Analyzing the Palo Alto City Council Election
After facing a deluge of national media scrutiny for its resistance to residential growth, Palo Alto may have begun a new chapter in its history. After so-called “Residentialist” City Council candidates Arthur Keller and Lydia Kou raised upwards of $100,000 to run attack ads on candidates Adrian Fine and Liz Kniss, those in favor of keeping Palo Alto small and quaint now find themselves outnumbered in the city’s legislative body. Hyperlocal pundits believe that the election of Adrian Fine,... more
Palo Alto Council Race Gets Greener, But Not from Grassroots
There are four seats open on Palo Alto’s City Council, eleven candidates vying for them, and hundreds of thousands of dollars pouring into the race. The October cash infusion into two candidate’s campaigns set a new level of political spending for a local race in Palo Alto, raising the eyebrows of residents, journalists, and former elected officials alike. Five families recently donated over $160,000 to “residentialist” candidates Lydia Kou and Arthur Keller. “Residentialist” refers... more
Palo Alto Forward Blasts Subterfuge by 'Impersonator' PAC
Members of the unincorporated housing advocacy group Palo Alto Forward were shocked to find filings for a Political Action Committee (PAC) under their name last week, which could set back their ongoing efforts to register as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The PAC was registered by Timothy Gray, treasurer for the City Council campaign of Lydia Kou. Gray claimed in an interview with Palo Alto Weekly that he had no knowledge of the preexisting Palo Alto Forward, and that he registered the name to... more
Palo Alto Candidates Talk Quality of Life and Regional Growth in Forum
Palo Alto is the epicenter of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, but it has too many jobs. That at least is the tenor of the Peninsula city’s civic mood, where a moratorium on new office development coincides with fierce controversy over apartments near Caltrain with less than one parking spot per resident. Eleven candidates for city council in Palo Alto gathered in the main chambers of city hall for a moderated forum on September 14th, in which infrastructure and fiscal responsibility... more
Tweets from the Front: Palo Alto City Council Coverage
Last night, the Palo Alto City Council conducted a study session reviewing an upcoming proposal for 60 residential units to replace a vacant bus parking lot on El Camino Real, near the California Avenue Caltrain station. We sent our special Peninsula correspondent Mark Mollineaux to cover the meeting via Twitter, and have collected important highlights in a Storify feed below. (Readers curious enough to watch the meeting in its entirety can do so here.) Local developer Windy Hill Property... more
Palo Alto Planning Commissioner Resigns Due to High Housing Costs
In a scathing open letter to the Palo Alto City Council and mayor, Planning and Transportation Commissioner and renter Kate Vershov Downing announced that her family would be relocating to Santa Cruz due to the high cost of housing. She and her husband rent a home with another couple that is valued at $2.7 million. Divided into mortgage payments higher than $12,000 per month, the cost would make it impossible for the attorney and software engineer to raise a family. And so, they will leave.... more
Palo Alto Wages Land Use War Across Freeway
East Palo Alto finds itself in dire straits these days. Across the freeway from booming job markets in Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Menlo Park, its historically Black and Latino population faces increasing displacement pressure amid soaring rents. This summer, the news got even worse: due to a water shortage, the city must halt all new development, including plans to build housing on 70 vacant acres. Demand for new housing will go unmet until public and private agencies, including the Chan... more