Because of COVID-19, the top issue facing Santa Clara is the budget deficit. Hotel and sales tax revenues are way down.
Santa Clara is facing a $23 million deficit next year. The City is considering layoffs. We need to get creative about cutting expenses and increasing revenues.
I have often complained at City Council meetings about wasteful spending in Santa Clara. Click for More.
We need more affordable housing in Santa Clara.
As a planning commissioner I am well aware of all the new laws passed in the last two years at the State level to encourage more affordable housing. This includes ADUs (granny units).
In August, 2020, I helped get a developer to commit to 43 more affordable housing units than what staff had recommended. Click for More
Many Santa Clarans feel like they have to leave Santa Clara to enjoy a night out. Then often go to Campbell, Sunnyvale, Mt. View or Santana Row. My wife and I like being able to walk to Jasmine Thai and Mio Vicino.
Scott Herhold wrote in 2017 that: "No land-use decision of the last half-century has damaged the urban fabric of a city more than Santa Clara’s decision to tear down its eight-block downtown in the 1960s."
I would very much like to spend my entertainment dollars in Santa Clara. Click for More
Before COVID-19, a lot of people were considering leaving the Bay Area because of traffic and housing costs.
After COVID, traffic congestion is likely to return.
We can't add lanes to our streets. We must work to get people out of their cars.
On Planning Commission I work hard to hold developers responsible for traffic impacts of their projects.
This photo is my son, Anand, in 2004 when we hosted a National Night Out party for our neighbors. We have hosted NNO at our home for over 15 years.
Santa Clara Police and Fire play a very critical role in making people feel safe in their homes.
But police departments around the country have demonstrated how deep systemic racism runs in our country. I strongly support Eight Can't Wait and Campaign Zero. Santa Clara can and must do better with more training and outreach.
I would like to see:
A vibrant downtown for Santa Clarans to congregate
More parks with updated play structures
A second senior center on the North Side
More canopy street trees
A second farmer's market
More live music in our restaurants
More protected bike lanes
More public art
Inexpensive meeting rooms for community groups
In government, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant".
I have advocated for the following:
Making all City documents PDF searchable
Public emails for Planning Commissioners
Video streaming and recording of Commission meetings
Releasing Council agendas earlier
Tentative meeting agendas for Council meetings
Citizen Advisory committees for SVP and sustainability
Better search capability on the City's website
An ethics consultant for our elections
At 1 degrees C of temperature rise so far, California is already seeing historic dry lightning storms and wildfires.
California has shown that we can have strong environmental regulations and still have the 5th largest economy. Other states and countries often follow California's lead.
With a $500 million electric utility, Santa Clara can do a lot to help people and businesses reduce their carbon footprints.
I retired in 2008 to devote my energies to combating Climate Change. Click for More