City of Fremont swears in its first Black councilmember

The City of Fremont made history Tuesday night swearing in its first-ever African American on the city council in the city's 64-year history. It’s also the first time the city council is majority women and majority people of color.

Newcomer Teresa Cox is the city's first African American councilmember since Fremont was founded in 1956.

“To be a trailblazer, to be the first African American elected to the city council that speaks volumes about your perseverance,” said Rep. Ro Khanna.

Cox said she ran for office to make a difference.

“I just saw there’s a need that we have to have more people at the table to talk about the community issues,” said Cox.

The mother of two with a nuclear engineering degree from Northwestern University beat four contenders in the city’s first district election for the Irvington area.

“I think district elections does help have more minorities to run for office and be successful because it’s a smaller district,” said Cox.

Cox attributes much of her win to her long-standing community ties as a 12-year board trustee for Ohlone College. The Dayton, Ohio native inspired to lead by her mother.

“That was something my mother had raised and instilled between my brothers and I, that you be the best you can be and don’t forget giving back to the community,” said Cox.

Prior to moving to Fremont in the early '90s, Cox worked as part of the White House staff during the Clinton Administration in the Office of Public Liaison communicating with various interest groups. She was also a trade advisor for the Obama Administration.

“I think it's very exciting and it's time in a sense that people should choose people that represent their communities,” said Fremont Mayor Lily Mei.

Mei was re-elected for her second term. She made history herself as the first female and first Asian American mayor of Fremont.

“When it comes to breaking barriers, sometimes you have to see it to be it,” said Mei.

With Cox on board, for the first time the majority of the council is women.

“You go, girls,” said Cox. “When women and minorities succeed so do our communities.”

Both Councilwoman Cox and the mayor said a priority is helping businesses and residents through the pandemic.