April 18, 2017 > Mayoral Business Perspective
Mayoral Business Perspective
By Lily Mei
On Friday, March 31, I presented the 2017 State of the City address (www.fremont.gov/stateofthecity) at the Fremont Marriott. The annual event is a forum to recognize the Council, City staff, businesses, and local organizations that have all played a part in getting the City of Fremont to where it is today.
There are a vast number of opportunities, issues, and initiatives that are on everyoneÕs minds and on FremontÕs horizon, but IÕd like to specifically highlight several initiatives championed by our gracious host, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.
First, it must be acknowledged that FremontÕs business environment has evolved significantly and is more diverse and robust than ever.
¥ Biotechnology is the largest advanced industry in Fremont as companies like Boehringer Ingelheim continue to grow and stimulate the larger economy through job creation and supply chain networks.
¥ Fremont is increasingly viewed as Òhome baseÓ for the Internet of Things, or ÒIoTÓ. Companies like Littelfuse and TUV Rheinland have opened up R&D/technology centers and put Fremont at the intersection of hardware and software.
¥ It was a banner year for Tesla, the largest manufacturer in California and employer in Fremont, with the launch of the Model 3, opening of the Nevada Gigafactory, approved Master Plan, and acquisition of Solar City.
FremontÕs General Plan initiative to become ÒStrategically UrbanÓ is underway and a model for how transit nodes can be models for smart growth.
¥ Downtown Fremont construction is making impressive progress including Capitol Avenue, pedestrian and bicyclist pathways, public-private mixed-use projects, and public facilities.
¥ In addition to the new Warm Springs BART station opening, the Innovation District is experiencing extensive public infrastructure investment, including a new elementary school, urban parks and plazas, 4,000 residential units, and 1.7 million sq. ft. of commercial space.
Fremont as a City is harnessing innovation to become more sustainable.
¥ FremontÕs Last Mile Transit Program in Warm Springs is a key component in connecting Fremont jobs to local transit with a goal of reducing overall traffic by at least 20 percent.
¥ With nearly 5,000 EV owners, FremontÕs 94539 ZIP code is home to more EVs than any other ZIP code in California.
¥ All of FremontÕs streetlights have been replaced with LEDs, improving nighttime visibility and safety on our roadways and saving the City nearly $13 million over the life of the improvements.
Finally, no State of the City address would be complete without a new initiative to unveil.
I was thrilled to announce that the City of Fremont and Fremont Unified School District are partnering with FUSE Corps for a one-year fellowship focused on integrating STEAM and maker education that leads to local advanced manufacturing jobs.
Underlying all of this progress is FremontÕs reputation as a national model of how people from various cultures, ethnicities and religious backgrounds can live, learn, and work together in harmony. WalletHub recently named Fremont as Ò2017Õs Happiest Place to Live in the U.S.Ó and personally, I couldnÕt agree more. This is truly a period of metamorphosis for Fremont. As such, I will actively be engaging with the businesses and neighborhood communities in my new Mayoral role, and look forward to hearing directly about successes, needs, and most of all, opportunities for investment and enhancing our quality of life.