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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
Ballot and voting information for zip code 94086.
This is an archive of a past election.

District 24California State AssemblyJune 7, 2016California Primary Election

June 7, 2016California Primary Election

California State AssemblyDistrict 24

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Election Results

  • 108,859 ballots counted.

About this office

State assembly members introduce and vote on new laws, hold hearings, and draft the state budget. They are elected to two-year terms.
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Who’s Running?

For this office, only the two candidates who get the most votes in the primary election appear in the general election. This is because of California's "top two" system. In some cases, the two candidates may be from the same political party.
Candidates are sorted in order of election results.
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Democratic
Councilmember/Education Advocate
30,649 votes (28.2%)Winning
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  • Improve public education and better prepare students for careers in the 21st century economy
  • Rebuild California's crumbling infrastructure
  • Continue California's leadership in fighting climate change
Profession:Palo Alto City Councilmember and Education Advocate
Councilmember, Palo Alto City Council — Elected position (2012current)
Development Director, Silicon Valley Education Foundation (20142015)
Of Counsel, Merino Yebri, LLP (20122014)
Independent Monitoring Committee, Clean Safe Creeks and Natural Flood, Santa Clara Valley Water District — Elected position (20102013)
Commissioner, Palo Alto Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission — Appointed position (20102012)
Attorney, Latham & Watkins (20082011)
University of Southern California Law School Juris Doctor, Law (2008)
Georgetown University Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (2002)
Political Partner, Truman National Security Project (2013current)
Advisory Board Member, Silicon Valley Chapter, The New Leaders Council (20102013)
President, Peninsula Democratic Coalition (20122013)

Marc Berman is a council member for the City of Palo Alto. A lawyer by training, Marc is the Development Director at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, a non-profit focused on STEM education and closing the achievement gap in public schools in Silicon Valley. 

Marc has been a leader on the City Council on issues such as infrastructure improvements and financial transparency. A member of Palo Alto’s Infrastructure Committee, Marc served on the campaign committee for Measure B, a ballot measure that passed with over 76% of the vote in 2014 to help fund public safety, street, sidewalk, and park improvements. This was the culmination of five years of work that Marc spent on infrastructure improvements, beginning with his appointment to Palo Alto’s Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission (IBRC) in 2010.

As chair of the Finance Committee, Marc worked with the Office of Management and Budget to create the Budget in Brief. Rather than expect residents to sort through 800+ pages of budget documents, the Budget in Brief provides the public with an easy to understand 7-page overview of Palo Alto’s $470 million budget, increasing transparency and public awareness of how their money is spent. 

Driven by his passion for service and for the area where he grew up, Marc has become a leader in numerous regional civic organizations, including serving as president of the Peninsula Democratic Coalition. Marc is also a founding member of the Advisory Board of New Leaders Council – Silicon Valley, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that trains civic-minded young professionals in how to create positive change in our community. In 2010, wanting to give back to the schools he attended, Marc volunteered on the Measure A campaign committee to raise funds to provide additional resources and opportunities to students in Palo Alto's public schools.

Marc began his public service in Palo Alto, working in Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s District Office after his freshman year in college. Marc got his first taste of campaigning the following summer when, as an intern for Congressman Mike Honda’s campaign, he often spoke to students at local high schools about the benefits of community involvement and encouraged the students to get involved themselves.

Marc graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Political Science. While in college, Marc served as a summer analyst in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Marc went on to graduate from law school at the University of Southern California, where he was elected president of the Student Bar Association and served for two years on the Southern California Law Review.

Prior to his work in the non-profit sector, Marc was an attorney with Latham & Watkins LLP and Merino Yebri, LLP. Marc has successfully represented pro bono clients seeking protection under the Violence Against Women Act, asylum in the United States due to political persecution in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and has served as pro bono counsel to Spark, a national youth development non-profit.

  • The Mercury News and San Mateo Daily Journal
  • Incumbent Assemblyman Rich Gordon
  • Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin
  • Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon
  • Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon
  • Assemblyman Evan Low
  • Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager
  • San Mateo County Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson (former)
  • San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine
  • San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier
  • San Mateo County Supervisor and former Sheriff Don Horsley
  • San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum
  • Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith
  • Santa Clara County DA Jeff Rosen
  • Menlo Park Councilmember and former mayor Ray Mueller
  • East Palo Alto Mayor Donna Rutherford
  • Sunnyvale Vice Mayor Gustav Larsson
  • Sunnyvale Mayor Glenn Hendricks
  • Palo Alto Councilmember Cory Wolbach
  • Palo Alto Councilmember Greg Schmid
  • Palo Alto Councilmember Greg Scharff
  • State Controller Steve Westly (former)
  • Assemblyman David Chiu
  • Assemblyman Phil Ting
  • Equality California
  • Palo Alto and San Mateo County Firefighters
  • AFSCME California
  • Peninsula Stonewall Democrats
  • Silicon Valley Young Democrats
  • Peninsula Young Democrats
  • Palo Alto Police Officers Association
  • Foothill-De Anza Faculty Association
  • California Legislative Jewish Caucus
1.
Drought

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific. 

Answer from Marc Berman:

At the local level, I have been working to help prevent flood damage and advocating for environmentally conscious solutions to the state’s water shortage, including:

  • Serving on the Citizen Oversight Committee for the Clean Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan of the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
  • Supporting the coequal goals for the Delta of ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability, as required by state law. He opposes the Governor’s Delta water tunnel plan because it does not meet both of these goals.

Due to climate change, we must plan for a future with more severe droughts and less water. I will advocate for a comprehensive approach that includes:

  • Developing and implementing cheaper, quicker, and more efficient ways to conserve water while simultaneously offering long-term solutions to Southern California cities and Central Valley farmers. I will promote efforts to capture and recycle more water, invest in wastewater recycling plants, rainwater collection systems, and greywater systems, and incentivize residents to switch from water thirsty lawns to water-efficient landscape design.
  • Establish plans to incentivize farmers to invest in drip irrigation systems that will conserve significant amounts of water, creating a more sustainable system for the future. 80% of our water is used for agricultural purposes, and far too many California farmers still use flood irrigation to produce their crops.
  • Protecting against sea level rise by fully funding the $1.5 billion it will cost to restore 54,000 acres of wetlands around the bay. Sea level rise threatens to contaminate up to 38% of California’s drinking water supply, destroy billions of dollars worth of homes, roads, and critical infrastructure, and disrupt communities across the Bay Area. Restoring our wetlands is the best prevention measure we have - but we must act now.
  • Leading the way on sustainability. California companies are pioneering software and devices that can drastically reduce the water we consume, including behavioral software to educate utility customers about their water use and suggest easy ways to cut back, sensors to prevent unnecessary landscape watering, and greywater systems to reuse household wastewater for nonpotable uses. These technologies should be deployed statewide with incentives for municipal and consumer adoption.
  • Modernizing and strengthening the levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta that safeguard the freshwater supply for 25 million Californians. The current levee system is vulnerable to earthquakes and other natural disasters that could trigger breaches and long-term shortages of freshwater for much of the state.

