Where Do City Council Candidates Stand on the Future of Palo Alto | New

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Election season is in full swing in Palo Alto, where campaign signs are increasingly visible throughout the city.

To help local voters with their decision at the polls, the weekly asked the seven candidates for this year’s city council to complete questionnaires about their qualifications, their vision for the city and their priorities should they be elected. They also explained their position on housing, climate change, railroad crossings, policing and crime, among other topics.

Candidate responses on all of these topics will be published as separate articles, one per day, until September 19. Here’s what they had to say to the following question: What is your vision of what it will be like to live in Palo Alto in 2050? What will be different? What will be preserved? How will City Council set the direction for this vision during your term if elected?

In 2050, Palo Alto will be a vibrant and diverse city where long-time residents and newcomers feel lucky to live, can buy homes, walk or bike to nearby parks, stores or restaurants, go to the library, feel safe, appreciate public art, and enjoy a world-class public school education.

Palo Alto will continue to have what makes it special – its intellectual curiosity and diversity of thought, its culture of innovation, its beauty, its commitment to education, its commitment to environmental preservation like the Baylands , and its position as chief climate.

By 2050, Palo Alto will have housing that is accessible to a diversity of income levels. Palo Alto will have improved and greener transportation systems, including railroad crossings. It will have reinforced its stature as a climate leader, continuing to lead the pack with the adoption of electric vehicles and other green technologies, and will have a full range of municipal services that meet the needs of all its residents, new and old. long time, young and old, of all races, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations.

The decisions we make over the next few years will determine whether we live in this vision. Many of these changes take time, such as building housing and building grade separations for our level crossings. The impact of climate change is rapidly becoming irreversible. These things cannot wait. If elected, I will strive to act thoughtfully, but quickly, to make my vision for Palo Alto a reality.

Through my work on the Global Plan, I have heard from many Palo Alto residents about their visions of a future Palo Alto. Ideally, living in Palo Alto in 2050 will be as attractive to its residents as it is today and Palo Alto will continue to attract people from around the world due to its excellent schools, parks and open spaces, commercial areas animated, access to Stanford. , and a world-class urban canopy. However, the city will need to have more transport options than it has today – these may be existing forms of public transport – or they may be entirely new modes such as vans electrical.

By 2050, Palo Alto will be denser and fully electrified and will use reclaimed water for all non-potable – and possibly potable – needs. Ideally, desalination will also be used.

Palo Alto will be more economically and ethnically diverse than it is today. I see attractive residential neighborhoods like those that exist today coexisting with additional, denser housing that was built near public transportation and in what is now Stanford Research Park.

Council should pursue policies consistent with controlled growth and continued investment in electrification, transportation, urban parks and open spaces, and encourage the construction of affordable housing.

My vision described below is not simply an ambitious and desired future. This is my practical estimate of a vision that can be achieved.

We will have managed to build houses for our needs. More importantly, we will have lots of new homes below market price. This vision will result in having police officers and teachers living next to us instead of making senseless journeys to get here. Our new residents will be younger and more diverse.

Brazen crime and the use of force by the police will be rare. Our public safety staff will be larger, with a different staff mix (such as mental health services staff) and more diverse. The vision is that all people will feel safe calling the police department for help. And all people will feel safer on the streets and in their homes than they do now.

Climate change will have slowed down. The use of natural gas will be massively reduced. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be easily accessible and inexpensive for drivers. There will be much greater use of bicycles, shuttles and other non-SOV modes of mobility facilitated by the new multimodal infrastructure.

Our values ​​and amenities will be preserved as well as our distinctive neighborhood identities. We will maintain our welcoming attitude towards others, our family community, our parks and canopy and our high quality schools. We will continue to innovate and commit to improving our already wonderful city.

This vision will require money and a committed board. Key actions:

+ Run on S/CAP

+ Laser focus on the BMR segment which is the most difficult to build due to lower landlord rents

+Investing in community safety and ongoing policing reforms

In 2050, Palo Alto will be a vibrant city with a strong sense of community and a diverse population. The city will continue to be recognized for its innovation and its residents will enjoy a high quality of life. There will be plenty of green spaces and parks, and the city will be pedestrian and bike-friendly.

Crime will be low and the city will be safe and welcoming. The city’s two downtown areas will house a mix of vibrant dining and retail experiences.

Here is my vision of what life could be like in 2050: We will certainly preserve the character of Palo Alto and keep our spaces open, but Artificial Intelligence will be a general and inseparable part of life. AI-based robots can read text, graphics and faces/emotions better than humans and are permeating all aspects of various industries and starting to become companions not just for the elderly, but really for everyone. .

We can see some urban agriculture through window farms, which improve the quality of life by reimagining and rebuilding our urban spaces.

The increased population of 2050 – although mostly working from home – will still have to move. Not all transport changes will be ground either. Drones will fill the skies as urban transport and hovering warehouses deliver packages picked up by pickup centers, replacing much of today’s retail.

We need a city council that will make bold, progressive decisions to move the city forward.

The challenges we face as a nation, planet and people should all cause us to care about ourselves and future generations. I am running for municipal elections because I am convinced that much can be done at the municipal level to maintain a good quality of life for everyone.

I envision a Palo Alto of 2050 that continues to be the nexus between academia and innovation, expands to support more residents, thoughtfully retains its unique character, all within the context of a climate changing ecology. A place where residents collectively commit to each other and to doing what is best for “all of us”. A city that is adapting so beautifully to current challenges that we highlight other municipalities to follow.

We must begin by understanding that Palo Alto is indeed a city, not a village or a quaint town. We would never want to be a Manhattan or a San Francisco, but we need a dynamic interaction between commerce, residents, schools and amenities, facilitated by public transit, all within the context of an ecology livable. A place where a diverse group of people work, live and do their part to support the ecosystem.

We don’t have to reinvent the wheel to get there. Our neighbors in Mountain View and Redwood City have revitalized their downtowns and El Camino with specific, focused plans, and I would consider doing the same while learning from their wins and losses. I also draw inspiration from childhood years spent in Reston, Virginia – one of the original “planned communities” of the 1960s – which featured walking, multi-use and multi-family residential zoning, green space, access to public transport and diversity. Reston is still going strong with a similar sized population to

Palo Alto. Our “South of Forest” development is an excellent microcosmic example.

Here’s what I’d like to see in Palo Alto in 2050. We’ll have enough housing at all income levels, so renters and landlords have options. We will have many green spaces, well-maintained parks, plazas and playgrounds, and safe cycle and pedestrian paths. All neighborhoods will benefit from close access to amenities such as grocery stores. Our libraries, community centers and swimming pool will have excellent opening and operating hours. Our public schools will be thriving, full of children and teachers from the community.

Palo Alto is expected to create several specific area plans that set out the city’s vision for a mix of affordable and market-priced housing development that includes green spaces, bike and pedestrian paths, and access to amenities. The city should create streamlined processes that guide developers to build what we need, while giving them predictability so they can move forward efficiently.

By 2050, Palo Alto should have a modern electrical grid capable of handling the increased load of homes and businesses converting to electricity. We need to upgrade our electrical equipment and bury our power lines. We should take the opportunity, while every street is being torn up, to install the fiber and pull out the gas lines. We should dip into federal funds to subsidize electrical appliances. By 2050, neighborhoods will be upgraded with reliable power, cheap and secure internet, and better indoor air quality.

Check back on Palo Alto Online tomorrow for the candidates’ perspective on another city issue.

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