July 24, 2012 > Letter to the Editor: Historic Day for Fremont Open Space
Letter to the Editor: Historic Day for Fremont Open Space
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has" (Margaret Mead)
Fremont City Council voted 3-2 to adopt the Open Space petition initiative into law [July 17, 2012]. This is monumental for Fremont and I want to thank each and every one of our supporters for your contributions, no matter how large or small.
I have watched you all come together and engage in our political process to achieve what, at many times, seemed to be impossible goals. You have made me believe that nothing is impossible.
I am very proud to be part of this Fremont community that is engaged, involved, respectful and passionate. It has truly been an amazing and uplifting experience on many levels, and I think one of the key reasons Fremont is a great city is because of the caring and engaged people that live here.
If you weren't there, it was truly an incredible meeting to witness. Tension in the packed room was palpable and no one knew how this vote was going to go until the final minute. Council members kept us on the edge of our seats with their comments that, at times, made it seem like they were still deciding as they were talking. Near the end of the discussion, it was clear that the vote was 2 - 2, and the final and deciding vote, interestingly and ironically, left to Mayor Gus Morrison.
It was so silent in the room you could hear a pin drop. He cut through the tension by humorously declaring, "Well, I can count", and then held up to the microphone a big "EASY" button from Staples that amplified the well known robotic voice which stated, "That Was EASY." A 3-2 vote quickly followed in favor of adopting. Cheers erupted and the entire room exploded in applause and elation.
I'm sure you are wondering how the council voted so here is a recap. Anu Natarajan, Dominic Dutra and Gus Morrison voted to adopt the measure and Bill Harrison and Sue Chan voted against adoption (which would have placed it on the ballot). The entire video of last night's meeting can be accessed at: http://www.fremont.gov/Archive.aspx?AMID=39&Type=Recent .
It has been a privilege working and getting to know all of you during this amazing journey and I want to thank you for the blood, sweat and tears that you have put into this effort. This was a complete and total TEAM effort. I know countless hours were spent away from friends and family obtaining signatures from over 13,000 people. Many people were placed out of their comfort zones but kept working. I hope that being involved in this effort has been a positive learning and community-building experience for you.
This whole effort, from our humble beginnings with "Save Kimber Park" over a year ago, to this historic city council vote to adopt the Protect Fremont Private Open Space initiative, has reminded me that as individuals we have incredible power and when bound together the multiplication of that power is truly enormous. Thank you all!
Principal, Protect Fremont Open Space Committee
Co-President, Save Kimber Park Steering Committee