By Chen Chien-chih, Chang juei-chen and Jason Pan / Staff reporters
Taichung mayoral candidate and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) presented his policy platform yesterday at an event that doubled as a launch for a book he coauthored about his home town.
Tsai’s campaign, dubbed 2022 Taichung Action, calls for projects to make Taichung safer and more convenient. It includes increases in public housing and transportation, along with an expansion of green corridors and waterways in a bid to become a “low-carbon city” by 2035.
The platform outlines ideas to boost sustainable energy, reduce coal power generation, develop green corridors and improve recreational areas along the city’s rivers and canals.
Tsai, who is deputy speaker of the Legislative Yuan, has been preparing for the mayoral campaign since being chosen by the DPP in April as the party’s candidate for the November election.
Part of his campaign includes a book, co-authored with Chu Hsin-yi (瞿欣怡), titled Daily Taichung Treats — Rediscovery of Tsai’s Hometown. The pages take readers on a tour through Taichung’s attractions and eateries, while recounting Tsai’s life from childhood through his master’s studies at Tunghai University.
Tsai in his address said that many Taichung residents are disappointed in the performance of Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Tsai said that Lu has not taken measures to improve air quality, has reneged on a promise to build public housing, failed to deal with worsening traffic problems, allowed conglomerates to buy too much land and allowed illegal firearms to proliferate.
“Lu has done very little for this city, as she is only good at promoting herself,” he said. “People cannot wait any longer. Our city needs to make a new start and take giant stride forward.”
Tsai said he would strive to build industrial clusters and science parks, as well enhance the city’s traditional industries.
He said he would also advocate for an international convention center, and a shipment and depot center to service the region’s machinery and precision instrument manufacturers.
His platform also pushes for 8,000 more units of public housing within four years to bring the total to 14,000, which would help young people looking to settle in Taichung, he said.
It also calls for urban renewal projects, including renovations of traditional markets.
In addition to 30km of “green waterways” and bicycle paths, the platform also looks to build an art gallery, music and performance hall, and a history museum.
Tsai also said that he would recommend the city government provide free meals at public schools up to junior-high level, which he estimates would cost NT$1.9 billion (US$63.51 million) annually.
Some of that funding could be found by canceling “extravagant, wasteful events” such as fireworks displays, and by partnering with the central government, he said.
Separately, incumbunt Taichung mayor Lu led her own media event yesterday to promote the Taichung Shopping Festival, which she said has stimulated the local economy since she initiated it four years ago.
Lu’s campaign was sidelined for a few days as she recovered from swelling in her leg, which required minor surgery.
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