 

2.
Money in Politics

Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?

Answer from Marc Berman:

I fully support the DISCLOSE Act of 2015 and efforts to overturn Citizens United. We should do all we can to increase transparency, and reduce the influence of money in politics and the need for candidates to raise large amounts of money. I would like to see us move toward a system of publicly financing campaigns if we can identify adequate funding.

The legislature should also continually look for ways to strengthen ethics laws. I was disappointed that Governor Brown vetoed legislation authored by incumbent 24th District Assemblymember Rich Gordon to extend lobbying disclosure rules to lobbying done for state procurement contracts. 

3.
Minimum Wage

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 

Answer from Marc Berman:

I have led the effort on the Palo Alto City Council to put a plan in place to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018, and I support the plan passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Brown to raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. The 24th Assembly District is in the midst of an affordability crisis, and raising the minimum wage begins to address the difficulting many working families are having affording the high cost of living in our area. I am mindful of the impact raising the minimum wage may have on employers, but keeping the minimum wage far below the cost of living, which leads to greater demand on social services, is a subsidy the state can't afford and shouldn't have to pay.

4.
Fiscal Priorities

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?

Answer from Marc Berman:

My priorities as a state legislator will be to secure and maintain adequate and additional funding for public education in California so that we can close the achievement gap in our schools; rebuild California by repairing our crumbling infrastructure; and leverage technology and innovation to combat climate change and reduce our carbon emissions while creating good, living wage jobs here in California.

5.
High Cost of Living

If elected, what solutions do you propose to deal with the high cost of living in the Bay Area?

Answer from Marc Berman:

The 24th Assembly District is a wonderful place to live. Our economy is strong, many communities have high-performing public schools, and our open space and coastline are breathtaking. But these positive qualities have combined to create a housing and affordability crisis that we must address before it threatens to undo much of the progress we’ve made. Rents have increased 43-63% across the district over the past five years. 

I have helped to tackle this challenge head-on in Palo Alto, including:

  • Leading the effort on the City Council to put a plan in place to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018.
  • Opposing the city’s vehicle habitation ban so people with nowhere else to go could sleep in their cars rather than on the streets. The ban was eventually overturned.
  • In order to foster a community discussion on the housing crisis, I helped create a group of Palo Alto residents focused on finding solutions to the housing crisis.
  • Protecting Palo Alto’s small businesses by prioritizing ground floor retail in the city’s commercial corridors. 

Solving this afoordability crisis means taking a balanced approach that prioritizes affordable housing, transit-oriented development, investing in public transportation, and better pay and benefits for workers, including:

  • Increasing the state affordable housing tax credit. Last year the legislature passed two bills with overwhelming bipartisan support, Assembly Bill 35 and Senate Bill 377, that would have increased the affordable housing tax credit by $500 million, leveraged an additional $1 billion in federal funds, and increased the value of the state affordable housing tax credit by 40%. Unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed the legislation. California must increase the amount of affordable housing tax credits to a level capable of sustaining necessary development.
  • Passing an affordable housing bond. In 2014, Californians approved Proposition 41 to provide $600 million in funding for affordable housing for veterans, and last year San Francisco passed a $310 million affordable housing bond. We need to broaden that approach to provide funding and financing for affordable housing projects across the state. We should pass a statewide affordable housing bond measure, and we should be meeting current and future affordable housing needs.
  • Improving access to child care. The skyrocketing cost of housing is exacerbated for working families by the expense and lack of access to high quality child care services. Without subsidies, child care is only affordable for 20% of California families, and current subsidies often aren’t enough to make up the difference. We can close the gap through tax credits for employer-funded child care, expanded subsidies, and finally offering universal preschool. High quality child care should be accessible and affordable for every child in California.

 

6.
Traffic Congestion

What steps are needed to improve region-wide transportation planning and the growing traffic congestion?

Answer from Marc Berman:

Silicon Valley’s prosperous economy is creating tens of thousands of jobs, but that growth is also creating increasing traffic congestion and strain on our public transportation networks. I have a track record of improving transportation in Palo Alto:

  • In 2010, I was appointed to Palo Alto’s Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission (IBRC), which developed a comprehensive plan for Palo Alto to repair its infrastructure backlog and put measures in place to ensure it doesn’t fall behind again.
  • In order to foster a community discussion on the housing and transportation crisis, I helped bring together a group of Palo Alto residents to focus on finding forward-thinking, creative solutions to these complex issues.

I will use my experiences in improving transportation infrastructure to Sacramento to improve public transit options, improve road quality and safety, and prepare our transportation system for the future, including:

  • Completing the Caltrain electrification project will almost triple current capacity, take thousands of cars off the road, and relieve current and future traffic congestion up and down the Peninsula. Working with the federal government and local agencies, California should fully fund this vital project to ensure completion by 2020.
  • Reviving the Dumbarton Rail Corridor. Due to rising housing prices, more and more workers are commuting from the East Bay to jobs on the Peninsula, but there aren’t adequate public transportation options to serve them. Commuter rail via the Dumbarton Rail Corridor would reduce congestion on local roads and bridges and connect Caltrain to public transit networks in the East Bay, including BART. Working with local government and private sector partners, the state should provide funding and logistical support to the Dumbarton Rail Corridor project.
  • Repairing our crumbling highways. A recent national study ranked California’s highways as the worst in America, with 51% rated poor. This costs California motorists $44 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and congestion-related delays. Drivers in the Bay Area pay an extra $1,700 a year. No stretch of California state highway should be rated in poor condition.
  • Developing a statewide network of electric vehicle charging stations. Governor Brown has set a goal of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. But while we have encouraged automakers to develop these vehicles, and consumers to purchase them, we haven’t installed a network of electric vehicle charging stations capable of reliably keeping these vehicles on the road. California must have a statewide network of charging stations capable of meeting current and future demand.
  • Incentivizing transit oriented development. Locating new housing and commercial development close to planned and existing public transportation hubs makes it easier for commuters to utilize public transportation, thereby reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. The legislature should provide financial incentives and regulatory relief to local governments to enable more transit oriented development.

