Local Candidate “Ghandi Jr.” Calls for Green Bank
By Hazem Ibrahim
Thinking large comes easy for Fazlur Khan, a well traveled City Council candidate and current Senior Commssioner who dreams big for his small Bay Area city of Fremont, California. His insights on all things local demonstrates a sincere passion for a city that he has lived and been active in for nearly 25-years.
Mr. Khan, a slightly balding retired banker with a wide eyed smile, dubbed Gandhi Jr. by his local paper (The Argus), recently called (in a televised debate) for the establishment of a Federal Bank created to organize green technology(environmental technology) funds; an idea that some are calling, the Green Bank Plan.
Preferably for Mr. Khan, this new federal bank would be based in Fremont, but more important to him is the funding that a city like his would receive from the green funds to revitalize and strengthen the city.
The massive funding, that he envisages, would go to support local companies like Solaria, which makes solar panels, and Tesla Motors-- which replaced NUMMI--
to produce greener low cost automobiles.
This “ Smart Green City,” says Mr. Khan, would have a green research university, as well as a convention center, art gallery, mixed used development with parks, playgrounds, community garden, senior and youth centers on the 1250 lot of land near the old NUMMI plant.
Mr. Khan’s speaks with certainty of the day that his city will be the number one exporter of green technology, Fremont's own “ Green Valley” (proud daughter of its Silicon Valley mother). For Mr. Khan the Green Bank is not merely a novel idea but one that he has taken quite seriously, pitching even to national players, including representatives of the Commerce Department.
But all this may not be possible if Mr. Khan does not win the hotly contested City Council seat taking place in just a couple weeks , where 10-candidates are running for only two City Council seats. To win Mr. Khan would have to unseat either of the two incumbents, Anu Natarajan or Bill Harrison. Nevertheless, confident of his chances, Mr. Khan promises that in his first 100-days he would “create a Business Development Commission to promote business, trade, industry and exports in coordination with bankers and business community; establish a Police Commission to have coordination between the people and the police department to reduce the crime; and restructure the administration by making it lean, efficient and effective.”