News

Margaret Abe-Koga and Alex Nunez join the race for the Mountain View City Council

The race for the Mountain View City Council is heating up, with Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga and community activist Alex Nunez both announcing Monday their intent to run in the contested race this November.

Both candidates say they would push for policies that would provide relief to those hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, including tenants behind on rent and businesses struggling to survive. Both said they would support a public dialogue on policing and potential policy changes to improve confidence between Mountain View residents and their local police department.

Abe-Koga and Nunez are joining an increasingly crowded race for the City Council this November, which is poised for a big shake-up on Election Day. Four seats are up for grabs, currently occupied by Abe-Koga, Lisa Matichak, Chris Clark and John McAlister, and two of those members -- Clark and McAlister -- cannot run for re-election due to the city's term limit rules.

Matichak has announced her intent to run for re-election, while former council members Lenny Siegel and Pat Showalter and Mountain View Whisman School Board member Jose Gutierrez have also announced they will run for a seat on the council.

Though past council races have focused tightly on housing, traffic and quality of life issues, the recent entrants say the problems caused by COVID-19 and civil unrest are too big to ignore and should shape council priorities in the coming years.

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Margaret Abe-Koga

Abe-Koga, running for her fourth term on the council, said she believes she has the experience needed to weather both the near-term economic fallout of COVID-19 as well as the economic recession that follows. Her experience in public policy, particularly as mayor during the fallout of the 2008 Great Recession, will be an asset during the difficult financial times, she said.

"The experience that I've gained not just in the past few months but over my three terms, especially as mayor back in 2009 when I had to lead the city out of the great recession, I think is going to be very critical and useful as we move into the next phase," she said.

Abe-Koga has been supportive of city financial assistance programs to date, including a $2.6 million program to help those struggling to pay the rent, and she believes future rounds of economic recovery need to help small businesses that have struggled to survive during the shelter in place. The city's financial outlook depends on the success of local businesses, she said, warranting the need for a concrete small business support strategy.

With possible cuts to city services on the horizon, Abe-Koga said it's important to have someone on the council that was around before the city has had plenty of money and strong tax growth.

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"We haven't had to make hard decisions on terms of how to spend our city resources, but I imagine we'll have to do that," she said.

Abe-Koga is planning to launch a three-member council subcommittee to talk about policing and the concerns raised by residents about police use of force and racial bias, and acknowledged that it's a topic that needs to be discussed in a public way. She said she is proud of Mountain View's diversity, and that the city's conversation about race shouldn't be constrained to policy department activities.

"There is a bigger discussion about race relations in this country beyond police department procedures," she said. "It's really about us as individuals, as people and as a nation and how we interact with each other."

Beyond civil unrest and concerns over COVID-19, Abe-Koga said she plans to push harder to support environmental sustainability and the battle against climate change, noting the extraordinary drop in emissions that has taken place since most Bay Area employees were forced to work from home. It's a clear example, she said, of what could happen if the city more aggressively supported walking, biking and alternative modes of transportation.

Abe-Koga said the city has done a good job supporting housing growth during her tenure on the council, including rezoning to allow a cumulative 17,000 additional housing units in Mountain View, but she warned that the housing may not get built during a deep recession.

"My concern is I remember during the Great Recession all building construction stopped," she said. "So I want to do what I can to encourage the construction to continue even during the slower economic times."

Alex Nunez

Alex Nunez, a frequent face at council meetings and an active member of the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning, is running on a platform focused heavily on expanding the city's housing supply -- particularly affordable housing -- and preserving and even expanding the tenant protections under Mountain View's rent control law.

In a statement Monday, Nunez said that COVID-19 and the public health restrictions that followed have been challenging for vulnerable residents, particularly the homeless and those unable to pay the rent. Many families were already struggling to keep up with the cost of living in Mountain View, and COVID-19 further exacerbated the problem.

"I believe that the needs of many Mountain View residents have been largely left behind throughout our longtime housing crisis, and especially now during our COVID-19 emergency," Nunez said. "This has left many in our community feeling hopeless and powerless for their ability to ever recover and establish a better life for themselves or their families."

Nunez is a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, a place he describes as one of the most diverse locations in Mountain View -- full of homeowners, tenants and people from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. He said it's shaped his thoughts on what it means to have a city that serves families and their desire for nice, peaceful neighborhoods, which he said will be helpful in representing the city as a councilman.

Though Nunez has spent much of the last year advocating on behalf of tenants, supporting anti-displacement measures and campaigning against attempts to curtail rent control, he said his long-term goals are focused squarely on sustainable housing growth.

An adequate housing supply means residents from all incomes -- ranging from service sector jobs to high tech -- will be able to afford to live in the area, he said, reaching a point where rent stabilization won't even be necessary to prevent mass displacement of low and middle-income renters.

"I think we should grow our way out of rent control," he said.

Seizing on recent concerns over policing and use of force in Mountain View, Nunez said he would push for citizen-led input on both the police department budget and department policies, and for training for first responders so they are better equipped to handle mental health crises.

Nunez has received endorsements from former state Assemblywoman Sally Lieber; Mountain View Whisman school board member Tamara Wilson, Rental Housing Committee members Emily Ramos and Susyn Almond; and Foothill-De Anza Community College district board member Laura Casas.

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Margaret Abe-Koga and Alex Nunez join the race for the Mountain View City Council

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Mon, Jun 15, 2020, 1:40 pm

The race for the Mountain View City Council is heating up, with Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga and community activist Alex Nunez both announcing Monday their intent to run in the contested race this November.

Both candidates say they would push for policies that would provide relief to those hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, including tenants behind on rent and businesses struggling to survive. Both said they would support a public dialogue on policing and potential policy changes to improve confidence between Mountain View residents and their local police department.

Abe-Koga and Nunez are joining an increasingly crowded race for the City Council this November, which is poised for a big shake-up on Election Day. Four seats are up for grabs, currently occupied by Abe-Koga, Lisa Matichak, Chris Clark and John McAlister, and two of those members -- Clark and McAlister -- cannot run for re-election due to the city's term limit rules.

Matichak has announced her intent to run for re-election, while former council members Lenny Siegel and Pat Showalter and Mountain View Whisman School Board member Jose Gutierrez have also announced they will run for a seat on the council.

Though past council races have focused tightly on housing, traffic and quality of life issues, the recent entrants say the problems caused by COVID-19 and civil unrest are too big to ignore and should shape council priorities in the coming years.

Margaret Abe-Koga

Abe-Koga, running for her fourth term on the council, said she believes she has the experience needed to weather both the near-term economic fallout of COVID-19 as well as the economic recession that follows. Her experience in public policy, particularly as mayor during the fallout of the 2008 Great Recession, will be an asset during the difficult financial times, she said.

"The experience that I've gained not just in the past few months but over my three terms, especially as mayor back in 2009 when I had to lead the city out of the great recession, I think is going to be very critical and useful as we move into the next phase," she said.

Abe-Koga has been supportive of city financial assistance programs to date, including a $2.6 million program to help those struggling to pay the rent, and she believes future rounds of economic recovery need to help small businesses that have struggled to survive during the shelter in place. The city's financial outlook depends on the success of local businesses, she said, warranting the need for a concrete small business support strategy.

With possible cuts to city services on the horizon, Abe-Koga said it's important to have someone on the council that was around before the city has had plenty of money and strong tax growth.

"We haven't had to make hard decisions on terms of how to spend our city resources, but I imagine we'll have to do that," she said.

Abe-Koga is planning to launch a three-member council subcommittee to talk about policing and the concerns raised by residents about police use of force and racial bias, and acknowledged that it's a topic that needs to be discussed in a public way. She said she is proud of Mountain View's diversity, and that the city's conversation about race shouldn't be constrained to policy department activities.

"There is a bigger discussion about race relations in this country beyond police department procedures," she said. "It's really about us as individuals, as people and as a nation and how we interact with each other."

Beyond civil unrest and concerns over COVID-19, Abe-Koga said she plans to push harder to support environmental sustainability and the battle against climate change, noting the extraordinary drop in emissions that has taken place since most Bay Area employees were forced to work from home. It's a clear example, she said, of what could happen if the city more aggressively supported walking, biking and alternative modes of transportation.

Abe-Koga said the city has done a good job supporting housing growth during her tenure on the council, including rezoning to allow a cumulative 17,000 additional housing units in Mountain View, but she warned that the housing may not get built during a deep recession.

"My concern is I remember during the Great Recession all building construction stopped," she said. "So I want to do what I can to encourage the construction to continue even during the slower economic times."

Alex Nunez

Alex Nunez, a frequent face at council meetings and an active member of the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning, is running on a platform focused heavily on expanding the city's housing supply -- particularly affordable housing -- and preserving and even expanding the tenant protections under Mountain View's rent control law.

In a statement Monday, Nunez said that COVID-19 and the public health restrictions that followed have been challenging for vulnerable residents, particularly the homeless and those unable to pay the rent. Many families were already struggling to keep up with the cost of living in Mountain View, and COVID-19 further exacerbated the problem.

"I believe that the needs of many Mountain View residents have been largely left behind throughout our longtime housing crisis, and especially now during our COVID-19 emergency," Nunez said. "This has left many in our community feeling hopeless and powerless for their ability to ever recover and establish a better life for themselves or their families."

Nunez is a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, a place he describes as one of the most diverse locations in Mountain View -- full of homeowners, tenants and people from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. He said it's shaped his thoughts on what it means to have a city that serves families and their desire for nice, peaceful neighborhoods, which he said will be helpful in representing the city as a councilman.

Though Nunez has spent much of the last year advocating on behalf of tenants, supporting anti-displacement measures and campaigning against attempts to curtail rent control, he said his long-term goals are focused squarely on sustainable housing growth.

An adequate housing supply means residents from all incomes -- ranging from service sector jobs to high tech -- will be able to afford to live in the area, he said, reaching a point where rent stabilization won't even be necessary to prevent mass displacement of low and middle-income renters.

"I think we should grow our way out of rent control," he said.

Seizing on recent concerns over policing and use of force in Mountain View, Nunez said he would push for citizen-led input on both the police department budget and department policies, and for training for first responders so they are better equipped to handle mental health crises.

Nunez has received endorsements from former state Assemblywoman Sally Lieber; Mountain View Whisman school board member Tamara Wilson, Rental Housing Committee members Emily Ramos and Susyn Almond; and Foothill-De Anza Community College district board member Laura Casas.

Comments

Meghan Fraley
Shoreline West
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:11 pm
Meghan Fraley, Shoreline West
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:11 pm
39 people like this

I'd like to add my endorsement of Alex Nunez to this list as well. I have seen him stand up day and night over the past 5 years for issues of equity, housing affordability from a place of wisdom, determination and compassion. He is smart as a whip, and truly cares. Just some of the reasons I married him. I can vouch that he has literally poured blood, sweat and tears into making our community a better place, one with equity, and fought against housing policies that have been hurting our vulnerable populations. Most of the blood and sweat was in helping put up the Measure P signs in promotion of the successful business tax and securing anti-Measure D signs against hailstrom winds. :) Two campaigns that fought for our community, with a major win, and landslide defeat of Measure D.

I hope everyone in our community gets to see how profoundly knowledgable, committed and devoted to equity and a safe and kind place for all to live. He is incredibly capable, and will fight for you, me and us. I hope you will join me and a broad and diverse coalition of people and vote for Alex Nunez this November!


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:17 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:17 pm
9 people like this

I am sorry to say but neither should get a vote from us.

They both wanted to pass Measure D which was sold with so many lies in it that it got less than 1 vote for every 2 votes against it.

Then they abused their position to arrange more loss of affordable housing in the City. In fact violating current state laws in the process.

It was done because they wish to purge anyone who supported CSFRA from the City.

It is social engineering in the most ugliest of degrees.

This is not limited government nor conservativism. It is in fact dictatorial and authoritarianism of the highest order.

So I just can never vote for these two to be in the City Council


Meghan Fraley
Shoreline West
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:24 pm
Meghan Fraley, Shoreline West
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:24 pm
36 people like this

@the businessman

I am so with you on not voting for anyone that supported or pushed for Measure D.

Just to clear the record... I think you might be thinking of JOSE GUTIERREZ who supported Measure D.

Alex was one of the primary leaders AGAINST measure D. See his quote in this voice article: Web Link


Ken Rosenberg
Blossom Valley
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:34 pm
Ken Rosenberg, Blossom Valley
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:34 pm
38 people like this

Welcome to the (local) big leagues Alex. I look forward to hearing more about your ideas for the City. It was always a pleasure to listen to what you had to say from the public microphone while addressing City Council. You spoke positively and passionately and with high energy coming. Good luck to you.


The Business Man
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:42 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:42 pm
5 people like this

Meghan,

Your right Alex was not part of Measure D.

But he did not fight hard enough regarding t destruction of affordable housing in the latest approval to remove them.

So I am correcting my claims above, thank you.

But still we need to replace these seats with those that will not punish the people for making policies that overrule the city councils


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:46 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:46 pm
28 people like this

Let me finally fully correct myself.

Alex is the right person for the job.

Lets try to get him, Pat Showalter, and Lenny Siegal back there

So that the CSFRA will be properly implements and suported by the City Council again.


Paloma
Monta Loma
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm
Paloma, Monta Loma
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm
86 people like this

Turbulent times ahead - Margaret Abe-Koga is the best candidate to navigate us through the next 4 - 5 years. She has the experience and ability to keep the city afloat and work with other council members to get things done. And she cares deeply about the community - residents and small businesses. She has my vote.


OMG!
Rengstorff Park
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:54 pm
OMG!, Rengstorff Park
on Jun 15, 2020 at 2:54 pm
102 people like this

Alex, Pat and Lenny, back?
OMG, the Socialist Party of Mn. View.

Yes, we need more tents on our sidewalks, parks, in the front doorways of businesses.

Then we can hand out hundreds of thousands of needles to drug addicts. Just like San Francisco.

We will be know as the S.F of the Southbay.


Ronan
Old Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2020 at 3:15 pm
Ronan, Old Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2020 at 3:15 pm
23 people like this

Go Alex! We really need more progressives on the council. Mountain View should be a city that takes care of our working-class residents and is an open and diverse place.


Essy Stone
another community
on Jun 15, 2020 at 3:23 pm
Essy Stone, another community
on Jun 15, 2020 at 3:23 pm
22 people like this

I am so happy to see that Alex Nunez is running! He is a wonderful asset to our community and an important voice for the underserved in Mountain View. MAK is not progressive enough to represent our area, as she showed by her dismissive attitude to the young activists who demanded police reform last week, or by how callously she has treated residents who live in RVs. Nunez is the right choice for Mountain View!


Angel
Gemello
on Jun 15, 2020 at 3:35 pm
Angel, Gemello
on Jun 15, 2020 at 3:35 pm
27 people like this

@OMG

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but you need to know how silly you look if you post some variation of, "Welcome to Socialism..."

You are not seeing Socialism. What you are seeing is one of the wealthiest, geographically advantaged, productive capitalist societies in the world flounder and fail at its most basic test. Taking care of its people.

This crisis is not about the virus.

This crisis is about the massive failure of our, "Booming economy," to survive even modest challenges. It is about the market dissonance of shortages in stores, even as farmers/producers destroy unused crops and products. This crisis is about huge corporations needing an emergency bailout within days of the longest Bull Market in our history ending and despite the ability to borrow with zero percent interest rates.

This crisis is about corporatized healthcare systems being unable and ill equipped to provide basic healthcare, at the same time they post record profits. It is about crisis response depending on antiquated systems nobody remembers how to operate.

But most of all, this crisis is a direct result of the politicization of every aspect of our society for the benefit of a privileged few. The vilification of education, science, media, natural rights, rural lifestyles, urban lifestyles, charity, compassion, and virtually everything else for brief political gain has gutted our society.

What you are seeing is a quarter century of technological brilliance being reduced to a narcissistic popularity contest. You're seeing the folly of basing the health and welfare of an entire society on personal greed. You're seeing all the necessary tools, for us to shrug off this crisis, go unused while people argue over who should get the credit and profit. Even worse, you're seeing vital help withheld because recipients might not, "deserve it..."

You're seeing a lot of things nobody thought they'd ever see, but you're not seeing Socialism...
-- Paul Field


"Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves."
-- Horace Mann


GPS
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2020 at 4:01 pm
GPS, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2020 at 4:01 pm
25 people like this

Happy to see Alex running! He has been a great voice for reform at city council meetings, and a tireless champion for those in danger of being forced out of Mountain View.

He's also a very serious thinker and sweats the details - ideal characteristics for a councilperson.


resident
The Crossings
on Jun 15, 2020 at 4:27 pm
resident, The Crossings
on Jun 15, 2020 at 4:27 pm
21 people like this

I'm excited to see a fresh face here! I'm looking forward to voting for Alex and getting a little more innovative energy on the City Council.


Francis
Monta Loma
on Jun 15, 2020 at 4:27 pm
Francis, Monta Loma
on Jun 15, 2020 at 4:27 pm
24 people like this

When people run, they have a few buddies post positive comments.

The same rhetoric will appear in letters and campaign literature before November 3.

Abe-Koga just pretended all was well with the police department in a joint piece with the Police Chief. Now, as a candidate, she suddenly wants "citizen input" on the police department? Please!


badgolfer
Waverly Park
on Jun 15, 2020 at 7:16 pm
badgolfer, Waverly Park
on Jun 15, 2020 at 7:16 pm
22 people like this

Vote against all the incumbents who were part of the undemocratic switch on the Cannabis tax vote. They don't respect the voters on something so straightforward, how can you expect them to do the right thing on any other issue?


JH
Rengstorff Park
on Jun 15, 2020 at 8:38 pm
JH, Rengstorff Park
on Jun 15, 2020 at 8:38 pm
34 people like this

Voting Alex for sure.


Ian
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2020 at 3:06 am
Ian, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2020 at 3:06 am
13 people like this

I'm glad Lenny is running again. He has my vote. Alex Nunez looks really promising as well. Let's hope we can vote out the current council and everyone who supported Measure D.


MyOpinion
Old Mountain View
on Jun 16, 2020 at 3:50 pm
MyOpinion, Old Mountain View
on Jun 16, 2020 at 3:50 pm
61 people like this

anyone but Lenny... where have I heard that phrase before? LOL


MyOpinion
Old Mountain View
on Jun 16, 2020 at 4:07 pm
MyOpinion, Old Mountain View
on Jun 16, 2020 at 4:07 pm
84 people like this

Really hope some of our newer residents who plan to make Mountain View their home for the lonr term step up. People who were voted out last time around should take a hint.


Paloma
Monta Loma
on Jun 16, 2020 at 5:08 pm
Paloma, Monta Loma
on Jun 16, 2020 at 5:08 pm
93 people like this

Alex is a good man, but his advocacy work shows a very very narrow scope. He should serve a term on EPC before running, to learn a little about land use, environment, transportation and more.
Lucas Ramirez served on EPC, Ellen Kamei did too, and they are showing their understanding in deliberations. Lenny and Showalter did not, and it was evident in their bad choices while on Council. They should not come back.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 16, 2020 at 6:28 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 16, 2020 at 6:28 pm
12 people like this

In response to Paloma you said:

“Alex is a good man, but his advocacy work shows a very very narrow scope. He should serve a term on EPC before running, to learn a little about land use, environment, transportation and more.”

That seems quite condescending. Granted he has been advocating a single policy, but the complexity and the intensity of that problem is so high it makes it difficult to do more if you are not in fact compensated for performing other duties. And at the same time so many others have ran for office with practically no experience and have performed rather well or poorly. I think that Alex has the aptitude to achieve more than what Margaret Abe Koga has done in this term. You said:

“Lucas Ramirez served on EPC, Ellen Kamei did too, and they are showing their understanding in deliberations. Lenny and Showalter did not, and it was evident in their bad choices while on Council. They should not come back.”

What deductive evidence do you have to establish that Lenny and Pat made bad choices? What evidence do you have to declare that conclusion? To me you are simply venting out your opinion with no evidence. Perhaps they pose a threat to your financial interests? If that is the case you are in no position to adjudicate their history. Only one with proven non-bias and that provides proof of such poor decisions, should the people here consider your opinion as valid.

What we have here is many people whose financial interests are threatened with faithful performance of a City Council member that does not provide private interests to interfere with public performance. The two have demonstrated this, however Margaret clearly is an example of acting for the financial interests of her friends and not the City. Just like John Inks did in the past.

Lets just say the private interests are threatened when there are those on the Council that will not simply cave into the powers of money and investment, but instead act out the oath of office and the city code to disregard those private interests for the public good.

Just a thought.


Reader
Waverly Park
on Jun 17, 2020 at 12:32 am
Reader, Waverly Park
on Jun 17, 2020 at 12:32 am
18 people like this

Hadn't heard of Alex Nunez before, but he's got my vote!

MV Council desperately needs some new faces, fresh ideas, and council members who are not in the back pocket of the developers.

MAK, please give someone else a turn.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 17, 2020 at 9:01 am
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 17, 2020 at 9:01 am
5 people like this

Lets just say, I am going to use MAKs history of lying regarding Measure D and her actions in the City Council to remind the voters EVERY chance I can of her actions.

That these actions are not in the interest of the City of Mountain View.

And that she should NEVER have this kind of position EVER again.

Not unless she signs a contract requiring that if she violates it, she will be required to resign her office. THecondition is that she will NEVER be allowed to act in violation of the City Charter, which she did in trying to get Measure D passed.

THe City Charter in fact prohibited this is you bother to read it it says:

Section 506. - Powers vested in the council.

All powers of the city, except as otherwise provided in this Charter, shall be vested in the council, and said council may establish the method by which any of such powers may be exercised.

Since CSFRA is in the Charter, her actions to try to change it is prohibited.

The City Charter clearly indicates the only power the City Council has on the CSFRA was appointment of RHC committee members that's it.

So she violated the City Charter, she lied to the City over and over again regarding Measure D, and she is using her power to force people out of their homes to control the kinds of voters that are in Mountain View.

THIS IS A DICTATOR and not a REPRESENTATIVE in the purest sense. And Mountain View cannot allow this to happen anymore.


Dave
Rengstorff Park
on Jun 17, 2020 at 5:33 pm
Dave, Rengstorff Park
on Jun 17, 2020 at 5:33 pm
8 people like this

Margaret Abe-Koga associated herself too closely with Measure D, I doubt anyone will forget, can you imagine the mess we would be in now if the measure did pass.

I doubt she'll get re-elected, I certainly won't be voting for her, maybe next time she actually listen and represent the people vs just abusing her position and dictating terms.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 17, 2020 at 7:54 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 17, 2020 at 7:54 pm
1 person likes this

My observation.

She uses her looks and charm to manipulate people. Just look at the way she uses her face in her advertisements. Politics is not a fashion contest, but she uses her looks to overcome a voters intelligence.

On top of that she will say ANYTHING to people to trick them to voting for something she knows she is saying is not true.

Fortunately, the City didn't buy it, by more than a 2 to 1 ratio for Measure D.

Then she started "social engineering" of the worst kind, trying to kick out voters from the city that didn't agree with her. That is why she TARGETED renters to destroy their apartments to replace them with units she "prefers". Thus she has the "voters" she needs to maintain power.

The Voters should understand it, and I am going to keep reminding them of it until the election.


Steven Nelson
Cuesta Park
on Jun 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
on Jun 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Like this comment

I've already placed my bet ($$$$) on Showalter's campaign - but this is now interesting! I'm 'rethinking' Lenny; with a very strong affordable housing/new housing/ advocate maybe Lenny will be a much more housing-build (ratio change) stalwart.

There is no question that the THREE yes on D candidates, MAK and Gutierrez and Matichak should run as a slate! And loose as a slate! The YES on D slate.


Think
Shoreline West
on Jun 19, 2020 at 3:46 pm
Think, Shoreline West
on Jun 19, 2020 at 3:46 pm
88 people like this

It seems many of you are stuck on instant access to cannabis and cannot think past that? It's delivered within an hour from San Francisco and San Jose so calm down.

There is a great deal more to being on the Council than one issue. Ask a sitting Councilmember how much time is required of them on a wide variety of issues in town, and you'll perhaps appreciate the Council we currently have. Maybe Alex could be an addition to that, but I hope he's a lot more than a one-issue candidate, or he'd be more constructive just being in the audience.

Look how destructive Lenny and Showalter were with their very weak experience in city government. Pat looked me in the face and said she would never vote to take two lanes from El Camino for the exclusive bus lanes - and then she betrayed voters by voting for it once she was elected. She has proven that she cannot be trusted for something that affects every citizen this way. She blew up any honor or trust she had and was rightfully rejected for a second term.

Lenny is a self-promoter who only cares for himself (very like Trump) and how much attention he can get. He ran three previous times and barely squeaked into office the one time he was elected. This last election, voters knew what he was and soundly crushed him as the lowest vote getter in the race, for good reason. It's pathetic that he's trying a fourth time.

Please expand your vision and look for well-rounded, honest, and experienced candidates who are willing to work hard for the betterment of all of Mountain View, not just a special interest. We're better than that, I hope.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 19, 2020 at 4:28 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 19, 2020 at 4:28 pm
1 person likes this

In response to Think you said:

“Look how destructive Lenny and Showalter were with their very weak experience in city government. Pat looked me in the face and said she would never vote to take two lanes from El Camino for the exclusive bus lanes - and then she betrayed voters by voting for it once she was elected. She has proven that she cannot be trusted for something that affects every citizen this way. She blew up any honor or trust she had and was rightfully rejected for a second term.”

Actually I do not know you know this but that street is a STATE road Route 82, thus even if she voted against it, it would have happened anyway. BUT the City would have lost out on state funds for the refit of the adjoining areas of that road. So you really don’t know the entire story. You said:

“Lenny is a self-promoter who only cares for himself (very like Trump) and how much attention he can get. He ran three previous times and barely squeaked into office the one time he was elected. This last election, voters knew what he was and soundly crushed him as the lowest vote getter in the race, for good reason. It's pathetic that he's trying a fourth time.”

Granted any politician is a self-promoter, but his actions are for the PUBLIC good. He recently submitted a report rejecting the reclassification of the superfund sites in Mountain View because the scientific evidence proved that it was not yet remediated. So I will argue that it is par for the course, but the two of them reject private interests where they conflict with public ones.

So that’s why I will support them. Give us something to justify electing MAK for another term that she did that was for the public interests while rejecting a private one, please? So far she has been nothing but an exploiter of her office to benefit her friends and punish the public.


Think
Shoreline West
on Jun 19, 2020 at 6:05 pm
Think, Shoreline West
on Jun 19, 2020 at 6:05 pm
68 people like this

To BM, Due to overwhelming objection from cities along El Camino, the VTA removed their request to take two lanes exclusively for their busses. I was at the VTA board meeting when they decided this. I actually attend meetings like this and speak from experience. You, as usual, have no idea what you're talking about. You just love to take over sites and blather on and on with endless, often erroneous posts.

I side with the overwhelming number of residents of Mountain View who are sick and tired of Lenny's self-promotion and narrow view of what is positive for Mountain View residents, and I would never vote for him again. If something gets him press coverage, he's all for it. I have to justify nothing to you, BM.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 19, 2020 at 6:26 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 19, 2020 at 6:26 pm
Like this comment

In response to Think you said:

“To BM, Due to overwhelming objection from cities along El Camino, the VTA removed their request to take two lanes exclusively for their busses. I was at the VTA board meeting when they decided this. I actually attend meetings like this and speak from experience. You, as usual, have no idea what you're talking about. You just love to take over sites and blather on and on with endless, often erroneous posts.”

Definition of who has hurisdiction on the public roads(Web Link):

Road Jurisdictions

State Highways

STATE HIGHWAYS, INCLUDING HIGHWAYS 1, 12, 37, 101, 116, 121, AND 128 ARE PART OF AN INTERCONNECTED STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM, BUILT AND MAINTAINED BY THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CALTRANS). THE SONOMA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC WORKS HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE CALIFORNIA STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM.

County Roads

THE COUNTY, OR UNINCORPORATED, ROAD SYSTEM MAKES UP THE MAJORITY OF ROADS WITHIN SONOMA COUNTY. THIS INCLUDES MOST ROADS THAT ARE (A) PUBLICALLY-OWNED, (B) PUBLICALLY-ACCESSIBLE, (C) OUTSIDE OF CITY LIMITS, AND (D) NOT PART OF THE STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM. THESE ARE OWNED AND MAINTAINED BY THE SONOMA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC WORKS.

City Streets

PUBLIC ROADS BELONG TO THE CITY IF THEY ARE WITHIN CITY LIMITS AND NOT PART OF THE STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM. THE SONOMA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC WORKS HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER CITY STREETS.

Private & Other Streets

Some roads may be privately-owned or administered by other agencies. Roads often fall under this category if they are inside any of the following areas: public parks, gated and/or private communities, farms, ranches, wineries, military installations, schools and/or universities”

So what I said was correct. The City has no authority on El Camino Real because it is a highway and a county road, NOT THE CITY. Please understand that you really do not do your own homework. What you are trying to do is mislead the readers, and I am simply fact checking you.

In fact you proved my point because you went to the County VTA meeting, thus proved that the City of Mountain View has no jurisdiction. Why go to such lengths to deceive the readers? As far as you said:

“I side with the overwhelming number of residents of Mountain View who are sick and tired of Lenny's self-promotion and narrow view of what is positive for Mountain View residents, and I would never vote for him again. If something gets him press coverage, he's all for it. I have to justify nothing to you, BM.”

By the way you were wrong when you said:

“Lenny is a self-promoter who only cares for himself (very like Trump) and how much attention he can get. He ran three previous times and barely squeaked into office the one time he was elected. This last election, voters knew what he was and soundly crushed him as the lowest vote getter in the race, for good reason. It's pathetic that he's trying a fourth time.”

The truth was it was JOHN INKS who came in LAST The results were:

Ellen Kamei with 19.00%, Lucas Ramirez with 18.17%, Alison Hicks 17.74%, Pat Showalter 17.59%, LENNY SIEGAL with 15.83% AND JOHN INKS WITH A LOUSY 11.67%

Please stop misquoting history and misleading the readers? Lenny got more that 4% more than JOHN INKS.



Quality
Cuernavaca
on Jun 19, 2020 at 7:02 pm
Quality, Cuernavaca
on Jun 19, 2020 at 7:02 pm
5 people like this

The saddest posters on this board are the people who are obsessively fixated on Lenny. Can't you all get a hobby and do something more productive with your lives?


SRB
St. Francis Acres
on Jun 19, 2020 at 7:06 pm
SRB, St. Francis Acres
on Jun 19, 2020 at 7:06 pm
3 people like this

Welcome to the race, Alex! Many thanks for helping defeat (err trounce) Measure D. I look forward hearing fresh ideas on police right sizing, transparency and community oversight. Fresh ideas on that topic are not likely to come from the incumbent mayor after reading her recent op-ed defending the status quo.


Paloma
Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:22 am
Paloma, Monta Loma
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:22 am
47 people like this

+1 @Think
There is an inherent conflict between staff, whose role is to to spend taxpayers $$$, and City Council, whose role is to protect our money. Government agencies Staff need more projects, moe employees, more overtime, more concrete poured. Even the best government employees, and MV has many, need projects to keep their jobs going. Other agencies (VTA, Water Districts) have heavy employee load and a lot of heavy equipment to maintain.
Showalter was staff at the Water District for a long time and cannot shed that skin. As a council member, she even touted this experience! No wonder that after campaigning against Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), she changed colors and supported this futile project ($223 million, see Web Link).


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:34 am
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 20, 2020 at 10:34 am
Like this comment

Paloma,

I understand your frustration, but in reality the City has no authority over Route 82, it is a state highway, and if the state decides to do anything regarding transit, the city has no choice.

That vote was done because there were funds allotted to the city to mitigate costs if that plan was implemented. By doing anything officially to resist that plan, the city would have lost those funds.

It was simply a matter pf practicality. and it would have been a futile gesture. I know it is hard to swallow that the City has no power over El Camino Real at all.

None the less what has MAK done other than try to manipulate the citizens abilities did she actually achieve in her term?

She used her position to give gifts to the private interests she was by the written charter, her oath, and the brown act to override for the better good of the public.

She was a failed dictator trying to oust voters that she found distasteful.

And that is an unavoidable FACT.


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 11:29 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 11:29 am
5 people like this

Yes. The State does ultimately control El Camino. But the VTA sought local political support. Casting an advisory vote to support a VTA plan for bus-only lanes on El Camino did not help Pat Showalter in the 2018 re-election bid. The plan was also supported by Margaret Abe-Koga who. in that time frame (2015-2016) was taking a required 2-year break from serving on the council. Bureaucracies wait out political opposition. Bus-only lanes may well be back. But the excuse of hopeless congestion on El Camino has temporarily disappeared with the coronavirus. Why would the VTA want bus-only lanes that would only waste a lane in each direction for an occasional bus and thereby actually increase congestion? Two motivations mainly: (1) VTA's future funding is better assured and (2) people need to learn they have no right to drive on a public street. Mass transit advocates often argue, with some validity, that driving cars adversely affects the region, the planet and maybe even the whole universe. But times have changed. We now know that mass transit - to borrow someone else's line - can mean MASS INFECTION. Politicians should have guarded against this pandemic - and against the next one. If science does not save us, forget about social gatherings on buses or anywhere else. To survive, we must re-organize working and schooling and living.


RV dwellers R here
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2020 at 7:27 pm
RV dwellers R here, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2020 at 7:27 pm
62 people like this

We have Alex, Siegle, Showalter and sitting council members Hicks and Ramerize.

What do they all have in common?

They are all for RV parking and living on the streets in our city.

Look who supported the ballot measure to overturn the RV parking ban on narrow streets, less tha 40 feet, all the 5 above candidates.

Do we really want such a radical shift and change to happen in our city if these 5 people are on the city council? Lenny would be the acting President and dictate what he wants from the other 4 puppets.

I am sure many of the people posting here supporting Alex, and the other 2 candidates, are RV dwellers. As Lenny Siegel got all of them registered to vote come November.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:19 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:19 pm
4 people like this

In response to RV dwellers R here you said:

“Do we really want such a radical shift and change to happen in our city if these 5 people are on the city council? Lenny would be the acting President and dictate what he wants from the other 4 puppets.”

WOW, and what do you call it with MAK and the RADICAL RIGHT? With her out and out lying to the people of the City of Mountain View? To me you are just getting angry because the people of Mountain View saw through the lies. AND they are not going to support MAK or anyone else who worked to support Measure D. As far as:

“I am sure many of the people posting here supporting Alex, and the other 2 candidates, are RV dwellers. As Lenny Siegel got all of them registered to vote come November.”

AS long as they are properly registered to vote in November you have nothing to complain about. BUT when one tries to purge voters by EVICTING them out of their VOTE with her office, THAT IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MATTER.

One is empowering voters, the other is trying to destroy them. BIG DIFFERENCE DON’T YOU THINK?


Landlords R Here
Cuesta Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:26 pm
Landlords R Here, Cuesta Park
on Jun 20, 2020 at 8:26 pm
14 people like this

TBM, don't bother arguing with that poster. As much as they talk about "our city", they don't even live here! They're just another landlord trying to meddle in our local politics.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 22, 2020 at 6:50 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 22, 2020 at 6:50 pm
4 people like this

I just checked the Santa Clara registrar of voters.

I does not have the Measure V Too Costly Ballot question in the database?

Does this mean it was withdrawn?

I am confused


Tom Halstrom
Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:21 am
Tom Halstrom, Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:21 am
30 people like this

Abe-Koga and Matichak definitely need to be re-elected. Gutierrez would also be an excellent choice as well.

We must not vote for anyone who has advocated for worsening the affordable housing crisis by promoting rent control.

We have already seen the loss of affordable housing caused by Ellis Act evictions, but we've only seen the tip of the iceberg. We can't afford to elect Council Members that will, either intentionally or due to ignorance, reduce affordable housing in Mountain View.

Not sure who else is running, but we must definitely not vote for Siegel, Showalter, Lieber, or Nunez. They are all well-meaning, but they don't understand a) how State law works, b) that the City can't force property owners to build the housing that the City has zoned for, c) that there is actually not a housing crisis, what there is is an affordable housing crisis, and d) the City needs to achieve a jobs/housing balance because Mountain View is currently the third worst city in Santa Clara County in that regard (only Palo Alto and Santa Clara are worse).


Housing Crisis
Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 26, 2020 at 12:21 pm
Housing Crisis, Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 26, 2020 at 12:21 pm
6 people like this

Thank you, Tom Halstron, for making it very clear and simple how to figure out who to vote for.

If you believe, like Tom, that "there is actually not a housing crisis", vote Margaret Abe-Koga, Lisa Matichak, and Jose Gutierrez.

If you live in reality, vote for Alex Nunez, Pat Showalter, Lenny Siegel, and Sally Lieber.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 26, 2020 at 12:34 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 26, 2020 at 12:34 pm
4 people like this

In response to Tom Halstrom you said:

“Not sure who else is running, but we must definitely not vote for Siegel, Showalter, Lieber, or Nunez. They are all well-meaning, but they don't understand a) how State law works,”

The new state laws invalidated the actions by MAK and Matichak because they approved housing projects with net losses of affordable housing, but you ignore that. Showalter, Seigal, and Nunez would prohibit any howing project that does not comply with the new housing laws. You said:

“b) that the City can't force property owners to build the housing that the City has zoned for”

YES they can, if the housing providers don’t want to build hem, LET THEM LEAVE. Let the State, County or City take over land and build housing with public funds specifically to provide lower priced housing at higher numbers, this will lower the cost of housing FOR EVERYONE. You said:

“ c) that there is actually not a housing crisis, what there is is an affordable housing crisis”

There is no difference, the lack of affordable housing causes higher prices for everyone, but you don’t mention that. You said:

“ the City needs to achieve a jobs/housing balance because Mountain View is currently the third worst city in Santa Clara County in that regard (only Palo Alto and Santa Clara are worse).”

THAT is by DESIGN. The City has not applied for any public housing projects or grants for more than 20 years. People like yourself only want private housing projects and you achieved in making it a public policy. And if you look at the history of the City Council, its composition has pretty much been elected with a surplus of power by private housing and real estate interests that simply sit back and cash in on the lack of housing.

It is finally time to expunge these interests from the City Council and never allow them to be seated again.


Tom Halstrom
Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 28, 2020 at 9:05 am
Tom Halstrom, Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 28, 2020 at 9:05 am
3 people like this

Housing Crisis: Clever how you left out half of what I stated, which was the most important part: "what there is is an affordable housing crisis."

Building more luxury, unaffordable housing, doesn't solve the problem that we have: housing that is affordable to the working class. Instead, what we've seen in Mountain View is the effects of rent control which is to worsen the affordable housing crisis by encouraging property owners to take advantage of the Ellis Act and exit the rental housing business. If people had looked at what has transpired in San Francisco, and had understood the inevitable effects of rent control, they might have voted differently.

We have to get people to comprehend that simplistic solutions don't yield the desired results. It's not that people like Siegel, Showalter, or Nunez have bad intentions, their intentions are good. I've met Lenny and Pat and they are sincere in their beliefs. They just don't understand the reality of how the system works. They don't understand that there is a group of Sacramento politicians that is owned lock, stock, and barrel by developers and real estate interests that pass wonderful sounding laws that actually worsen the affordable housing crisis.

AB1482 set a 5%+CPI cap on rent increases at a time when rents were falling in most areas, and were not increasing by 5%+CPI anywhere. Yet provisions in that law encourage property owners that were holding the line on rent increases to now increase rents by the maximum amount. Another provision in that law caused a rash of evictions leading cities all over the state to pass emergency ordinances to counter the unintended effects of AB1482 (Google "ab1482 emergency ordinance city").

SB50, which was defeated only because a large number of affordable housing groups aligned to oppose it would have greatly exacerbated the affordable housing crisis, by causing more displacement and gentrification. Hopefully people realize that the corporate and developer funded "YIMBY" movement does not have the best interests of housing insecure families in mind.

It's vitally important to look at the big picture, both when voting on ballot measures and when voting for candidates for office. Let's not let the same lack of critical thinking skills that got Trump elected result in the wrong people being elected for local office.


The Business Man
Old Mountain View
on Jun 28, 2020 at 10:06 am
The Business Man, Old Mountain View
on Jun 28, 2020 at 10:06 am
Like this comment

In response to Tom

You realize we are about to start round 2 of prop 10 as reported in the Mercuray News here (Web Link)

On top of that the State Senate just approved a new rent repayment right that will allow 10 years to pay back owed rent. That news can be found here (Web Link). Al it needs is approval from the assembly to get it signed. My observation is that it is FAR more harder to get things past the senate than the assembly.

And on top of that we still have an active bill being considered SB 828 which will allow rents to be discounted 25% by the courts due to he COVID crisis. The Senate delayed it because it was hoping the COVID crisis was going to be short, but evidence is proving that it will probably be years before any REAL medical progress is made.

Again MAK and Matichak in their careeers have not done anything to provide affordable housing or restore the housing job balance because they only want Private housing projects to move forward. That means they will never get that situation resolved because PRIVATE housing production expects an outrageous profit margin.

You simply haven't provided any evidence to support that MAK or Matichek will ever provide enough action to deal with this problem until they come forward and dedicate themselves to employing all housing opportunities, bot public and private to be developed by the city. THIS CITY DOES NOT ACT TO GET ANY PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS STARTED AT ALL. Showalter and Seigel tried on multiple occasions but MAK Matichek, Kasperzak, Inks and others got in the way.

We need a clean City Council that has no dependence on any real estate or housing providers. We need to purge these members out and never let any others in.


Tom Halstrom
Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 29, 2020 at 10:52 am
Tom Halstrom, Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 29, 2020 at 10:52 am
4 people like this

RV dwellers R here: Because there are no run-offs for city council, what will likely happen is that the RV parking ordinance will succeed in its intent which is to get Siegel back on city council, even though the ordinance will likely fail to be overturned.

The fact that anyone is promoting an ordinance that encourages living in cars is very sad. But it highlights the failure of efforts to build additional affordable housing as well as the failure of the rent control ordinance which is resulting in the loss of affordable housing.

In a country that elected Donald Trump it may be a vain hope to expect people to possess the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate the medium to long-term effects of what they are voting for.

When Californian's passed Prop 13 it may have seem liked a good idea, but they didn't realize what a gift it would be to commercial property owners and how it would destroy the education system.

When Mountain View residents voted for rent control, they didn't believe the people that claimed that it would cause Ellis Act evictions of low-income residents. This disbelief was shocking since all they had to do was to look at San Francisco where property owners that became tired of subsidizing housing have performed hundreds of Ellis Act evictions. The problem is that when someone is offering you something that is too good to be true then your critical thinking skills go out the window.


The Business Man
Old Mountain View
on Jun 30, 2020 at 4:15 am
The Business Man, Old Mountain View
on Jun 30, 2020 at 4:15 am
Like this comment

In response to Tom Halstrom you said:

“When Mountain View residents voted for rent control, THEY DIDN'T BELIEVE THE PEOPLE THAT CLAIMED THAT IT WOULD CAUSE ELLIS ACT EVICTIONS OF LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS. This disbelief was shocking since all they had to do was to look at San Francisco where property owners that became tired of subsidizing housing have performed hundreds of Ellis Act evictions. THE PROBLEM IS THAT WHEN SOMEONE IS OFFERING YOU SOMETHING THAT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE THEN YOUR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS GO OUT THE WINDOW.”

First my observation that where the City voters do take the power they have and use it, it poses such a threat to you that you attack them personally regarding their rights.

Second, as the housing market reforms become more and more equitable, including the likely repeal of the Ellis act because of its abuse by in effect property owners cutting off housing supply in order to raise prices. This was NOT the intent of Ellis at least when it passed, but this behavior has caused new laws to chip away at the abuse of it. And it will continue. The Ellis Act is not causing evictions, it is the AUTHORITARIAN and DICTATORIAL actions of MAK and Matichak and the current City Council that is the cause because they are acting above and beyond the scope of the Ellis Act

Third, those with the AUTHORITARIAN or worse DICTATORIAL mindset that insults voters for using their rights like you did above are not likely to motivate people to appreciate your point of view. This approach is going to alienate people like yourself and the candidates you support.

My only argument is that we cannot have anyone in the City Council that cannot completely divorce themselves from the private interests of Real Estate and Private Housing interests. If they have even one dollar of investment in this business or have family or friends in it they cannot provide unbiased conduct in the City Council.

The City Council must be PURE and only be seated with those without ANY interests that can cloud their service. A great example is John Inks who was caught with a conflict of interest. NEVER AGAIN.

The previous post was significantly objectionable regarding the quote above.


Sleepless
Bailey Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:48 pm
Sleepless, Bailey Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:48 pm
Like this comment

What does it say about the leadership pipeline in MV that so many former council members are running again. Is it usually this many or is there something about this year?


The Business Man
Old Mountain View
on Jul 4, 2020 at 10:11 am
The Business Man, Old Mountain View
on Jul 4, 2020 at 10:11 am
Like this comment

Sleepless,

The facts are that since the City Council is not a true governmental entity, but a company, you wind up with people when elected confronted with the inability to get anything done. Which discourages real innovations and performance of services that benefit the City Citizens, instead the City Corporation itself.

Yes, there is nothing but recycling of candidates because these people have established a process to fund and work on campaigns. Especially funding via the Real Estate and Apartment Management and Development industries.

It is a sad situation. BUT anyone who really wants to change the City for the better can't do it the way it is designed today. Thus it will never be solved.


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