With less than two months to go before Election Day, several local and regional groups are weighing in with endorsements for Mountain View's races, including some divergent recommendations for the City Council.
Three organizations, the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, the Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance and the Santa Clara County Democratic Party, announced this week their picks for the City Council and whether to vote for Measure C, the city's proposed oversized vehicle ban. The local chapter of the Democratic Party also unveiled its picks for local school board races and the El Camino Healthcare District's board of directors.
The chamber of commerce backed both incumbents in the race, Margaret Abe-Koga and Lisa Matichak, along with Jose Gutierrez, a Mountain View Whisman School District board member, and Paul Roales, a Waymo engineer seeking to break into local politics. Previous coverage of the candidates can be found here.
The chamber of commerce surveyed its hundreds of members on top issues facing the city and held one-on-one interviews with each of the candidates, and recently hosted a forum quizzing each candidate on their approach to problems facing Mountain View's business community. Top of mind at the forum was each candidate's plan to save businesses struggling during COVID-19, and what they would do to ease the city's tough and sometimes aggravating permitting process.
"We support having Margaret, Lisa, Jose and Paul on Council as they have the mix of experience, inventiveness, and practicality that will lead to a healthy economy and community," said Peter Katz, the chamber president and CEO, in a statement announcing the endorsements. "We look forward to having them actively engage with the chamber to tackle our immediate challenges and in shaping the future of our city."
The chamber is also supporting the the one-eighth cent Caltrain sales tax, and opposes Proposition 15 and Proposition 21. Proposition 15 proposes eliminating property tax protections for large commercial properties, and Proposition 21 would loosen statewide restrictions on rent control laws.
The Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance announced its own slate of candidates earlier in the week, starkly contrasting the chamber's picks, opting not to support either incumbent. Despite voters being asked to vote for four candidates this November, the alliance endorsed five: Former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber; former city councilmembers Pat Showalter and Lenny Siegel; and community activists Alex Nunez and John Lashlee.
All five candidates picked by the alliance said they would extend Mountain View's rent control program to include mobile homes, which has for years been a wedge issue for the organization.
The Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance held its own candidate forum on Aug. 15, which can be viewed here.
The Santa Clara County Democratic Party fell somewhere in between the chamber and the mobile home alliance, endorsing Abe-Koga, Lieber, Nunez and Showalter for the November election. Both the local chapter of the democratic party and the mobile home alliance endorsed a "No" vote on Measure C, while the chamber declined to take a position on the citywide measure.
The Mountain View Housing Justice Coalition, a local community activist group, announced on Sept. 1 its endorsement of Lieber, Nunez, Showalter and Siegel. The group had received questionnaires from five of the candidates, comprised of the four picks and John Lashlee, and said all five "clearly support renters and housing justice."
The full list of endorsements are below:
Mountain View Chamber of Commerce
Mountain View City Council: Margaret Abe-Koga, Lisa Matichak, Jose Gutierrez, Paul Roales
Proposition 15 & Proposition 21- No
Measure RR - Yes
Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance
Mountain View City Council: Sally Lieber, Alex Nunez, Lenny Siegel, John Lashlee, Pat Showalter
Measure C - No
Santa Clara County Democratic Party
Mountain View City Council: Margaret Abe Koga, Sally Lieber, Alex Nunez, Pat Showalter
Measure C - No
Mountain View Whisman School District: Laura Berman, Laura Blakely, Chris Chiang
Mountain View-Los Altos High School District: Phil Faillace
El Camino Health District District Board of Directors: Dr. Meghan Fraley, Dr. Carol Somersille, Julia Miller
Santa Clara County Board of Education: Melissa Baten Caswell