 

Total money raised: $925,110

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

1
BERMAN, MARC
$116,600
2
California Association of Realtors
$17,000
3
Sutter Hill Ventures
$16,300
4
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
$15,000
5
California State Council of Laborers
$12,750

By State:

California 95.98%
New York 0.72%
Oregon 0.62%
Connecticut 0.57%
Other 2.10%
95.98%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.40%)
Small contributions (0.60%)
99.40%

By Type:

From organizations (39.58%)
From individuals (60.42%)
39.58%60.42%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.
Democratic
Technology Attorney/Mediator
24,201 votes (22.2%)Winning
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  • Invest in Education. In Sacramento, I will fight to invest in education at all levels, from early childhood to higher education to prepare students for today's workforce.
  • Protect our Environment. I will be a champion for also reducing petroleum use, and resulting greenhouse gas emissions, by 50% by 2030.
  • Expand Economic Opportunity and Affordable Housing. We are in the midst of a housing crisis that we must address. Expanding economic opportunities, transportation systems, and housing options is an urgent need in our district and our state.
Profession:Technology Attorney/Mediator/Nonprofit Director
Founder & Principal, Veenker Law Offices (2013current)
Partner, Shearman & Sterling (20002013)
General Counsel, Women's Professional Soccer (20082010)
Partner / Associate, Fish & Neave (19882000)
Georgetown University J.D., Law (1988)
Indiana University B.A., Political Science (1985)
Indiana University B.S., Biochemistry (1985)
Board of Directors, Past President, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley (2003current)
Director, Executive Board Member, Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center (2014current)
Director, Great Decisions Discussions Series, Foreign Policy Association (2010current)
Walk Team Captain, Walk to End Alzheimer's (2013current)

Vicki has been working with Silicon Valley leaders for nearly 25 years to foster innovation and improve her community.

AN INNOVATIVE AND EXPERIENCED LEADER
A leading patent attorney in Palo Alto, Vicki represents many of the Valley’s top innovators in matters involving new technologies and breakthrough life science inventions. Vicki’s clients have included a Nobel laureate, Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and a low-income custodian whom she represented pro bono in an ADA and employment case. Among other honors, California Law Business selected Vicki in 2002 as one of the state’s Top 20 Lawyers Under 40.

Vicki’s passion for providing equal opportunity for women and girls led her to help found Women’s Professional Soccer as General Counsel. Her work to give some of America’s most talented, hard-working athletes a “league of their own” provided a training ground for many members of the US women’s national team who went on to win the 2015 World Cup.

FOCUSED ON COMMUNITY
As a community leader, Vicki has served as President and more than a dozen years on the Board of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, which provides access to justice in underserved communities and fights poverty. The Law Foundation provides free legal services to low-income clients - such as foster youth and victims of predatory lending - through its five programs: Fair Housing, Mental Health Advocacy, Public Interest Law Firm, Legal Advocates for Children & Youth, and Health Legal Services.

As the daughter of two teachers, Vicki has a natural love of teaching and learning. That passion led her to serve as an Adjunct Professor at both UC Hastings College of the Law and Santa Clara University School of Law.

Additionally, Vicki currently serves on the Alzheimer’s Association Fund Development Committee for the Northern California and Northern Nevada chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER
Both the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California have appointed Vicki to their mediation panels. Her work brokering compromises on complex technology issues led Vicki to be named on the inaugural list of the world’s leading technology neutrals by the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center, which she now serves as a Director.

  • California Nurses Association
  • The Almanac, Mountain View Voice & Palo Alto Weekly
  • Sierra Club
  • Hon. Fiona Ma, Chair, CA Board of Equalization & former Speaker Pro Tempore, State Assembly
  • Hon. Heyward Robinson, City Councilmember and Mayor, Menlo Park (former)
  • Hon. Judy Moss, City Councilmember and Mayor, Mountain View (former)
  • Hon. Yoriko Kishimoto, City Councilmember and Mayor, Palo Alto (former)
  • Hon. Kelly Fergusson, City Councilmember and Mayor, Menlo Park (former)
  • Hon. Robert B. Fenwick, City Councilmember and Mayor, Los Altos Hills (former)
  • Hon. Margaret Abe-Koga, City Councilmember and Mayor, Mountain View (former)
  • Hon. Deborah Ruddock, Vice Mayor, Half Moon Bay
  • Hon. Lori Liu, Mayor Pro Tem, Brisbane
  • Hon. Libby Schaaf, Mayor, Oakland
  • Hon. Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County Supervisor
  • Hon. Sally Lieber, Speaker Pro Tempore & CA State Assemblymember (former)
  • Hon. Byron Sher, CA State Senator (former)
  • Hon. Delaine Eastin, State Superintendent of Public Instruction (former)
  • Hon. Kirsten Keith, City Councilmember and former Mayor, Menlo Park
  • Hon. Karen Holman, City Councilmember and former Mayor, Palo Alto
  • Hon. Tom DuBois, City Councilmember, Palo Alto
  • Hon. Rick DeGolia, City Councilmember and former Mayor, Atherton
  • Hon. Pat Burt, Mayor, Palo Alto
  • Hon. Cristina Garcia, CA State Assemblymember
  • Hon. Hannah-Beth Jackson, CA State Senator
  • Hon. Liz Figueroa, CA State Senator (former)
  • Hon. Eric Filseth, City Councilmember, Palo Alto
  • Hon. Ray Mueller, City Councilmember and former Mayor, Menlo Park
  • Palo Alto Educators Association
  • Mountain View Firefighters, Local 1965
  • Foothill-De Anza Faculty Association
  • California School Employees Association
  • California Teachers Association
  • Sunnyvale Democratic Club
  • Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club
  • National Women's Political Caucus of California
  • Democratic Activists for Women Now
  • Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley
  • Coastside Democratic Club
  • EMILY's List
  • Gisela Zebroski, Foothill College Commissioner
  • Jackie Wheeler, Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley and CA Democratic Party Delegate
  • Carol Weiss, Sunnyvale Planning Commissioner and CA Democratic Party Delegate
  • Asher Waldfogel, Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commissioner
  • Marcene Van Dierendonck, Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley and CA Democratic Party Delegate
  • James VanHorne, Academic Dean and Director of the MBA Program, Stanford University (former)
  • Mohammad Torabi, Dean, School of Public Health, Indiana University
  • Nancy Smith, President, Sunnyvale Democratic Club (former) and CA Democratic Party Delegate
  • Margaret Okuzumi, Sunnyvale Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commissioner and CA Democratic Party Delegate
  • Lisa Matichak, Mountain View Environmental Planning Commissioner
  • Anita Bhagat Manwani, Boardmember, Foothill-DeAnza Foundation
  • Mark Lemley, Director, Program in Law, Science & Technology, Stanford University
  • Katharine Ku, Director, Office of Technology Transfer, Stanford University
  • Karen Grove, Board of Directors, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
  • Susan Frank, President & COO, The Better World Group, Inc and former President & CEO, Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce
  • Jan Fenwick, Purissima Hills Water District Board Member (former)
  • Thomas Ehrlich, Visiting Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education & former President, Indiana University
  • Michele Dauber, Professor, Stanford University
  • Carolyn Curtis, Founding Co-Chair, Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley; Founding President, Friends of Edgewood Natur
  • Margaret Capriles, Mountain View Environmental Planning Commissioner and CA Democratic Party Delegate
  • Sabrina Brennan, San Mateo County Harbor District Commissioner
  • Jim Bower, Executive Director, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley (former)
  • Dave Barram, former Administrator (CEO), GSA and former Deputy Secretary (COO), U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Stacey Ashlund, Palo Alto Parks & Recreation Commissioner (former)
  • Dudley Andersen, Chair, Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee, Foothill-DeAnza College District
  • Elaine Andersen, Boardmember, Foothill-DeAnza Foundation
Total money raised: $743,463

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

1
VEENKER, VICKI
$138,970
2
Stanford University
$26,825
3
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
$16,800
4
Califonia Teachers Association
$16,700
5
Mountain View Firefighters IAFF 1965
$11,000

By State:

California 95.73%
District of Columbia 1.61%
Hawaii 1.14%
New York 0.80%
Other 0.72%
95.73%

By Size:

Large contributions (98.96%)
Small contributions (1.04%)
98.96%

By Type:

From organizations (18.52%)
From individuals (81.48%)
18.52%81.48%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.
— May 3, 2016 Vicki Veenker for Assembly 2016
Republican
Businessman/Menlo Park Councilmember
21,525 votes (19.8%)
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My List'.
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  • Ensure fiscal sustainability by applying budget surpluses for infrastructure and pension liabilities. Re-allocate high-speed rail funds to local transportation needs: Caltrain, traffic mitigation like grade separations, and BART upgrade.
  • Reform the state housing element mandate to improve transparency over housing quotas and flexibility for our cities and towns to build the type of housing that fits the character of our communities.
  • Encourage the state government to partner with Silicon Valley businesses to solve problems, instead of increasing fees, taxes and regulation on entrepreneurs and growing businesses.
Profession:Businessman, Menlo Park City Councilmember, 2013 Mayor
Vice President, Enterprise Incident Management, Regional Emergency Manager, Wells Fargo (2014current)
Council Member, Menlo Park City Council — Elected position (2010current)
Executive Director, California Resiliency Alliance (20102014)
Mayor, Menlo Park — Appointed position (20122013)
Project Director, Business Executives for National Security (20052010)
Director, Menlo Park Fire Protection District — Elected position (20072010)
Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer, NetTV (19962005)
Stanford Business School M.B.A., Business and Finance (1987)
Harvard University B.A., Economics, magna cum laude (1983)

Peter Ohtaki was elected to the Menlo Park City Council in November 2010, selected by the Council as Mayor in 2013, and re-elected in 2014.  While on the Finance and Audit Committee, he balanced the city’s budget by paying down an unfunded pension liability, saving taxpayers $3.6 million in interest expense.  He co-chairs the city’s General Plan Update, was appointed the League of California Cities Housing, Community and Economic Development policy committee, and serves on several regional committees.

As Mayor, Peter helped attract a technology incubator to the city, and worked with Assemblyman Rich Gordon to pass legislation (AB1690) that modified the state Housing Element law giving flexibility for cities to include mixed use with housing.  Previously, he was elected to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board of Directors in 2007, serving as Board President in 2010.

Peter is Vice President and Regional Emergency Manager for Wells Fargo Bank.  Before Wells Fargo, Peter started the California Resiliency Alliance, a non-profit organization that brings businesses and government together in a public-private partnership to improve disaster resiliency. 

Peter was Chief Financial Officer a tech start-up in consumer electronics and education.  He worked in corporate finance at Morgan Stanley where he financed technology companies and helped take Cisco Systems public in 1990.

Peter grew up in Menlo Park, and graduated with a B.A. in Economics, magna cum laude, from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.  Peter and his wife have three children.

  • Greg Munks, San Mateo County Sheriff
  • Tom Campbell, former Silicon Valley Congressman
  • Mike Wasserman, Santa Clara County Supervisor
  • Jim Reed, Scotts Valley Council Member and former Mayor
  • Jose Esteves, Milpitas Mayor
  • Catherine Carlton, Menlo Park Council Member and former Mayor
  • John Harpootlian, Los Altos Hills Mayor
  • Michael Lempres, Atherton Vice Mayor
  • Peter Fung, MD, El Camino Healthcare District Board Director
  • Virginia Chang Kiraly, Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board Director
  • Duffy Price, Los Altos Hills County Fire District Commissioner
  • Pete Constant, former San Jose Council Member
  • Chuck Page, former Saratoga Mayor and Council Member
  • Val Carpenter, former Los Altos Mayor and Council Member
Total money raised: $27,636

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

1
OHTAKI, PETER I.
$5,000
2
United States Department of Energy
$4,200
3
Anton Development Company
$2,500
4
Wells Fargo
$1,761
5
Apple
$500
5
Applied Strategies
$500
5
California Institute of Technology
$500
5
Deborah Vogt (Self-Employed)
$500
5
Royce Law Firm
$500

By State:

California 95.18%
Michigan 4.08%
New York 0.37%
Washington 0.37%
95.18%

By Size:

Large contributions (97.67%)
Small contributions (2.33%)
97.67%

By Type:

From organizations (0.93%)
From individuals (99.07%)
99.07%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

I grew up here as Silicon Valley became the land of opportunity.  But traffic jams, expensive housing, and rising taxes are making this opportunity harder to realize.

Silicon Valley Deserves Better from Sacramento 

Our region is the engine to California’s economy and state budget surplus. This surplus should be used for local infrastructure improvements and the state’s pension liability.  Why spend $64 billion on high-speed rail to Bakersfield, when it’s so difficult to get to work each day?  These funds are needed to improve Caltrain and address local traffic problems.

Rather than embracing technology to solve problems, Sacramento taxes and regulates innovation and growing businesses. Sacramento imposes unfunded mandates on our cities, rather than encouraging local control and decisions that fit our communities’ character.

Bi-Partisan Problem Solver 

As a former tech startup CFO, I’m considered the “numbers guy” on the Menlo Park City Council, and balanced the city budget, rezoned areas for tech/biotech growth, and funded infrastructure projects.

·         When state housing regulations stood in the way of a grocery store, I worked with Assemblyman Rich Gordon to pass legislation (AB1690) with bipartisan support.  Now, all California cities have more flexibility in building housing.

·         After years of a “structural deficit”, I balanced the city’s budget by paying down an unfunded pension liability.  Now, taxpayers are saving $3.6 million.  

Silicon Valley’s mantra has been “smaller, faster, and better.”   Let’s bring innovative solutions to Sacramento.  I sincerely appreciate your vote.  Please visit www.PeterOhtaki.com

Silicon Valley Techies Wish We Could Ignore Sacramento. Here’s Five Reasons We Can’t.

Summary

Who in the Valley has time to screw around with California state politics?

You’re an engineer, you’re a marketer, you’re a founder, you’re a financier. You’re here at Valley Ground Zero — Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Altos, wherever — and work is all-encompassing and for a diligent member of the tech ecosystem like you, life in Northern California is pretty darn good right now.

Sacramento? A wide spot on the way to Tahoe. Last chance to get In-N-Out in California. Full of suits and rent-seeking ideologues and utterly disconnected from — and incapable of affecting — your life. Right? 

Not right. It’s crucially important this year for tech industry participants to understand that key elements of the Valley’s economic foundation are at risk in the California state legislature. If that foundation starts to crack, your foundation starts to crack. The assumptions you’ve built a career and your lifestyle on may no longer be a given.

Techie First, Politics Second

 

I’m part of every verbal Venn Diagram I just outlined above. I’m a tech finance guy — a serial CFO. I grew up in Menlo Park when it was just a sleepy suburb of San Francisco, got my MBA here, and have seen Silicon Valley become the best example of creative capitalism in the world. It’s where disruptive innovation and risk-taking are celebrated and rewarded.

I like this place so much that I ran for city council in 2010 and served as Menlo Park’s mayor in 2013. In those roles, I’ve had to pay very close attention to what’s been going on over there under the capitol dome.

Having done so, I’d like to give you five critical reasons you need to devote some brain cycles to — and plan to vote in — this year’s state elections:

1. Sacramento is targeting our innovative companies with excess regulation and aggressive new taxation.

You know that California’s finances have been in pretty rough shape for a pretty long time. That’s got the Sacramento political power structure looking for ways to drain revenue out of prosperous companies and new industry sectors.

Remember last year’s huge Airbnb-focused Proposition F in San Francisco? It was a desperation move funded by old economy interests to hobble a powerful tech-enabled new competitor. It lost, but only after costing Airbnb $8 million and a huge amount of distraction.

Don’t think that was the end of the story, though. Next up: Uber, by way of a push to classify its contractors as full-time employees.

In short, there’s planning and action under way in Sacramento that would tax, regulate, and otherwise hobble all sorts of innovative Valley companies, and there’s a huge and well-funded lobbying effort by entrenched interests egging the legislature on to do it.

If you want to see tech companies lashed down like Gulliver by the Lilliputians, just do nothing and watch.

2. California is headed toward potential runaway taxation from a legislative supermajority.

In 2010 we all passed Proposition 16, which amended our constitution to say tax increases needed a two-thirds vote of the legislature to pass. The current legislature is one vote shy of a Democratic supermajority, and in Sacramento, that supermajority is overwhelmingly in favor of higher taxes. On just about everything and everyone.

We’ve already had an onslaught of increased “user fees” — thinly disguised tax increases — but with Governor Brown at the helm and a potentially unstoppable legislative supermajority, expect tax rates to spike on both income and capital gains, and pretty much every other honey pot the legislature can jam its hands into.

They’re seeking to raise commercial property tax rates sharply and apply sales taxes for the first time ever to services. So you deal attorneys and VC’s, prepare to open an account with the Board of Equalization. Consumers, get ready for new taxes on any cloud-based services you buy.

And those hard-won equity dollars you’ve sweated and strained for? You’ll be fine…as long as you don’t want to, you know, hold onto them.

3. Valley traffic mitigation? Sorry, no.

Finding yourself stuck in traffic more and more these days? Governor Brown doesn’t care. He’s a flashy high speed rail guy. $64 billion for a bullet train to Bakersfield.

Problem: There are lots of ways to get Bakersfield, and frankly, not that many people from the Valley who are trying to get there.

Getting to your office, on the other hand, or, say, home to see your kids at night, is something a lot of people in the Valley want to do. You don’t have to be a car fiend to think we ought to be spending money to renovate BART and upgrade Caltrain.

But unless you’re a believer in autonomous cars sitting gridlocked in formation, the bottlenecks that need attention and dollars are local — not in Bakersfield.

4. Huge, looming public pension liability disaster.

Public employee unions hold massive sway in Sacramento. While public servants are largely good people doing important work, right now their pension and benefit costs are wildly out of control.

California’s facing $60 billion in pension obligations without funds lined up to pay them. Working out a deal that doesn’t sacrifice taxpayers on the altar of public employee pensions is going to require legislators who are beholden to those taxpayers and not to union political bosses. And if it’s not dealt with now, the tax increases that will be necessary in the near future will dwarf what Californians have ever seen before.

