For decades, Palo Alto has been a very desirable place to live.
Lovely weather, proximity to Stanford, excellent schools, abundant parkland, and magnificent open spaces by the bay and in the foothills.
A family-friendly, suburban town.
But something has changed. Gradual increases in population and density has morphed into a huge building boom in regional commercial space. In downtown, for example, office space increases in the last 5 years equal those of the previous 20. <read more>
Focus on Whole City - Our Two Civic Institutions
A major reason many families choose to live in Palo Alto is the high quality of our public schools. My family has lived in Midtown continuously since 1995 and my two children have benefited from attending our public schools. Like so many other parents, I have also supported our schools as an active volunteer. For example, I have been a basketball coach for both boys and girls teams for 15 years and help lead the Music Boosters at Gunn High School. <read more>
Confidence in our city government is fostered not only by the decisions city staff and council members make, but by the manner in which those decisions are reached. Palo Alto has a problematic history of council member discussions with applicants prior to project submittals, planners that rarely reject applications no matter how oversized, staff reports that are more advocacy than objective documents, and late submittal of applicant plans and revisions that subvert public engagement. All this and more contributed to a serious erosion of public confidence. <read more>
Health and Environment
We need to protect our open space and parks, including dedicating city owned properties as parks to protect them for future generations. For example Winter Lodge and Gamble Gardens are owned by the city but not currently protected as parks - they should be. We've also lost several vital resources including the Page Mill YMCA and the Betty Wright Swim Center. Other important senior organizations are hanging on by a thread, renting space at Cubberley. We need to create a long term home for important Senior services. Finally, I'd like to see the city use its wastewater rather than dump it into the bay. This is a precious resource!
Save our Retail
Local, unique retail is what gives a place character. Through inaction and a split city council, we have not consistently protected our ground floor retail, leading to the loss of many great places that had been in Palo Alto for decades. While a business must compete in the market, high rents set by the insatiable demand for office space mean that nearly no business can survive. We need to protect our ground floor retail through zoning to ensure vital neighborhood shopping centers and minimize car trips to surrounding communities for basic goods.