Mayor Lily Mei delivered Fremont’s 2021 State of the City Address on Thursday, October 21 at a virtual event hosted by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. Continuing the momentum of last year’s Address, Mayor Mei highlighted the progress the City has made to combat the effects of COVID-19 while reinforcing the need for the City to continue to re-imagine, restore, and recover as our community’s needs change and evolve.
Opening the speech, Mayor Mei highlighted how Fremont has paved the way in key initiatives such as supporting local business and residents, fighting climate change with innovative programming, promoting diversity and inclusion, and evolving how City Departments serve the public.
A few of her key City accomplishments and takeaways include:
- In response to high unemployment rates and a 30% reduction in small businesses from COVID, the City introduced an Economic Recovery Strategy that contributed to 6,000 rehired workers in Fremont and increased consumer spending.
- The City continued popular 2020 programs to support local businesses such as Gift Fremont and Pop Up Patio, and launched a new program with Fremont Chamber of Commerce, Dine Fremont, which rewarded community members for eating at local restaurants.
- Through U.S. Department of Treasury stimulus funds, we established Keep Fremont Housed, a new rental assistance program which helped 583 households at risk of housing instability.
- In partnership with Haller’s Pharmacy, our Firefighters administered over 22,000 Pfizer vaccinations in Fremont and Alameda County. The City also partnered with Bay Area Community Health and Asian Health Services on various COVID-19 testing clinics throughout Fremont.
- In June, City Council adopted the FY 2021/22 operating budget which uses federal fiscal recovery funds to restore services in the General Fund and stabilize the Recreation Fund.
- Understanding the importance of having more gathering spaces to connect, we also opened three facilities for community members to meet year-round: the Downtown Event Center and Plaza and the Lila Bringhurst Community Park; and for those 55 and up, the Age Well Center at South Fremont.
- In its first year, the Housing Navigation Center served 70 individuals, with 25 still in residence and another 37 transitioned into alternative housing or shelter arrangements.
- The Earn and Learn Pilot Program helped local business Evolve Manufacturing attract much needed new talent and helped minority job seekers affected by COVID-19 layoffs begin a career in advanced manufacturing.
- To better address inequities as we develop comprehensive and equitable policies and practices, Fremont joined the Cities of Opportunities cohort led by the National League of Cities.
- The Human Services Department raised over $290,000 to support the Afghan Help Fund that will directly cover housing, food, clothing, and other needed services for refugees.
- Following conversations on policing and race held last year, we published a comprehensive policing report that summarized the main community concerns and suggestions and reaffirmed FPD’s commitment to our community. Newly sworn-in Chief Washington ensured his Transition Plan addressed and continued these initiatives established by retired Chief Petersen.
- Our Firefighters responded to calls for medical mutual aid, assisting the Adventist Health Bakersfield Hospital as part of multiple CAL OES requests for Paramedics and EMTs as well as enhancing search and rescue capacity in response to wildfires and other natural disasters throughout our state and nation including Hurricane Ida and the Dixie and Monument Fires.
- Looking to 2022, the City Council adopted the Trails Strategy Plan and we’re in the process of gathering data to build out our Parks and Recreation Master Plan and Broadband Master Plan, developing an Urban Forest Management Plan, and updating our Climate Action Plan.
Watch Mayor Lily Mei’s full 2021 State of the City Address.