Do you have a big guaranteed pension at your tech company? Of course not. It’s not the way things work in the 21st century. Unless you work for the State of California, that is — and then all the rest of us are forced to cash checks that previous legislatures wrote at the behest of public employee union bosses — without worrying that were no funds to pay them.

5. Government reform and modernization.

Did you know that employees at the state’s Employment Development Division — responsible for helping unemployed Californians find new jobs — are prevented from using LinkedIn?

You read that right. The people responsible for putting out-of-work Californians back in productive jobs is prevented from using the most powerful recruiting and job seeking website there is.

And of course it’s a Valley company to boot.

 

Why? Because the California state government is a creaky Industrial Age machine that is wildly behind the technology of our times — the technology we here in the Valley have helped create and commercialize.

Yes, I’d like to go to Sacramento on your behalf and see what we can get done for California and The Valley.

I’m running as a Republican for the District 24 seat in the California State Assembly. As I said, I’m a Valley guy, a business guy, a numbers guy. I’m a bi-partisan problem solver, and I’ve demonstrated that time and time again working to solve practical problems and quality of life issues in Menlo Park.

I want to go to Sacramento to represent our assembly district, which runs from Woodside and Menlo Park all the way down to Sunnyvale and Los Altos Hills. I want to give the Valley and its economy a voice and be its advocate in the legislature.

Our economic ecosystem — our community — has become the very center of the universe in the business world. The societal transformation all of us have helped unleash is opening up new markets and creating new business models that are driving real wealth creation.

It’s not greedy to want this very special place, this amazing, world-changing community — to continue to thrive.

I believe I can help make that happen if enough of my fellow and like-minded techies pay attention and vote.

Unlike the State of California, I use LinkedIn, so you can find more on my background here.

The primary’s in June. Hope you can make it.

Democratic
Mayor
11,890 votes (10.9%)
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  • Protect the environment and public health
  • Alleviate traffic congestion
  • Improve public education
Profession:Mayor, City of Cupertino

Like many parents, Barry and his wife, Sue, wanted their children to have a good public education, so they decided to move to Cupertino in 1985.  They enrolled their eldest daughter in Sunnymont Preschool and actively participated in their daughter’s classroom.  Eager to be good parents, Sue and Barry also attended parenting classes at De Anza College. 

When their children entered kindergarten, Sue and Barry continued to volunteer in the classroom and at school functions.  They joined Lincoln Elementary School’s Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and helped raise funds for the school.  One of the few PTA Dads, Barry was in charge of Taco Night, which later evolved into the popular Multi-Cultural Night.  People asked Barry to run for Lincoln School Site Council, so he did and was elected.  While he was on the school site council, he helped to establish the Lincoln Education Endowment Fund for ongoing fundraising efforts for the school.

At the urging of his friends in 1995, Barry ran for and won a seat on the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees.  Later, he won his re-election bid in 1999—receiving the highest number of votes in that race.  During his eight years on the School Board, Barry made a conscious effort to visit every classroom in the district at least two times a year.  He also made sure there was a healthy reserve in the district’s budget, and fought hard to retain surplus school sites.  By doing so, the district was later able to re-open some of those sites and alleviate school overcrowding.  Barry also emphasized that funding should be spent on students, not the administrator.  Additionally, he initiated and established the popular Cupertino Language Immersion Program (CLIP).  As one of the lowest funded districts in the state, CUSD has a strong track record of superb student academic performance in California.

After being on the CUSD Board, Barry was appointed as a Cupertino Public Safety Commissioner and served four years.  In 2009, Barry ran for Cupertino City Council.  He was elected with the second highest number of votes.  In 2014, Barry was re-elected to the Cupertino City Council with the highest number of votes.  In 2015, he was elected as the Mayor of Cupertino.

Barry has a track record of keeping his campaign promises.  He evaluates the issues with an open and independent mind. He casts his votes based on what is economically sound first.

While many cities have been experiencing financial difficulty in the last few years, Cupertino is doing well with a healthy reserve in its budget.  Recently, Barry played a key role in approving Apple’s Campus 2 Project.  Barry’s leadership skills in these negotiations helped generate more money for the city while keeping Apple in Cupertino.  It is a win-win solution for Cupertino and Apple.

Barry wants to apply his leadership skills to create more jobs for our state, relieve traffic congestion in the region, improve public education, protect the environment, safeguard public health and safety, and hold the government accountable for its fiscal responsibilities.  These are the reasons that Barry is running for State Assembly.  He is the most qualified candidate.  Please vote for him on June 7, 2016.  He gets the job done right! 

  • Cupertino City Former Mayor, current City Councilmember, Honorable Rod Sinks
  • California State Senate Housing and Transportation Committee Chair, State Senator, Honorable Jim Beall
  • Honorable Former Washington State Governor, Former Secretary of Commerce, Former Ambassador to China Gary Locke
Total money raised: $430,433

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

1
CHANG, BARRY
$160,000
2
South Bay Construction
$21,000
3
Chang, Sue-Fay L.
$20,000
4
Barry Chang for Assembly 2014
$10,000
5
Devcon Construction
$8,400
5
KT Urban
$8,400

By State:

California 93.09%
5.64%
Colorado 0.99%
Washington 0.23%
Other 0.05%
93.09%

By Size:

Large contributions (98.91%)
Small contributions (1.09%)
98.91%

By Type:

From organizations (27.62%)
From individuals (72.38%)
27.62%72.38%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.
— May 30, 2016 City of Cupertino

Mayor Barry Chang advocates for a minimum wage of $18 by 2018 during Cupertino City Council Meeting on May 17, 2016.

Democratic
Council Member, City of Mountain View
11,343 votes (10.4%)
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  • Fight for affordable housing and the transportation systems necessary for a growing economy, maintaining a healthy environment, and our high quality of life.
  • Continue the work to better our schools, so that our public school system can once again lead the country.
  • Look for new and smart ways to make our water supply more efficient, so that we can both conserve and maintain a reliable and affordable water supply.
Profession:Council Member, City of Mountain View; Mediation Attorney & Trainer; Fmr. Mayor.
Mediator, Silicon Valley Mediation Group (2005current)
Principal. Co-founder and mediator., Dispute Resolution Specialists (1993current)
Council Member, City of Mountain View — Elected position (2008current)
Mayor, City of Mountain View — Elected position (20122012)
Vice Mayor, City of Mountain View — Elected position (20112012)
Council Member, City of Mountain View — Elected position (19992007)
Mayor, City of Mountain View — Elected position (20032003)
Partner, Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon (19821993)
Lewis & Clark College Bachelor of Arts (not availa)
Hastings College of the Law Juris Doctorate (not availa)
Past President and Board Member, League of California Cities (2012current)
Board Member, National League of Cities (2012current)
Member Board of Directors, Los Altos Community Foundation (2013current)
Member Board of Directors, Acterra (2013current)
Chairman, California State Government Relations, American Red Cross (20042008)

Mike brings a long and distinguished record of public service to the people of the 24th Assembly District. Mike was first elected to Mountain View City Council in 1998, serving from 1999 to 2007. Having “termed-out” of office in 2007, Mike took a two-year break from City Council and was again elected by the people of Mountain View to City Council in 2008. Now in the sixth year of his current tenure on City Council, Mike has served Mountain View in this role for a total of 14 years. Mike served as Mayor of the City of Mountain View in 2003 and 2012.

During Mike’s public service in Mountain View, he has been a longtime vocal advocate of affordable housing and policies to help ensure Mountain View is a place where everyday people can afford to live. Mike has worked to balance growth in Mountain View, and has advocated for the housing and transportation systems necessary for a growing economy, a healthy environment, and a high quality of life. Mike pursued a review of the city’s transportation policies and worked to find “win-win" solutions to the issues that face Mountain View.

During his service on Mountain View City Council, Mike has also been a champion for fiscal responsibility, infrastructure development, parks and recreation and quality of life. Prior to being elected to City Council, Mike served for five years on Mountain View’s Parks and Recreation Commission and Environmental Planning Commission.

Mike’s service to the 24th Assembly District goes well beyond his work in Mountain View. Mike has served as a board member for both the National League of Cities as well as for the League of California Cities, where he was president in 2012. Mike’s extensive service on these Leagues has given him an unparalleled rapport and collegiality with numerous lawmakers at all levels of government throughout California. During his time on the League of California Cities, Mike has worked to strengthen relationships between local municipalities and the State Legislature.

Mike also has an un-matched expertise and record of public service in an area critical to the State of California: Water. Notably, Mike has served as Vice Chairman and as a board member of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency, which represents 24 municipalities in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. During his service on BAWSCA, Mike has worked hard to ensure citizens have access to high-quality water from a reliable water supply, at an affordable price.

Mike puts his leadership skills to good use in the non-profit sector on various boards of directors. For over 30 years, Mike has been affiliated with the American Red Cross where he has served in numerous roles including Chairman of the California State Government Relations and Chairman of Chapter Network Support. Mike has also served on the boards of directors of Lewis & Clark College, the Community School of Music and Arts, Hiller Aviation Museum, the Los Altos Community Foundation, Acterra, an environmental non-profit serving Silicon Valley, and Avenidas, a non-profit organization providing services to mid-peninsula older adults and caregivers.

Mike has a Bachelor of Arts from Lewis & Clark College and a Juris Doctorate from Hastings College of the Law. For over 20 years, Mike has been a professional mediator at Dispute Resolution Specialists, a firm he founded in 1993. Mike has served as a mediator and arbitrator for the U.S. District Court and the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Mike has also served as a mediation trainer at the Stanford University and Santa Clara University Schools of Law.

Mike has called Mountain View his home since 1977. 

  • Please see my website for a complete list of endorsements.
  • California Small Business Association
  • California Parks and Recreation Society
1.
Drought

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific. 

Answer from Mike Kasperzak:

During my 16 years in elected public service, I have built a strong environmental record.  First, I have taken a leadership role on implementing smart growth and been a staunch advocate of creating more housing, affordable and market rate, along transit corridors, focusing on infill development at much higher densities.  Housing near jobs has multiple positive environmental impacts, can reduce commute lengths and thus reduce transportation related missions. 

I have also been a strong advocate of local policies addressing climate change, and in Mountain View we have done significant planning for sea level rise.  During my four terms on the Mountain View City Council for example, we have fully embraced sustainability and climate action planning.  I have supported these efforts and we have recently adopted a new Climate Action Plan, Climate Action Roadmap, a municipal set of climate action strategies as well as one for the community.  Locally, Mountain View has included solar in new governmental projects, streamlined solar permitting, has adopted a new PACE program, and is aggressively implementing our climate action plan.  In fact, most new office construction in Mountain View is being developed to LEED Platinum standards.  I have also led the effort to preserve and create more park space and open space in Mountain View.  

 Additionally, as a Boardmember of the Institute for Local Government, I have led the effort to ensure that the Beacon Award program rewards local municipalities that implement positive environmental changes.  As a member of the Bay Area Water Conservation and Supply Agency, I have advocated for water saving measures and worked through the non-profit sector to educate smaller localities on how to adapt gray water systems to improve water recycling.  

2.
Money in Politics

Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?

Answer from Mike Kasperzak:

I support and have endorsed the Disclose Act, and as Mayor, introduced and passed a City Resolution supporting The Move To Amend, a National effort to overturn Citizens United.  Furthermore I have supported local efforts to reduce the influence of money in politics.  Mountain View has a voluntery spending cap which is widely used by candidates and we recently passed sweeping efforts aimed at transparency and disclosure for independent expenditures, including a menu of enforcement options.

The amount of money that is spent on elections shocks the conscience.  However, First Amendment rights must also be observed.  I believe volutnery efforts to control spending, coupled with incentives, as we do in Mountain View could be quite successful.  I also believe the State should further explore the possibility of publicly funded elections.

3.
Minimum Wage

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 

Answer from Mike Kasperzak:

As a City Councilman in Mountain View, not only did I support being the first City in Santa Clara county to increase the minimum wage by ordinance, I helped lead the successful fight to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018 shortly thereafter, making Mountain View the first city in Santa Clara County to enact such a measure.

4.
Fiscal Priorities

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?

Answer from Mike Kasperzak:

As a member of the Mountain View City Council, I only supported Structurally Balanced Budgets.  We avoided wholesale layoffs during the recession and during economic expansions we avoided the temptation of adding long term costs.

I will take these lessons to Sacramento.  I support the Governor's rainy day fund and believe it should be supplemented.  While nobody knows when the next recession will come, every day gets the State one day closer, and we need to be prepared.

