At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 13 a number of people made comments that were critical of the City’s handling of the NUMMI closure. Matt Artz posted on his blog that it was “Bacon Vs. the Council“. The discussion is pretty interesting. With the exception of a couple of people, the sentiment in the comments is well behind me. First, people are correct to point out that the Council is saying I said “The City did nothing to save NUMMI” when that’s not what I said. Secondly, people are noting that Council didn’t do much to save NUMMI, nor did they do a good job deciding what should be done next.
Just for the record, here is the full text of what I said:
Hi. I’m Vinnie Bacon and I’m a 17 year resident of Fremont.
I attended the conference about manufacturing and job creation last week where the City received the $330,000 check. It was quite a meeting. We heard from Congresswoman Barbara Lee, business leaders, labor leaders, leaders from the public sector and, of course, Ro Khanna from the Department of Commerce. The consensus at the meeting was clear – our top priority should be to restore the manufacturing jobs that were lost due to the closure of NUMMI.
When it became clear that NUMMI might close, our City government should have been in crisis mode to try to save these jobs or find a way to replace them. Instead, our City Council saw the closure of NUMMI as an opportunity to try once again to fulfill their dream of a ballpark in Fremont. Instead of trying to preserve the NUMMI jobs, they ordered staff to work in secret and spend over $150,000 on the ballpark idea which would not create any manufacturing jobs and would deter manufacturers from locating at this site. It’s also worth noting that Lew Wolff has publicly said he does not want to come back to Fremont.
Right now 4,700 workers are now dealing with the trauma of losing their jobs. In my opinion, your actions really let these workers down. I’m pleading with you not to make the same mistake again by continuing to look at options other than manufacturing. We may need other land uses later, but the most urgent matter at hand right now is to help these workers find new employment.
Please use the money provided by the federal government for this purpose. As was noted at last week’s conference, this is the directive coming down from the President of the United States of America.
Note: This is what I wrote down. I often ad lib a little when speaking. Matt quoted what I actually said.