Candidate Forum hosted by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce

I enjoyed the format of last night's Candidates Forum hosted by the Chamber and other local Fremont business associations. The questions posed to the candidates by the Chamber were well thought out. I also enjoyed the questions raised by residents themselves. This forum enabled us as candidates to distinguish ourselves from each other both in how we view our roles on Council and our priorities for the City of Fremont- in both style and substance. I look forward to the Chamber posting the video of this forum on its website. We'll embed or link to the video here once it's available.

I have reprinted here the opening and closing comments I made at the forum.

Opening Comments

I am proud to call Fremont my home and home town.  I grew up here, went to school here and now raise a family with my wife Teresa who is a Fremont elementary school principal.
My three priorities are: (1) a thriving pedestrian-friendly downtown that will be the social heartbeat of our City; (2) an Innovation District near our new Warm Springs Bart Station that will be a magnet for clean tech and bio tech; and (3) closer collaboration between Fremont Unified and our City to benefit Fremont’s families.
I am the longest current serving Planning Commissioner for 7 years and former Chair.
For the Downtown, I led the Planning Commission to recommend that we extend the current boundary on Paseo Padre 1/4 mile further east to Bart and rename our Bart Station the Fremont Downtown Bart Station - to make our emerging Downtown a regional destination.
For our Innovation District, I am proud to have the endorsement of the Sierra Club which shares my passion for looking for renewable sources of energy.  One of companies leading the charge is Imergy with its Forever Battery.  Imergy’s Forever Battery uses an element called vanadium which does not lose capacity - a completely renewable energy source that will one day get us all off the grid.
On closer city collaboration with our schools, I was speaking today to former California Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin who has endorsed me. As a councilmember, Delaine made closer collaboration work in Union City.  It has worked in Pleasanton.  And it can work here in Fremont.
I have the experience, engagement in the community, and enthusiasm to be an effective member of the Fremont City Council.

Closing Comments

I want to thank the Fremont and local Chambers for hosting this forum.
The question for most voters is: who is the best qualified to serve on the Fremont City Council?  Tonight I am proud to announce that I have the sole endorsement of Steve Waterhouse who for 14 years was the former editor of the Fremont Argus and remains a long time Fremont resident.
Like many voters, Steve does not care whether I am a Democrat or a Republican or which organizations have endorsed us.  Before he decided whom to endorse, Steve watched the League of Women voters debate.  He knows those of us who have been on the public stage for many years, and he knows our records.  After the League debate, Steve came to his own independent conclusion to endorse me, and to  endorse my vision and my record of achievement in working collaboratively with others on the Commission and in the community to get things done.
On the Planning Commission I have led and gotten things done: rewriting our sign ordinance to be more consumer friendly and protective of free speech; promoting a bolder vision for our Downtown and Climate Action Plans, and strengthening our Public Arts and our Affordable Housing Ordinances.  I have posted this on my website with links to the webcasts.
I also invite you to come next Monday evening to The Vine on Niles Boulevard for a campaign event featuring musicians Michael McNevin and Patrick Landeza and showcasing our local arts and music organizations like Music At The Mission, the Fremont Opera, and Mission Peak Wind Symphony.
I respectfully ask for your vote on November 4. 

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