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By Steve Levy

I Have Endorsed Six Candidates for City Council

Uploaded: Oct 8, 2014

I have endorsed six candidates for the Palo Alto city council. Some of them have divergent views about future growth in the city. Three are incumbents and three would be new to the council. I do not like that the council race is often portrayed as some kind of war between opposing slates. That is not my experience and I think not good for the future of the city. I wonder if anyone else has endorsed across "growth issue" lines and feels similarly.

The requirements for responding are simple. You have publicly endorsed or will do so today candidates that include one or more from Johnston, Scharff, Shepherd, and Wolbach and one or more candidates from DuBois, Holman, Filseth or Kou. You post with your real name so readers can go to candidate websites and check. You may if you wish choose to explain your endorsements and comment on the slate issue. No comments about other candidates are appropriate for this blog.

The issues that are important for me are housing options, innovative solutions to parking and traffic issues and investment in infrastructure. These issues plus experience and my sense that they can work collaboratively drove my endorsements.

All of the candidates have expressed support for housing options and all have endorsed Measure B to help fund our infrastructure.

I endorsed Johnston and Wolbach after long face to face meetings at my office and follow up conversations. In general I like their policies, their very different and useful experiences and their willingness to tone down the rhetoric and work hard for the city. I like Cory's youth, long residency in Palo Alto and his legislative experience as many issues facing our city will require regional collaboration. I like AC's lifetime of experience in settling disputes amicably and his perspective as an older resident living in downtown, which will be an important area in our Comp Plan update.

I endorsed Scharff and Shepherd right after the last candidates meeting. They clarified their support for housing options. I value their experience and the continuity it brings to the next council. I was impressed by the vigor with which they expressed themselves. The continuity and experience are critical as we bring programs about parking and traffic as well as implementation of the city's infrastructure plans to implementation.

DuBois and Holman are my crossover endorsements at least if one adheres to the slate concept. We are not completely in sync about the future growth of the city. But, important in my endorsement, I have spent the most time in meetings with them about housing and as I said above both have endorsed the infrastructure Measure B on the ballot. Tom was one of the first to advance the idea of looking at more housing sites next to shopping and services in the downtown and Cal Ave area in exchange for eliminating some sites in south Palo Alto. Karen has shown concern for and an open attitude about exploring housing options downtown and suitable ways to expand our supply of low-income housing.

I do not expect complete agreement with my policy positions as a condition for believing someone will make a valuable council member. I have long supported Greg Schmid and enjoy working with him though we often have different perspectives.

So if anyone else has endorsed candidates with very different growth perspectives, please weigh in.