Editor’s note: The Hatchet does not necessarily endorse Vik Bajwa Singh. 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.
- #1 Priority: Establish Fremont Recovery Task Force for COVID-19
- Vik Bajwa Singh was born in India and moved to America after graduating from the University of Punjab
- Singh manages residential care facilities for the elderly and is involved with working in home health care.
If Singh becomes mayor, he plans to implement many changes to improve our pandemic situation for Fremont citizens by
- establishing his COVID-19 recovery task force that would support small businesses
- push for racial equity across Fremont and introduce 21st century support for those who are entering the caregiving/healthcare and education workforce
- reopen schools with caution so students can return safely.
Singh has many doubts about the Fremont Police Department after they purged 25 years of files without telling any residents.
“Fremont is the only city which doesn’t have an oversight for the police. I propose that whoever becomes the mayor, their first priority should be to establish a Fremont Police Commission who is led by a retired judge who lays down the rules for public safety, police accountability, and security,” said Singh.
Following this train of thought, one of Singh’s main priorities is to ban no-knock warrants in the city of Fremont after hearing the news about Breonna Taylor’s death.
Last year, Mayor Lily Mei introduced a navigation center for the homeless. Since then, Singh has criticized the center, arguing that $2.9 million dollars a year to house only 25 people is a waste of taxpayer money and has been ineffective in solving the issue of homelessness. “I’m really surprised how the city thinks that they can make these decisions thinking that they’re doing the best for the city when in reality they are making things worse for the city,” said Singh.
As of 2019, there are about 608 people who are homeless in Fremont. The aforementioned navigation center will only be funded up until 2023, and in that time, Singh would rather issue homeless people vouchers for hotels and use city bonds to build a tower that will be able to house all of the homeless people in the city.
In addition to addressing the issue of the homeless, Singh plans to aid Fremont’s recovery process by temporarily halting business taxes for small businesses, as the COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses the hardest. More than 18,000 Fremont residents have been laid off since the shelter-in-place was ordered by the California Governor Gavin Newsom on March 19th, 2020 . He hopes that by halting business taxes, local businesses will regain their losses in a post-pandemic economy. Singh also wants to establish his recovery task force for COVID-19 which should cover all the issues that small businesses are encountering, especially retail stores and restaurants.
“Sixty percent of these businesses are on the verge of closing. They have been barely getting by,” said Singh.
In addition to addressing Fremont’s recovery process, Singh approves of creating 12,000 more units of housing. Developers often encounter inclusionary housing fees, affordable housing impact fees, commercial linkage fees, rental mediation penalty fees, homebuyer subordination fees, and multifamily fees. Thus, he believes the city should offer incentives for developers to build affordable housing by waiving city fees and offering vacant city-owned land to them.
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.