The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Mayor Lily Mei spreads awareness on Fremont Issues

By: Staff Writer Ethan Yan

On January 23, Fremont City Mayor Lily Mei visited C120 during lunch to discuss Fremont’s current problems and social and technological projects along with youth service to society.  The talk was hosted by the Youth4Good Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes youth contribution to society through community service. 

Mayor Mei began by describing her experiences as one of the only Asian people in her elementary school, and she emphasized the difficulties of being a minority race and how much she valued diversity. Regarding challenges politicians of a minority race face, “there’s always a fear that you’re perceived as a perpetual foreigner,” Mei said. As the third ever female Asian mayor, she promoted representation in government by forming the Asian Mayor’s Alliance in 2023. 

Then, Mei addressed the problem of homelessness brought up by a student, commenting that Fremont spends $17 million in rental assistance, along with first-time homebuyers’ programs and lotteries for units  for low income families. She notes that one shortcoming of  the lottery system is how there is always a long waitlist, meaning the process is primarily luck-based. However, Mei is still optimistic about Fremont’s future. “We have a lot of opportunities to implement programs and processes that can really change the community,” Mei said. She also highlighted the successes Fremont has had with battling climate change “We have the most clean tech hardware manufacturing in the United States here,” Mei said.

Furthermore, Mei discussed the technologies used by the city of Fremont. The Fremont app allows users to stay aware of all the local issues such as abandoned vehicles and broken street lights. The data is collected through citizens’ reports of incidents and their locations. Also combating commuter issues, the Fremont Boulevard Safe and Smart Corridor, which is a 9 mile section of road along Fremont Boulevard that incorporates many modern traffic regulation technologies such as sensor based infrastructure and smart lighting. Fremont is also one of 11 cities who have drones as first responders. Noting the large land mass of Fremont, Mei said, “Using a drone is an option for us in the case of an emergency to get another set of eyes out because we’re often stuck in traffic, and it allows us to be more responsive.” 

Overall, Mayor Mei’s visit to MSJ gave students more awareness about Fremont’s problems and the city’s solutions. However, she made it clear that there was still more to be done, and students could play a large role. Mei encourages youth to support Fremont’s small businesses, as many of them suffered and were forced to close down due to the pandemic. “You could take your knowledge and actually affect real businesses and real communities,” Mei said.

Graphics by: Staff Writer Ethan Yan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *