Editor’s note: The Hatchet does not necessarily endorse Chris Hampton. This is a candidate profile by a staff reporter. You can find more candidate profiles at thefsjc.org.
Disclaimer: This candidate did not respond to our interview request, nor could we find much information about them online. We used everything available to provide the best possible information for the voters.
- Chris Hampton has worked in Silicon Valley as a data scientist for 20 years and has been specializing in using modeling, statistics, math skills, and analytics to answer major questions for the company he works for.
Hampton believes high density housing should be placed where people want to live, such as areas near schools and parks. “Shared housing is not good enough without jobs, schools, and transportation. According to Hampton, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are a better alternative to regular housing. An ADU is a sustainable building that uses less resources than an average family home. Utility costs can be cheaper and they have less of a carbon footprint then normal homes. Many cities have been building housing that no one can afford, which continues to drive the prices of housing up. If we build homes to bring people that are not even in Fremont, then we need to take a pause,” says Hampton . He thinks it is fine for the state to step in and allow people to build ADUs. However, Hampton thinks it’s time to gain more local control of Fremont’s building development. “Building up is something that we should wait for after [the COVID-19 pandemic],” he says. “Building up has to be where there’s transportation and jobs. If we can build housing so that people who work in Fremont would live locally, that would make sense.”
According to Hampton, having paid toll lanes is not the answer. However, Hampton holds that “if everyone is going back to the offices, it’s best if we put BART or some kind of train in the center of some of our freeways and that way people would have a better image in their head on where their next location will be. The growth of our city is outpacing the need for transportation. We need something that is done quickly and done so housing can be used further away.”
Hampton hopes that high speed rail coming from Tracy or Silicon Valley will help alleviate the strain on local highways, and also help solve Fremont’s housing crisis. “It would allow people to commute to work every morning and then go back to the place where they can afford to live,” said Hampton.
Hampton believes police training is beneficial, but he also thinks the Fremont community is asking for too much. “Police officers are not the ones who need to respond to every call,” says Hampton. “The system that has been created for policing is there because we haven’t funded mental health.” Until we fund and figure out a way to solve mental health issues, [we’ll] continue to have more incidents with officers.” He also thinks that Fremont needs more officers on motorcycles to enforce traffic laws that people no longer seem to take seriously (people are driving 10-15 mph over the limit, according to him). “More training won’t solve traffic problems, more officers will,” says Hampton.
Hampton believes that defunding the police is not the best idea; however, the city can afford to trim things within their budget. Hampton believes that the city is going to have to make some drastic changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including cutting budgets in all city departments.
Reopening Fremont and Budget
Hampton believes that Fremont’s initial response to COVID-19 was fast and effective and had the city maintained that strong response, we would have fewer cases of COVID-19. “When Fremont started to reopen, our response to the public was not that good, as everyone thought that they could do what they wanted,” Hampton said. He thinks that by letting outside businesses, such as Tesla, pressure the city to reopen made it look like it only cared about one of its main big businesses rather than the safety of the citizens. Hampton believes the only way to recover from the pandemic is to conduct more testing and eventually get a vaccine. He also believes that after COVID-19, the city of Fremont will require additional revenue sources in the future. “If people work from home, a small payroll tax would be great for generating revenue for Fremont. The revenue could also be used to fund the homeless and even some other programs. Fremont’s going to figure out how to do more with less. The city should streamline some city processes across all departments,” Hampton said.
Many community members raised concerns that they were not having a say in city affairs, and Hampton agrees. ”The city showed our residents that their voices were not heard,” Hampton said. One example was the navigation center for the homeless, a shelter which focuses on helping people transition from living on the streets to living indoors and eventually help them find housing . People began to get involved by debating on whether the navigation center should be built but the city made their decision to construct the navigation center solely on their own. Hampton noticed that citizens want to be heard and be more engaged, and he thinks that they should be more involved in city affairs.
It is currently Amal Afsal’s senior year at Washington High School. He was born and raised in Fremont, California. For his third and final year at the Hatchet, he will be the news editor. Amal enjoys writing about a variety of topics at the Hatchet, but prefers News and Opinions articles. In his free time, Amal enjoys playing video games while also occasionally watching television and browsing Reddit. He enjoys playing Badminton at WHS’s open gym and is employed by the restaurant, iniBurger. Amal wants to go to community college and transfer to a university within a couple of years.