Why are outside interests and big money creeping into Mountain View politics? According to public records, by Feb. 7, over $143,500 in large donations ($1,000+ each) had been made in support of Measure D, which seeks to change our rent stabilization policy. Mountain View Residents For Renter, Homeowner, & Taxpayer Protections, out of Marin County, is the filer of record, representing mostly out-of-town landlords, and only one from Mountain View, who donated anywhere from $7,000 to $82,600 each.
Mountain View historically valued local control and fiscally conservative elections. In 2016, the six candidates for the hotly contested City Council race raised around $15,000 less (combined!) than the Yes on D proponents have raised so far on one initiative. If we agree to change our policies, let's collaborate together and elevate local voices.
Yes on G and H
I was heartened by Bill James' carefully reasoned op-ed in the Voice ("Guest opinion: An investment in local higher education," Jan. 31) supporting measures G and H, which will provide much-needed funding for our local community colleges.
Community colleges remain vital to the well-being of democracy -- to upward mobility, diversity, teamwork, the free exchange of ideas and the American dream. I agree with Mr. James' position that De Anza and Foothill provide services "critical to the social, political and economic well-being of our community."
A "yes" vote on G and H on March 3 supports and celebrates many of our hardest working young people -- future leaders and professionals. We are proud of Foothill and De Anza's longtime track record of fiscal transparency and accountability alongside their first-rate academic reputations.
As Bill James writes, our community colleges are both "a good investment and a good value." Measures G and H make a sound investment in us all -- our citizens of all ages and social positions, our future workforce and the vitality of our region. These schools add such vibrancy to our communities.
Where Measure G invests in sorely needed upgrades in infrastructure -- classrooms, facilities, technology -- as well as job training, vocational programs, and meeting the demand for excellence in online learning as well as the arts, Measure H focuses more on recruitment and retention of the best teachers and the expansion of student transfer opportunities to four-year colleges/universities, while also helping with the very real problem of students facing food insecurity and homelessness.
As James writes, "the high cost of living has left many students without enough to eat or a place to sleep, and ... it is increasingly hard to recruit and retain faculty and staff."
And G and H, as they should and must, include specific language outlining accountability measures such as independent financial audits and analysis from an independent citizen's oversight committee.
We live in one of the leading economic and cultural capitals of the world, and we can maintain a world-class educational system if we want to. Let's say yes to our great community colleges on March 3, and lift us all up.
Palo Alto Avenue
I stand for Rishi
In politics, as in life, we see the same powerful people go around, driven by the same old platitudes hoping their constituency will forget before the next election cycle.
I'm really excited about the candidacy of one Rishi Kumar (for California's 18th Congressional District, a seat currently held by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo), for a few reasons. He's seen burglaries in his community drop by 47% and had water rate increases (those implements of the politically unimaginative) outright rejected.
Since Rishi doesn't take funds from the pharma or health care cartels, we won't be hearing the same old canards about affordable medicine and treatment followed up by longtime incumbents, palms greased, who have no intention of delivering.
As a longtime techie, I, like Mr. Kumar, understand the need for an innovation-based economy, instead of a slapdash clump of laws that speak lip service to real constituents' needs.
I stand for Rishi and I encourage others to do the same.