Vice Mayor Suzanne Lee Chan, Freemont, California
In 2008, Vice Mayor Chan was elected to the Fremont (California) City Council after being encouraged to run by the late mayor of Fremont, Bob Wasserman. While on the city council, she helped secure the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) extension to Warm Springs. She also played a primary role in planning, creating, and developing Fremont’s Warm Springs District, Downtown Civic Center, Pacific Commons Power Center and the Niles Historic District Town Plaza. Her years of volunteering and community involvement provided her the opportunity to reach out and connect with many segments of the public and build bridges among Fremont’s culturally rich and diverse residents.
How are you involved in NLC?
• Community & Economic Development Policy
• Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials (APAMO)
What should we know about your city?
Freemont is the fourth largest city in the San Francisco Bay area. It's the home of TESLA, and the third safest city in the U.S. We are diverse, high-tech, green and sustainable. We are a great city with a wonderful heart, and we care about our residents.
Why did you run for office?
I wanted to be a voice for our residents, and to remind our residents that they matter and that their concerns are mine.
What are some things you aspire to do while in office?
Continue to build a strong foundation for our new downtown and BART/Warm Springs Innovation Hub. But most importantly, I want to create a city that is better than when I started.
What advice do you have for newly elected officials and/or recently appointed city staff?
It's actually the best advice I've ever recieved: "There are a lot of people smarter than you – learn from them and trust your gut, don't jump to conlusions, and listen before making a decision."
If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?
Teaching and mentoring, and traveling. There is a whole world out there for exploration and adventure! Finally, having been raised in a Chinese restaurant, I love cooking and would like to attend culinary school, maybe internationally.
Any guilty pleasures?
The game Words with Friends.