News

Mountain View Mayor Lucas Ramirez will run for reelection to City Council

Lucas Ramirez, mayor of Mountain View, in Eagle Park in Mountain View on Jan. 17, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

If reelected this November, Mountain View Mayor Lucas Ramirez said he is eager to get to work on issues that were pushed to the back burner during the pandemic. Ramirez filed paperwork on May 20 formalizing his intention to run for another four-year term on the City Council.

“A lot of the work I set out to do when I ran in 2018 remains to be done,” Ramirez said. “Chief among them for me are the anti-displacement work and a long term solution to the challenge of finding funding for affordable housing.”

Expensive housing projects that threaten to displace residents in rent-controlled units has become a familiar sight in Mountain View in recent years. As the Voice previously reported, in 2019, the city was on pace to destroy 127 rent-controlled units per year, prompting city officials to take a hard look at potential solutions.

“Those were priority issues for the council in June 2019,” Ramirez said. “We have provided some preliminary input but the policy work will probably take another year at least. The anti-displacement work, certainly, is not going to be done by the end of this year.”

Securing funding to build affordable housing is another top priority for Ramirez if he is elected to a second term. Including land acquisition and construction, Ramirez said, affordable housing costs about $1 million per unit.

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The city successfully negotiated a memorandum of understanding with Santa Clara County to earmark $80 million of the 2016 voter-passed Measure A affordable housing bond.

“Which is great,” Ramirez said, “but the affordable housing needs are so substantial that we’re going to have to think, well, what happens when we exhaust that $80 million? I’m very interested in helping continue and complete that policy work.”

Despite the pandemic putting the brakes on some long-term council goals, Ramirez said he’s proud to have had a hand in updating the city’s Neighborhood Traffic Management Program, which allows communities to get speed bumps or other infrastructure installed to slow traffic and improve safety.

“Previously, the threshold to qualify was quite high, and in 2019 the council started working on an update to reduce those thresholds and allow neighborhood streets to more easily qualify for traffic calming, so that’s one of the things that I’m proud of that we were able to complete,” Ramirez said. “But we’re not done with traffic safety by any means.”

Bicycle and pedestrian safety on roads like El Camino Real, Shoreline Boulevard and California Street is at the top of his priority list. The death of 13-year-old Graham Middle School student Andre Retana, who was struck by a construction truck in March this year after falling off his bike at El Camino and Grant Road, underscores the need for improved safety, Ramirez said.

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As his campaign begins to ramp up in the coming months, Ramirez said he plans to take a more grassroots approach like he did in his 2016 and 2018 runs, and there are a few interest groups he won’t take money from.

“If you look at comparable races in the South Bay and Peninsula, like in Palo Alto for instance, it has become fairly routine for candidates to raise $100,000, or some absurd amount of money,” Ramirez said.

But due to Mountain View’s voluntary expenditure limit program, City Council candidates in recent decades tend to raise more along the order of $20,000 to $27,000.

“That makes it fairly easy to just raise funds from residents, neighbors, friends and family,” Ramirez said. “... Historically, I haven’t taken money from major labor groups or from developers and landlords.”

So far, Ellen Kamei is the only other Mountain View City Council member to have filed paperwork with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) indicating her intention to run in the November general election.

Council member Sally Lieber’s name will be on the June 7 primary ballot as she vies for a spot on the state Board of Equalization. Lieber's current term on the council runs through 2024.

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Malea Martin
Malea Martin covers the city hall beat in Mountain View. Before joining the Mountain View Voice in 2022, she covered local politics and education for New Times San Luis Obispo, a weekly newspaper on the Central Coast of California. Read more >>

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Mountain View Mayor Lucas Ramirez will run for reelection to City Council

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 1:08 pm

If reelected this November, Mountain View Mayor Lucas Ramirez said he is eager to get to work on issues that were pushed to the back burner during the pandemic. Ramirez filed paperwork on May 20 formalizing his intention to run for another four-year term on the City Council.

“A lot of the work I set out to do when I ran in 2018 remains to be done,” Ramirez said. “Chief among them for me are the anti-displacement work and a long term solution to the challenge of finding funding for affordable housing.”

Expensive housing projects that threaten to displace residents in rent-controlled units has become a familiar sight in Mountain View in recent years. As the Voice previously reported, in 2019, the city was on pace to destroy 127 rent-controlled units per year, prompting city officials to take a hard look at potential solutions.

“Those were priority issues for the council in June 2019,” Ramirez said. “We have provided some preliminary input but the policy work will probably take another year at least. The anti-displacement work, certainly, is not going to be done by the end of this year.”

Securing funding to build affordable housing is another top priority for Ramirez if he is elected to a second term. Including land acquisition and construction, Ramirez said, affordable housing costs about $1 million per unit.

