By Steve Levy
E-mail Steve Levy
About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved ... (More)
About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved downtown in 2006 and enjoy being able to walk to activities. I do not drive and being downtown where I work and close to the CalTrain station and downtown amenities makes my life more independent. I have worked all my life as an economist focusing on the California economy. My work centers around two main activities. The first is helping regional planning agencies such as ABAG understand their long-term growth outlook. I do this for several regional planning agencies in northern, southern and central coast California. My other main activity is studying workforce trends and policy implications both as a professional and as a volunteer member of the NOVA (Silicon Valley) and state workforce boards. The title of the blog is Invest and Innovate and that is what I believe is the imperative for our local area, region, state and nation. That includes investing in people, in infrastructure and in making our communities great places to live and work. I served on the recent Palo Alto Infrastructure Commission. I also believe that our local and state economy benefits from being a welcoming community, which mostly we are a leader in, for people of all religions, sexual preferences and places of birth. (Hide)
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The Palo Alto I Live In
Uploaded: Jul 22, 2012
I came here in 1963 as a grad student at Stanford. We raised our children in Palo Alto. I have worked downtown since 1969 and we have lived downtown since 2006.
This is the Palo Alto I experience.
Palo Alto is university town. I have lived near UCLA and in Cambridge, Mass. while going to college. Towns with big bustling universities are big bustling places wherever located and never sleepy suburban places.
Add to that Palo Alto is the site of a large medical and research facilty at Stanford, a large regional shopping center and a center of high tech activity. We are not in any sense a traditional suburb nor does Palo Alto have that feel.
Moreover we are in the middle of two of the fastest growing metro areas in the nation measured by recent job growth.
Downtown is bustling and growing. There are several new office buildings under construction and I read that the vacancy ratge downtown is under 2%. Retail spaces are filling up in addition to the new Apple store about to open.
What does all this mean to me.
First, I like living and working in Palo Alto. I like being a part of the bustle and seeing a new generation of smiling young adults piling off CalTrain and steaming into offices, restuarants and places downtown. I like seeing crowded CalTrains and slowly expanding service.
While I don't think the current HSR is well thought out, if it occurs I want a station in PA. I welcome the expansion and bustle and accept the part we play in a competitive regional economy.
Second, I want to return the favor given our family by prioor generations that welcomed and planned for growth with high quality schools and amenities. So in addition to welcoming the job growth and attendant excitement of being near the cutting edge, I accept our responsibility to provide for housing growth as well even though much of the new job and housing growth will be near where we li ve, especially since PA is guiding new development toward areas like downtown.
So I support funding for schools my family will not use and amenities that others will use.
We are temporary visitors in a wonderful place and I want to do for the next and larger cohort of residents what was done for our family.
What is it worth to you?
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