My husband, Mark, and I moved here 30 years ago to raise our family, launch our careers and build our life together. We chose Palo Alto for its quiet neighborhoods, excellent schools and sense of community. Now 30 years later, I am proud to say our daughter, Rachael, is building on the tradition of educational excellence as a teacher at Palo Alto High School.
It’s been an honor to serve you on the City Council for five years, including this year as your mayor. My goal is to continue the work I’ve started to ensure that the quality of life my family enjoyed endures for generations to come.
During my term I have maintained vigilant oversight of city finances, worked hard to preserve the character and integrity of our neighborhoods and fought to prevent massive developments including the High Speed Rail project. City pensions are reformed, street and sidewalk budgets are doubled, and youth and senior programs are improved. I am proud of these accomplishments.
Palo Alto has emerged from the 2008 recession more economically sound and vibrant than ever. We have been recognized as the most livable city of our size and a Top Ten Best Cities for Kids by Livability.com. Our economic good fortune has created a dynamic city with an international reputation.
Yet, challenges persist and that is why I’m running.
Palo Alto's success has brought unintended consequences that jeopardize our unique character and quality of life. Under my leadership the council is tackling the issues of increased traffic and congestion, lack of adequate downtown parking and using neighborhood streets as overflow worker parking lots. The City is now implementing new policy like residential parking permit programs coupled with transit districts for downtown and California Avenue to transition commuters out of their cars. I also voted to suspend the Planned Community "PC" zoning and parking exceptions for new commercial space. Its time to update the 1998 Comprehensive Plan, our "land use bible," with fresh policies and programs to address today’s needs.
However, the City Council cannot do it alone. That's why as Mayor, I championed this year's citizen engagement initiative "Our Palo Alto: a community conversation about our future." We need the participation of dedicated and caring citizens to advise and help craft ideas as we navigate our tomorrow. It is this synergy that makes us what we are—a community with an entrepreneurial “can do” spirit. Let’s keep Palo Alto a great place to live, raise a family and retire--today and for generations to come.
Please join me at my official campaign kick-off party on Sunday, September 7 from 2-4pm at the home of Shames Panahi and Gus Malekmadani, 2683 Marshall Drive.
I respectfully ask for your vote on November 4.
• Fought and saved Palo Alto from a massive high speed rail system that threatened our homes and neighborhoods
• Supported Caltrain modernization to increase capacity
• Advocated and secured a rail corridor study to clarify Palo Alto’s vision for Caltrain, and a feasibility study on trenching and grade separation
• Led the "Collaboration for Youth Well Being" priority that strengthened youth programs, including Project Safety Net, through the City-School-Nonprofit Collaborative
• Voted to increase the budget for street and sidewalk repairs, bike paths and state-of-the-art emergency improvements
• Reduced city staff pensions and health care costs through fair and thoughtful negotiations
• Voted to eliminate parking exceptions for new commercial projects
• Supported creating an independent Emergency Preparedness Department that trains neighborhood volunteers and prepares them to work with the police and fire departments in the event of a major emergency
• Spearheaded a Transit Demand Management (TDM) policy that provides alternative commuter options to reduce traffic and parking problems in neighborhoods
• Supported residential parking permits in neighborhoods impacted by commuter parking--coming January 2015
• Advocated and voted to stop “Planned Community” zoning, now in the review process
• Championed re-development of neighborhood centers such as Edgewood Plaza
• Advanced environmental sustainability—since 2013 Palo Alto Utilities have provided carbon-neutral electricity at a rate 25 percent less than PG&E
• Voted to dedicate parkland
• Spearheaded the formation of a citizens’ advisory committee to study and recommend future uses of Cubberley
• Championed current plans to expand broadband with Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to meet the demand for internet speed