FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- Dozens packed the Washington Hospital Campus Auditorium in Fremont, on Monday. ABC7 News hosted a town hall as part of our week-long focus on the East Bay city.
For much of the night, it was standing room only.
BUILDING A BETTER BAY AREA: Watch entire Fremont Town Hall meeting here
The mission was to discuss what matters most to those living in the fourth most populous city in the Bay Area.
ABC7 News anchor Kristen Sze and ABC7 News contributor Phil Matier moderated panel discussions that took guests deep into issues being faced in Fremont.
Topics included growth, business, and quality of life.
"Our economy is changing. Our city is changing. Our demographics are changing," resident Cyndy Mozzetti said. "And we need to all work together."
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Resident Robert Daulton told ABC7 News, "Fremont has a lot of issues, and we want to see some ideas. Everybody talks about the problems, but the solutions are harder to talk about."
Panelists included city, business, health, religious and community leaders who are all focused on building a better Fremont. Click here for a list of panelists.
"We want people to feel like they're engaged and that their voice counts, and it does matter to us," Mayor Lily Mei told ABC7 News. "These types of conversations allow us to hear from the people who see, and the people we serve. That way, we have the ability to better understand why we're making our decisions, and how the city impacts the real lives of our community."
Fremont is a community surrounded by rapid growth. It's change that will soon change the pace and face of Fremont.
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In the crowd of dozens was Neena Chand. She's been a Fremont resident for 30-years. She wanted to better understand today's challenges.
"This was a very important conversation," Chand said. "It was my first-ever town hall in my life."
Many others admitted they are more determined than ever to find real improvements and lasting solutions. Especially surrounding business, livability, homelessness, and housing issues.
"We need to have a more robust conversation about how to build high-density housing, and transit centers for people who want to live and work here," resident Martha Kreeger said.
Residents told ABC7 News, City leaders need to consider the delicate balance necessary when building a better Bay Area.
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Resident Sharon Scharff said, "I think as important as preparing for the future and going to urbanization, is protecting the assets and resources we have that are irreplaceable."
The 75-minute town hall also looked at the City's successes. Namely, the growth that has led to the diverse, thriving community Fremont is today.
ABC7 News streamed the whole conversation. Click here to check it out.
See more stories and videos about Building a Better Bay Area here.
Fremont community packs ABC7 News town hall, tackling issues within the city
BUILDING A BETTER BAY AREA