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, Mark has an established law practice, I have a strong history of public service and community activism, and I am proud to say that 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. I want 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. It's 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 like you 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.
I respectfully ask for your vote on November 4.