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Former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber joins crowded race for the Mountain View City Council

Former State Assemblywoman Sally Lieber is seeking a return to the Mountain View City Council after an 18-year hiatus from city politics, with an eye towards preserving affordable housing and preventing displacement of long-time residents.

Sally Lieber is running for a seat on the Mountain View City Council in the November election. Photo taken Jan. 2020 by Magali Gauthier.

Lieber, who served on the council from 1998 to 2002 before a six-year stint in the state Assembly, said important public policy decisions are increasingly being made at the local level. She said she hopes to restart her career in public service to preserve what makes Mountain View a great community.

Top of mind going into the election season? Hanging onto the city's affordable housing, building more homes for low-income residents and creating communities with public health in mind -- including amenities for walking and biking.

"I see a lot of the challenges that Mountain View has in terms of retaining the affordable housing that we have and making sure that we provide for and take care of our service workers here in the community," she said.

Lieber specifically pointed to a worrying trend in which the City Council has approved the razing of several older apartments to make way for expensive rowhouses. Residents getting displaced in the process are not only getting booted from Mountain View, she said, but are often forced to leave the Bay Area entirely.

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The defense is typically that the council's hands are tied by state regulatory guidelines and must rubberstamp the projects, Lieber said, but more can be done to retain affordable housing.

"I know that for certain projects there was a feeling among the council that there's nothing we can do but fast-track gentrification," Lieber said. "I think that we need to put a full-court press to keep people in Mountain View."

Lieber has a storied political history, running for the council in 1998 as an underdog and emerging as the top vote-getter. Soon after, Lieber ran a successful campaign for state Assembly in 2002 against steep competition, Rod Diridon Jr. and former Mountain View Councilwoman Rosemary Stasek, while facing a recall effort as mayor of Mountain View.

More recently, Lieber ran in the March 2020 primary for California's 13th Senate district, and narrowly lost to Josh Becker and Alex Glew, who will face off in November. Though Lieber fell short, results show she was the top choice in Mountain View. She was the top vote-getter in every precinct in the city, sometimes by a huge margin.

Lieber has been credited for championing state legislation for environmental protection -- including the creation of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority -- and an effort to raise California's minimum wage to $8 an hour in 2006. She also focused on changes to the criminal justice system, and introduced legislation that would ultimately reclassify human trafficking as a felony.

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Lieber said Mountain View has gone through huge changes over the last two decades, yet some of the concerns she raised during her short tenure on the council are still relevant today. Her proposal to consider rent control for mobile home residents was unpopular among her colleagues at the time, but the idea has since gained traction as a way to protect vulnerable, typically lower-income residents.

While in the Assembly, Lieber authored AB 1059, which penalizes mobile home park owners who aggressively try to force tenants to move.

Lieber said it's clear that Mountain View and the Bay Area at large need more housing, particularly to bring down costs and give young people some hope of being able to stay here. But she said growth can be done in a thoughtful way and can still retain the smaller suburban neighborhood character that gives Mountain View its identity.

"I have a deep love for Mountain View," Lieber said. "it's a small town, it's not a big metropolis, and I think we can accommodate our needs and make sure that we still have the character in our community."

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Former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber joins crowded race for the Mountain View City Council

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Tue, Jun 23, 2020, 1:09 pm

Former State Assemblywoman Sally Lieber is seeking a return to the Mountain View City Council after an 18-year hiatus from city politics, with an eye towards preserving affordable housing and preventing displacement of long-time residents.

Lieber, who served on the council from 1998 to 2002 before a six-year stint in the state Assembly, said important public policy decisions are increasingly being made at the local level. She said she hopes to restart her career in public service to preserve what makes Mountain View a great community.

Top of mind going into the election season? Hanging onto the city's affordable housing, building more homes for low-income residents and creating communities with public health in mind -- including amenities for walking and biking.

"I see a lot of the challenges that Mountain View has in terms of retaining the affordable housing that we have and making sure that we provide for and take care of our service workers here in the community," she said.

Lieber specifically pointed to a worrying trend in which the City Council has approved the razing of several older apartments to make way for expensive rowhouses. Residents getting displaced in the process are not only getting booted from Mountain View, she said, but are often forced to leave the Bay Area entirely.

The defense is typically that the council's hands are tied by state regulatory guidelines and must rubberstamp the projects, Lieber said, but more can be done to retain affordable housing.

"I know that for certain projects there was a feeling among the council that there's nothing we can do but fast-track gentrification," Lieber said. "I think that we need to put a full-court press to keep people in Mountain View."

