Fremont community members are invited to participate in a series of community engagement activities that will take place this summer to assist the City in identifying community priorities and recommended next steps on the topic of policing and race in the City of Fremont. The initiative, Engage Fremont, will be led by City Manager Mark Danaj and will continue to carry out the City’s commitment to fostering an open dialogue with our residents.
The City has hired a third-party contractor, the Public Dialogue Consortium, to facilitate the process, which will include a community survey and several virtual outreach discussions. In addition to the City Manager’s Office, the initiative will involve staff from several departments, including Community Services, Human Services, and Police.
This broader initiative stems from the Town Hall Meeting held on June 10 that featured the topic of policing in Fremont. During the virtual event, more than 800 community members listened in. People commented and asked questions on a wide variety of issues including social services, homeless services, use of force policies, and police accountability and transparency. The Town Hall was recorded and has been posted online along with an FAQ document that answers questions asked during the meeting. City leaders emphasized their desire to continue the dialogue with Fremont community members and their intent to develop a plan for an ongoing conversation.
The first element of the community outreach process is a survey requesting feedback from Fremont residents and business owners. The responses will also help determine discussion topics at the subsequent virtual outreach dialogues. The survey is open now through August 6, 2020 and can be accessed online on Fremont Open City Hall.
The second phase is a series of facilitated virtual dialogues related to policing and racism that will take place between July and August. These conversations will give the City’s leadership an opportunity to listen and work with community stakeholders to discuss the topics our residents and businesses care about most. Stakeholders will represent a broad community base, including faith leaders, youth, non-profit and social service organizations, seniors, businesses, and racial and ethnic groups. These dialogues will help guide the ways the Fremont Police Department will adapt to community interests. Further announcements will be made with instructions for public participation in these discussions on the Engage Fremont webpage.
The third phase will include a City-wide virtual Town Hall meeting in August to summarize the results from the survey and discussion groups, elicit additional feedback, and propose recommendations and possible next steps.
"Fremont has a long-standing commitment to community engagement and does not shy away from difficult conversations. Our Police Department was an early adopter of community policing and that core value has helped to drive the Engage Fremont initiative,” stated Mayor Lily Mei. “In 2018, the Department developed a transparency portal on our website to help communicate these efforts and more recently, we developed an infographic to address our practices outlined by the #8CantWait campaign. Let’s work together to build on this strong foundation as we listen through our Engage Fremont initiative."
The City of Fremont has long been a leader in progressive policing practices and is committed to responding to this pivotal moment in our nation by working with the local community to establish a shared vision of public safety that serves everyone equitably. More information can be found at FremontPolice.gov/Engage, including the results of the survey, status of the engagement activities, and highlights from each meeting when available.