Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We need a city government that works for residents.
We need zoning laws that maintain the residential nature of our city.
We need efficiency and transparency in city government.
If elected, my priorities will be:
1. Sensible development that benefits residents
2. Productivity through Technology: Fiber to the Home
3. Protecting our Excellent Schools through better coordination between the City and PAUSD
Let me tell you a little more about what those things mean to me in terms of city council.
1. Sensible development means approving only high quality projects that improve Palo Alto. This means new construction should not exceed the established 50 foot height limit, buildings must have appropriate setbacks from the street and enough on-site parking. No more spillover parking. Zoning exceptions should be few.
Sensible development means reducing the jobs-housing imbalance. Palo Alto's population triples during the daytime. Yet the city continues to approve plans to build large office spaces, or convert retail to office space, leading to the demand for more and more housing. We should not upzone for increased office space.
Sensible development also means working to maintain Palo Alto's independence from state mandates and regional control as much as possible. We want to be good neighbors, but we need thoughtful development that takes into consideration the unique local conditions we have. We are living on a fragile and beautiful peninsula, between metropolitan San Jose and San Francisco. Over forty percent of our city is dedicated to parks and open space. We must not trade away the beauty of our city to meet regional population pressures. That said, affordable housing is a major concern and that is the one area where I will support more dense development, but only if placed near transit hubs.
2. Fiber to the Home. Palo Alto has proven it can serve the public by running its own utilities, and High Speed Internet service should be a part of that. High speed internet access using the the city's existing but not fully used fiber optic ring should be a key part of our city infrastructure. For the last several years, technology has been a top priority of the city council but little progress has been made. Now's the time to finally get this done. I will support the city establishing a service to provide fiber to the homes of all Palo Altans. In the 21st century, information should be considered a basic utility. Citywide broadband service will let us provide high speed access for business and residents alike, can be a profit center for the city, and support the kind of innovation we are so proud of. Done right, broadband infrastructure can pay for itself, enable productivity through technology, and deliver revenue to the city.
3. Finally, my third focus will be collaboration and cooperation between the city and the school district to protect our neighborhood schools. Our city's development and density choices have a direct impact on the quality of our schools, and most of us are very proud of the fact that our city provides excellent education for our children. For many of us, schools are the MAJOR reason we have chosen to raise our families here. We all know that the cost of living here is high because the schools are great. I will be unapologetic in having the city support our schools and ensure we don't overwhelm them to the extent possible by law. There is a real danger that if we proceed as we have for the last four years, our schools will not be able to keep up with the pace of population expansion. If you elect me, my votes will be shaped by whether developments enhance our quality of life, and whether the schools will be overwhelmed by the pace of change.
I am eager to have the chance to serve the people of Palo Alto and excited about affecting positive change. I want to establish a vision of a livable college town for families and people not looking for a big city lifestyle. We can do this if our city re-establishes that residents come first. If elected, I will work to pass an updated Comprehensive Plan that clearly states residents DO come first and controls commercial growth. I will dedicate myself to the peaceful evolution of Palo Alto. I want this beautiful city to continue to be a place that people love to call home.
I ask for your support and your vote. Thank you.