Josh Fryday’s history of military and community service is a good fit for Novato – a town with a strong showing of military veterans and public service officials. Fryday served overseas as a Lieutenant in U.S. Navy in Japan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He also clerked with the U.S. Attorney and San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, before being elected to the city council in 2015. Along with being Novato’s mayor, Fryday serves on the Marin County Council of Mayors and Councilmembers and is an alternate representative to Marin Clean Energy. He received his bachelor’s degree and law degree from U.C. Berkeley. He and his wife Mollye have three young sons.
Given your service background, I’ll start off by asking how Novato’s citizens can get more involved in the community?
I’m happy to say there are a wide variety of meaningful ways for people to engage in and build our community. This includes:
— Learn about the unique 'Reimagining Citizenship' Program with Dominican University, which offers Novato’s young people a way to serve the community, while receiving up to $100,000 in scholarship funds to attend Dominican University in exchange for their service.
— Volunteer at our outdoor concerts or one of our hundreds of community events organized by the city.
— Attend the new and very popular Planning Academy for residents to learn more about the city planning process.
As Novato’s mayor, what is your primary goal?
My primary goal is to ensure Novato remains a great place to both raise a family and to retire. This includes protecting the environment, fighting climate change, investing in our infrastructure and ensuring an open government that engages residents of all generations to serve and be active citizens. We live in a time of great political anxiety and Novato will continue to build community and bring people together by leading with our collective values.
You are relatively young and new to politics — is this your life’s calling?
I always felt very fortunate to grow up in Marin, and wanted to help others, especially those in need. I became an officer in the United States Navy to serve our nation and when I came home I ran for City Council to serve my community. As Americans, we have a great deal to be grateful for, and I hope I always have the opportunity to serve in some way to make our community and country stronger.
Name one feature of Novato that you’re most proud of, but many of its residents tend to overlook?
Novato has a rich history and culture of commitment to public service. Our community has a unique military heritage, anchored by Hamilton Air Force Base. In addition to many military veterans, Novato is home to many police officers, firefighters, teachers, nurses and other public servants. Service to our community and nation has defined the lives of so many of our residents, and we have always honored them with great pride. Check out NovatoProud.org.
In local politics, what is the one accomplishment of which you are the most proud?
Since elected, I’m most proud of the leadership role Novato has taken on fighting climate change and becoming a leader on sustainability. Last year, I proposed we create a full-time climate and sustainability position in our city to help lead the efforts. We got it passed, and are currently taking exciting steps to better protect our environment and our planet for future generations. We are now engaging and empowering citizens throughout the city to take action, and it’s an inspiring time.