity.

“No one has the playbook for what’s going to happen to our schools, businesses, nonprofits and arts world,” Hong says. “What this means is we have to start bringing in creative, flexible and strong new voices to start shaping policies that restructure our cities.”

Hong co-owns Morris Ramen with her husband, Matt Morris, and fellow co-owner Shinji Muramoto. The restaurant reopened for takeout on May 3 and currently serves a condensed menu of ramen meals. While her background is grounded in the food service industry, Hong firmly believes food and politics are inherently connected, which she says is seen in discrepancies like food scarcity and access, health care, fighting for labor and the erasure of experiences of people of color.

“I hope to bridge different industries,” Hong says. “And I look forward to building up momentum to restructure our communities from being divisive and disconnected, to intersectional and empowered by workers like me.”

Hannah Twietmeyer is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine.