The City of Cupertino, along with neighboring Bay Area cities, is suffering from an historic affordability crisis that has priced out millions of Californians and contributed to spiraling inequality. How we rise to the challenge of addressing this crisis, will ultimately determine the wellbeing of our community.
I come from a generation of young "Cupertinians" who, having been born and raised in this great city to immigrant parents, wonder whether they can afford to live here long-term. While the economic forces that drive the crisis are complex and systemic, there are policies that we can adopt to reassert community control over our government and, ultimately, to provide people of all income levels, including teachers, public service employees, and working-class families, with opportunities to live and thrive in our city and contribute to its vibrancy.
Traffic and Transportation
The sharp increase in traffic we've seen across Cupertino is the result of a surge in new development that lacks transit infrastructure or other mitigations. If we continue down this path, we will see increased traffic and other negative impacts.
To help relieve the intense traffic congestion that occurs in our City, we need to work with our neighboring communities to mitigate traffic through regional solutions and finally bring a viable public transit option to Cupertino. 80% of Cupertino commuters travel in single-occupancy vehicles - this needs to change if we ever want to relieve the traffic that plagues our rush hour commute and the congestion near our schools.
Teachers and public service workers who commute to Cupertino, for instance, have seen their commute times double or triple over the past decade. We risk losing those that are essential to this community if we don’t address our traffic issues head-on.
I will seek strict accountability from our City Manager with regard to obtaining our goals under Cupertino's Climate Action Plan and transparently disclosing to the public the City’s progress towards attaining these goals. Reducing transportation-related emissions, which account for just over a quarter of our nation's greenhouse gas emissions, will be a priority for me.
The Lehigh Permanente Quarry and Cement Plant, located in "unincorporated County" land and bordering West Cupertino, is one of the most significant sources of pollution for not only Cupertino, but the entire Bay Area. As your Councilmember, I will fight to reduce emissions and pollution from Lehigh by holding it to higher environmental standards in coordination with Bay Area Air Quality Management District and other agencies.
Oftentimes, it seems like our political system is run behind-the-scenes by inaccessible politicians, big money and special interests. How can voters be certain that our City Council is doing what is best for our community if they are unreachable and take money from corporate interests?
As your Councilwoman, I will fight for measures that increase transparency and trust between the public, city staff, and our elected officials. That starts with me: I firmly pledge not to take corporate money or developer money, and I'll fight to prevent moneyed interests from seeking influence at City Hall. I also pledge to be a responsive elected official. That means hosting town halls and office hours, as well as sending regular newsletters.