Gay technology professional running for Fairfax Board of Supervisors

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Linh Hoang is running for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (Photos courtesy of Linh Hoang)

Linh Hoang has worked as a technology professional in the private sector for more than a decade. Now at 36, he’s running for public office.

Hoang, who is openly gay, is running for the Providence District seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. He is among five candidates vying for the Democratic nomination.

He decided to leave his position in technology to run for office
because he believes “Fairfax County is at a really important crossroad right
now.”

“Our economy is changing. Our community is changing. We’re
certainly much more diverse,” Hoang said in a telephone interview with the Washington
Blade on April 15. “I think we need someone who is going to come in with bold
ideas and work with the business community and the diversity of the community
to help take Fairfax to the next level.”

Hoang hopes to promote international trade, improve the county’s education system and celebrate the area’s diversity if elected.

“We need to diversify our economy,” Hoang said. “That means
attracting companies from around the world to set up shops right here in
Fairfax County.”

He thinks bringing more technology companies to Fairfax will be
key to this economic expansion and believes his experience in the private
sector will help him facilitate this process.

“Cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, autonomous cars — all of
these are investments that we need to make today to attract those companies and
industries of the future into Fairfax,” Hoang said.

Beyond working with businesses, Hoang plans to address issues he
sees in the public education system in Fairfax.

His proposed initiatives include raising teacher pay, providing
access to pre-K for all children in the county, and expanding vocational and
skill-based training opportunities for high school students.

“Students, even at the high school level, should be able to access real world experiences to provide them with an idea of the possibilities that are out there,” Hoang said.  

He feels particularly invested in expanding educational
opportunities for children in the county, as he believes education was his
ticket out of poverty. Hoang is also the son of a refugee and an immigrant himself.

“My father was imprisoned at a labor camp, and he escaped from
Vietnam in search of opportunity,” Hoang said. “He believed that America was
the land of opportunity, and he was willing to risk everything — including his
own life — so that his family could have a better future.”

Ten years after Hoang’s father arrived in the U.S.; Hoang, his
mother, and his seven siblings followed. They lived together in a three-bedroom
apartment in Oakland, Calif.

“It was really hard at the beginning, but we worked hard, focused
on our education, learned English, and seven years later, I got the chance to
attend Georgetown University,” Hoang said.

As an immigrant, the son of a refugee, and an LGBT person; Hoang
also hopes to foster inclusion in Fairfax if elected.

“We have a large LGBT population in our county. And right now,
today, you can still be fired for being LGBT,” Hoang said. “We need
to change that.”

He served on the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Caucus
during the fight for same-sex marriage in the U.S.

Hoang said he’s pleased that fight has been won but knows
“there’s still much more work to be done to create an equal environment for
everyone, including LGBT people.”

Outside of the DNC LGBT Caucus, Hoang has served on a number of
other political committees and boards during his career. These include the
Fairfax County Democratic Committee, the 11th Congressional District Democratic
Committee, the Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia, and the Virginia LGBT
Caucus.

Hoang is also currently a member of the Virginia Small Business
Financing Authority, where he helps to manage more than $1.7 billion in bond
financings and $70 million in loans. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe
placed Hoang in the position, and Gov. Ralph Northam recently renewed his
appointment.

“The mission of this authority is to empower small businesses
around the commonwealth and spur jobs everywhere, especially in economically
depressed areas,” Hoang said.

While on the authority, Hoang helped facilitate projects that affected the Providence District, including an expansion of I-66 inside the Beltway to reduce traffic.

“Linh understands how to get things done, and he is one of the
most focused people I know,” Ted Waz, who worked with Hoang at a health care
company, told the Blade in a telephone interview on April 19.

There are currently 10 positions up for grabs on the Fairfax
County Board of Supervisors, and the June 11 primary will determine the
Democratic nominee for the Providence District seat.

The Democratic candidates besides Hoang are Dalia Palchik, Edythe
Kelleher, Ericka Yalowitz, and Philip Niedzielski-Eichner. They’re all hoping
to replace retiring Supervisor Linda Smyth.

“Comparing between me and other candidates, I think we need
someone with bold for the board of supervisors, someone with a technology
background, someone who understands the roles of technology and innovation to
make a difference in people’s lives,” Hoang said.

The post Gay technology professional running for Fairfax Board of Supervisors appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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