Lieber has a storied political history, running for the council in 1998 as an underdog and emerging as the top vote-getter. Soon after, Lieber ran a successful campaign for state Assembly in 2002 against steep competition, Rod Diridon Jr. and former Mountain View Councilwoman Rosemary Stasek, while facing a recall effort as mayor of Mountain View.

More recently, Lieber ran in the March 2020 primary for California's 13th Senate district, and narrowly lost to Josh Becker and Alex Glew, who will face off in November. Though Lieber fell short, results show she was the top choice in Mountain View. She was the top vote-getter in every precinct in the city, sometimes by a huge margin.

Lieber has been credited for championing state legislation for environmental protection -- including the creation of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority -- and an effort to raise California's minimum wage to $8 an hour in 2006. She also focused on changes to the criminal justice system, and introduced legislation that would ultimately reclassify human trafficking as a felony.

Lieber said Mountain View has gone through huge changes over the last two decades, yet some of the concerns she raised during her short tenure on the council are still relevant today. Her proposal to consider rent control for mobile home residents was unpopular among her colleagues at the time, but the idea has since gained traction as a way to protect vulnerable, typically lower-income residents.

While in the Assembly, Lieber authored AB 1059, which penalizes mobile home park owners who aggressively try to force tenants to move.

Lieber said it's clear that Mountain View and the Bay Area at large need more housing, particularly to bring down costs and give young people some hope of being able to stay here. But she said growth can be done in a thoughtful way and can still retain the smaller suburban neighborhood character that gives Mountain View its identity.

"I have a deep love for Mountain View," Lieber said. "it's a small town, it's not a big metropolis, and I think we can accommodate our needs and make sure that we still have the character in our community."

Comments

Gary
Sylvan Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 2:28 pm
Gary , Sylvan Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 2:28 pm
11 people like this

Great. Glad to see that she is wiling to serve. The position does not pay much.


Kyle ML
Monta Loma
on Jun 23, 2020 at 3:19 pm
Kyle ML, Monta Loma
on Jun 23, 2020 at 3:19 pm
10 people like this

I’m tired of talk about “preserving” anything. Build more housing and it will be more affordable. Any candidate that doesn’t advocate flooding the market can go away.


David
Sylvan Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 4:24 pm
David, Sylvan Park
on Jun 23, 2020 at 4:24 pm
7 people like this

She also organized the protest that marched down El Camino and then sat in the San Antonio intersection


Greg David
Old Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2020 at 8:02 pm
Greg David, Old Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2020 at 8:02 pm
25 people like this

Talk about a desperate attempt to remain relevant and in a position of power.....


Peanut Gallery
Old Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2020 at 8:21 pm
Peanut Gallery, Old Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2020 at 8:21 pm
22 people like this

Quick question, Greg: how did your city council run go? Sounds like you're still trying to stay relevant...


RV
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2020 at 11:03 am
RV , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2020 at 11:03 am
53 people like this

How about preserving the quality of life of long term residents by preventing RVs from parking in front of their houses and turning local parks into squalor?
Eagle park is looking better now but Rengstorff? And it’s precisely on the side of town where lower income residents live!


Cliff Chambers
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 11:43 am
Cliff Chambers, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 11:43 am
5 people like this

@Kyle ML: So true. Our City Council on Tuesday approved the massive Google Landings office development in North Bayshore with no housing. Our advocacy group, the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning, asked the City Council to postpone the decision until the Shorebird Master Plan by Google with 2,400 to 2,600 homes could be approves. We said no more office without a firm commitment to building housing. What did our City Council do? It voted 7-0 for this large office building without any formal commitment to build housing. I don't know what Sally Lieber's position would be, but I'm very tired of the status quo decision making process. I want to vote for candidate who willing to buck the status quo!


reader
Waverly Park
on Jun 26, 2020 at 2:38 pm
reader, Waverly Park
on Jun 26, 2020 at 2:38 pm
Like this comment

The headline mentions this "crowded race" but I see no mention of other candidates in the story. What crowd might we be talking about?


Longview
another community
on Jun 29, 2020 at 3:29 pm
Longview, another community
on Jun 29, 2020 at 3:29 pm
1 person likes this

I agree no RV's in front of homes. But/and - I prefer to see parked RV's rather than tents by sidewalks. The no parking signs on Independence and Leghorn should come down so that this low impact commercial area could be again used as a valid place for RV's to park. A complete ban on RV's like the current council wants will bring us desperate people in tents. If they have low income part time jobs and no car for transportation, moving is risky - if the RV's go, the tents will come.


Best of luck
Old Mountain View
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:43 pm
Best of luck, Old Mountain View
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:43 pm
Like this comment

Good luck to Sally. She has been a great advocate.


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