Modernize City Policies

I pledge to make the necessary changes to modernize our city and end structural racism. At a Black Lives Matter protest this June, I heard Black neighbors share painful aspects of their Palo Alto experience, and it broke my heart. Many of our neighbors cheered as racist statues were being toppled from Virginia to Coit Tower, yet we have been silent and still when it comes to toppling racist statutes here in our city. We can and must do better.

Commit to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Commit to kindness in our community and value dignity for everyone.

  • Ensure that our city panels, boards, and commissions are diverse and representative of the communities who will be affected by their decisions and recommendations.

  • Seek ongoing input from historically marginalized communities and incorporate that feedback into policy improvements.

  • Open Foothills Park to share it with our neighbors and visitors.

  • Track data on hate incidents like vandalism targeting groups based on identity, whether ethnic, LGBTQ, or otherwise, more carefully before they escalate to violence.

  • Offer anti-racist continuing education through Palo Alto's Enjoy! Program.

  • Continue to host anti-racist reading groups through the library, and partner with school librarians to run anti-racism reading programs in schools as well.

  • Implement local campaign finance reform so it’s easier to run for council, and reduce the outsized influence of big money on our local politics.

Modernize public safety and rethink policing

  • Expand our city’s understanding of public safety beyond policing by focusing on and providing funding for mental health first responders and social workers to respond to mental health crises. Prioritize care and assistance rather than arrest or violent confrontation.

  • Disarm police response to nonviolent situations like petty crimes or public nuisance calls.

  • Decriminalize poverty. Let’s come up with solutions for our RV residents that don’t involve the police, such as providing social services to vulnerable unhoused people instead of using punitive tactics that make life more difficult for those in poverty.

  • Hold police accountable for incidents of police brutality and excessive force by creating an oversight commission made up of community members; especially those from historically marginalized groups, to oversee police conduct and practices.

Modernize utilities and infrastructure

  • Modernize our communications infrastructure throughout Palo Alto, so our residents can benefit from advanced metering on their electricity, water, and gas, and can choose a fiber internet connection to their home. Fast-track our current “fiber to the premise” exploration underway with City of Palo Alto Utilities.

  • Ensure all future public meetings, from City Council to boards and commissions, are available for public viewing and participation on video conferencing services, even after the pandemic, to ensure our City is more inclusive of and accessible to residents whose schedules don’t permit them to be physically present at meetings.

  • Improve our Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) program through automation and online tools to improve usability, reduce administrative costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

Ensure Palo Alto is the best city to work for in the Bay Area

Expert staff keep our city functioning every day, and are an essential part of a well-run government. We rely on our commissioners and other working group members to study staff reports and incorporate public feedback in recommendations to the Council.

  • Attract and retain top talent on our Staff and Commissions by creating a positive work environment, in which staff feels recognized and respected for their expertise and hard work.

  • Implement best practices in city planning to solve big problems facing the City, such as traffic, housing, and climate action.

  • Encourage Innovation and embrace new ideas from Staff and the community, and test them out in low-cost ways. A great example is the Summer Streets program; we piloted the idea before rolling it out longer term. It’s a great way to get public feedback before significant costs are committed.