100% Renewable and Carbon-Free Energy
As a member of the Council, I will work to ensure that residents and businesses are incentivized to switch to renewable energy. City Government and its municipal operations should continue to contract with Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) Silicon Valley Clean Energy in order to ensure that our City runs on 100% renewable energy that is 100% carbon-free. We must also expand existing efforts to build solar projects, lighting retrofits, and other energy-efficient fixtures and practices on City property and land.
Clean Public Transit
I will look to fund and build many more electric vehicle charging stations in the City. For instance, the City can create an Enterprise Fund using revenue from parking citations to build more free Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations to facilitate the City’s transition away from fossil fuel energy.
Likely new development in Cupertino must follow strict green standards. Building construction should have limited impacts on our natural environment, and the construction and operation of buildings should efficiently use water and energy. We should expand our recycled water programs so we don't as heavily rely on imported water sources, which accounts for 55% of our water, today. Demolition debris should be reused or composted instead of sent to our nearby landfills and open creeks, and nearby habitat should be protected by fixing sewer laterals and reducing stormwater pollution. I will incorporate the best practices from other cities and work with stakeholders to surpass them, so that Cupertino can lead the way in requiring or incentivizing the highest green standards.
Clean Air and Water Standards
The Lehigh Permanente Quarry and Cement Plant has a history of violating local and federal environmental laws, exposing residents to high levels of toxic pollutants including mercury and selenium, contaminating our creeks and local environment, and threatening endangered species. Although the plant borders West Cupertino and affects our residents and neighbors in Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and Saratoga, it has been difficult to regulate Lehigh as it lies in unincorporated county land, and is not under the direct jurisdiction of the City of Cupertino.
As your Councilmember, I will continue the effective work of Sierra Club and local non-profit Bay Area for Clean Environment (BACE) by holding the Lehigh plant to higher clean air and water standards in coordination with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and other agencies. In order to lower emissions at Lehigh and other significant polluters, it is imperative that Cupertino participate in collaborative efforts between cities, the County of Santa Clara, and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. I will work pro-actively with neighboring legislators and regulatory agencies to protect our local environment and the health of our community.
Reduce Harmful Herbicides and Pesticides
Environmental and health conscious cities in the Bay Area and Europe have begun to ban the use of a harmful herbicide commonly known as Roundup, which was developed by agrochemical company Monsanto. The active ingredient in the herbicide, glyphosate, is used to control weed growth, but the chemical finds its way into our creeks and bay with extremely toxic consequences for aquatic life. While the human health consequences of glyphosate are actively debated by scientists, in 2015 the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic in humans." On the Cupertino City Council, I will work with my colleagues to find ways to reduce the use this harmful product, along with exploring legislative avenues for reducing our exposure to glyphosate and other potentially harmful herbicides and pesticides.