The city successfully negotiated a memorandum of understanding with Santa Clara County to earmark $80 million of the 2016 voter-passed Measure A affordable housing bond.

“Which is great,” Ramirez said, “but the affordable housing needs are so substantial that we’re going to have to think, well, what happens when we exhaust that $80 million? I’m very interested in helping continue and complete that policy work.”

Despite the pandemic putting the brakes on some long-term council goals, Ramirez said he’s proud to have had a hand in updating the city’s Neighborhood Traffic Management Program, which allows communities to get speed bumps or other infrastructure installed to slow traffic and improve safety.

“Previously, the threshold to qualify was quite high, and in 2019 the council started working on an update to reduce those thresholds and allow neighborhood streets to more easily qualify for traffic calming, so that’s one of the things that I’m proud of that we were able to complete,” Ramirez said. “But we’re not done with traffic safety by any means.”

Bicycle and pedestrian safety on roads like El Camino Real, Shoreline Boulevard and California Street is at the top of his priority list. The death of 13-year-old Graham Middle School student Andre Retana, who was struck by a construction truck in March this year after falling off his bike at El Camino and Grant Road, underscores the need for improved safety, Ramirez said.

As his campaign begins to ramp up in the coming months, Ramirez said he plans to take a more grassroots approach like he did in his 2016 and 2018 runs, and there are a few interest groups he won’t take money from.

“If you look at comparable races in the South Bay and Peninsula, like in Palo Alto for instance, it has become fairly routine for candidates to raise $100,000, or some absurd amount of money,” Ramirez said.

But due to Mountain View’s voluntary expenditure limit program, City Council candidates in recent decades tend to raise more along the order of $20,000 to $27,000.

“That makes it fairly easy to just raise funds from residents, neighbors, friends and family,” Ramirez said. “... Historically, I haven’t taken money from major labor groups or from developers and landlords.”

So far, Ellen Kamei is the only other Mountain View City Council member to have filed paperwork with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) indicating her intention to run in the November general election.

Council member Sally Lieber’s name will be on the June 7 primary ballot as she vies for a spot on the state Board of Equalization. Lieber's current term on the council runs through 2024.

Comments

Bruce Karney
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Jun 3, 2022 at 3:11 pm
Bruce Karney, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2022 at 3:11 pm

I've known Lucas for many, many years and I admire his thoughtful approach to the challenging issues that Mountain View's City Council must deal with. He will certainly get my vote in November. I believe anyone who takes the time to get to know him and what he stands for will make the same choice.


gcoladon
Registered user
Slater
on Jun 3, 2022 at 4:01 pm
gcoladon, Slater
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2022 at 4:01 pm

I agree with Bruce. Lucas is a thoughtful and intelligent person who has his heart in the right place.


SalsaMusic
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jun 4, 2022 at 7:36 pm
SalsaMusic, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jun 4, 2022 at 7:36 pm

I was disappointed in several of his votes. I think he is spending too much time focused on the needs of the few and not focused on homeowners. For example, he voted for a guaranteed basic income for a very small group. That is not the business of a city, it’s a state function.


tgGus
Registered user
another community
on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:46 am
tgGus, another community
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:46 am

I agree that bicycle safety should be a top priority! As an avid biker, I always want to be safe. ????????‍♂️????


Cfrink
Registered user
Willowgate
on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:15 pm
Cfrink, Willowgate
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:15 pm

@ Salsamusic, so what you're saying is you're mad that he prioritized the needs of a few under resourced people in a sea of privileged financially successful people.

Got it.


JAFO
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:56 pm
JAFO, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:56 pm

By the way what ever happened regarding the California apartment Associations use of the Mountain View Fire Fighters PAC contributing to the campaigns of the City Council? The Voice reported it:

"FPPC launches investigation into Mountain View's firefighter PAC
Landlord lobby funnels money into Mountain View City Council race directly and through firefighters
by Kevin Forestieri / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 1:51 pm

"The latest campaign filings also reveal that the firefighters PAC has taken money from the California Apartment Association (CAA), a landlord lobbying group, though the exact nature of the contribution is unclear. The assistance from CAA is unusual for the local PAC, which has historically been funded through Mountain View firefighters and supported candidates for state office. It's also the latest in a string of aggressive independent expenditures in Mountain View this election season, with the bulk of outside money being spent on misleading attack ads against candidate and former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber.

The Firefighter were warned in the past if you look up the letter written by the FPPC written here in the past it can be seen by googling "Re: Warning Letter Re: FPPC No. 10/519; Mountain View Professional Firefighters"

This letter serves as a written warning. The information in this matter will be retained and may be considered should an enforcement action become necessary based on newly discovered information or future conduct. Failure to comply with the provisions of the Act in the future will result in monetary penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation.

The firefighters better be careful!!!


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