Additionally, The State and local governments need to bring our revenue and tax systems into the 21st Century.  Our sales tax is based on face-to-face product sales, but more and more commerce is avoiding sales tax through online sales, downloads and the like.  The State is losing significant revenues to online sales.  The State sales tax should be based on a growing segment of the economy.

Finally, although arguably a transportation issue, our transportation system funding is based on gasoline sales tax, which is declining as cars become more fuel efficient and more and more electric vehicles hit the road.  I support further examination of Vehicle Miles Traveled as a means of paying for our roads.

5.
High Cost of Living

If elected, what solutions do you propose to deal with the high cost of living in the Bay Area?

Answer from Mike Kasperzak:

California, and the Bay Area in particular, finds itself in the midst of a catastrophic affordable housing crisis.  There can be little doubt that housing costs, especially in the Bay Area, have reached levels that are unaffordable to many.  Our friends, family and neighbors find themselves not simply priced out of neighborhoods but priced out of entire cities and counties.  Young people are being hit especially hard.  Renters and new home buyers are well aware of the problem, but even long time home owners find themselves asking: "Could I buy my house today?" or "Will my children be able to afford living in the same community they grew up in?" 

Unfortunately, the answer to both of these question is no.  Housing has become so expensive that long-time residents have had to move away, leaving friends and family behind. Yet, many of these same people still work in the communities they once lived in and now have to spend hours driving to and from work.  This worsens traffic, reduces the quality of life for those who have to commute, and significantly increases carbon emissions.  It is also having profound economic impacts on businesses throughout the State who find it difficult if not impossible to recruit employees to California out of fear that they will not be able to afford housing.   

As an Assemblyman, I will support legislation and measures that:

  • Create incentives for local governments to create more affordable housing within their communities;
  • Develop incentives for developers and investors who build more affordable housing and transit-oriented development.
  • Enable more creative and effective regional planning and governance across the state to deal with transportation and affordable housing issues.  
  • Create funds for public-private partnerships that enable the development of affordable housing.
  • Increase the California Low Income Housing Tax Credit.
  • Establish a state housing trust fund to develop affordable housing.
  • Codify the California Supreme Court’s recent decision affirming the constitutionality of inclusionary housing ordinances.  
  • Ensure that affordable housing is integrated into larger housing developments in order to ensure diversity and inclusivity.  
  • Encourage the development of more rental housing.  
6.
Traffic Congestion

What steps are needed to improve region-wide transportation planning and the growing traffic congestion?

Answer from Mike Kasperzak:

The importance of transportation policy cannot be underestimated.  It is intrinsically linked to both our economy and our environment as well as quality of life.  Without good transportation infrastructure and services in place and active government investment, our economy, environment, and quality of life overall suffer.  

As a State Assemblyman, I will support measures that:

  • Make our roadways more efficient including development of multi-modal transit corridors to include freeway lanes, mass transit rail, dedicated bus lanes, and bike paths.
  • Improve and expand our commuter and inner urban heavy rail systems.
  • Update the gas tax and other transportation revenues to ensure that our transportation system has the financial resources necessary to maintain and improve our roads, bridges, highways, rail and aviation corridors to ensure that Californians can move quickly, efficiently and safely throughout the State.
  • Complete the high speed rail project and ensure that it links all major population centers of California.
  • High Speed Rail will enable CalTrain to electrify its system, which, once completed, will greatly increase the capacity and efficiency of CalTrain – taking more people off our roads and freeways.
  • I support the Dumbarton Rail Corridor study that is examining the reopening of the Dumbarton Rail line with capacity for Bus Rapid Transit, bike and pedestrian access relieving traffic pressure in the Menlo Park and East Palo Alto communities from Dumbarton Bridge traffic.
  • Give local communities more resources to develop alternative transportation networks such as people movers and personal rapid transit systems.

My Transportation Record:

Although there is often a great outcry for solutions to traffic problems at the local level, local governments are often extremely limited in enacting transportation policies. Under my leadership, Mountain View instituted innovative policies designed to relieve the city’s traffic problems.

These solutions included:

  • Requiring the city’s largest employers to reduce employee single occupant car trips, and shift employees to mass transit and shuttles, and set strict “trip caps” as a pre-condition to the issuance of building permits to expand.
  • Implementing innovative parking models to reduce local congestion and making parking easier to find.
  • Rewarding developers for building pedestrian friendly mix-used developments near light rail that encouraged usage of the city’s light rail system.
Total money raised: $316,452

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

1
KASPERZAK JR., R. MICHAEL
$172,000
2
Broadreach Capital Partners
$11,600
3
Sares-Regis Group
$11,481
4
Prometheus Real Estate Group
$8,400
5
Alliance Manufactured Homes
$4,200
5
Apple
$4,200
5
BLAI L.P.
$4,200
5
De Anza Building & Maintenance
$4,200
5
MGP Ix Reit
$4,200
5
ROEM Corporation
$4,200
5
Spieker Investments
$4,200

By State:

California 97.50%
Missouri 1.02%
Michigan 0.40%
New York 0.35%
Other 0.73%
97.50%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.20%)
Small contributions (0.80%)
99.20%

By Type:

From organizations (16.63%)
From individuals (83.37%)
16.63%83.37%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

I take pride in the work that I’ve done to help tackle some of the most important issues of our day: from improving our transportation infrastructure, expanding the availability of affordable housing, working to better our schools, and looking for new and smart ways to make our water supply more efficient. 

I believe that to solve these problems we must foster positive working relationships. Consensus building is the key to effective governance, and I have modeled this behavior throughout my professional career as an attorney, mediator, and public servant. I would be honored if you would allow me to bring what I’ve learned to the State Assembly to continue working on your behalf.

Libertarian
Mountain View City Councilmember
4,546 votes (4.2%)
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  • Structurally balanced state budget based on realistic assumptions. Expenditures should be no greater than revenues.
  • Sustainable public employee pension and healthcare systems. More employee cost sharing. Taxpayers need protection from unsustainable pension and healthcare burdens.
  • Economical housing development without regional mandates
Profession:Mountain View City Councilmember
Council Member, City of Mountain View — Elected position (2009current)
Mayor, City of Mountain View — Elected position (20132013)
Commissioner and Chair, Environmental Planning Commission — Elected position (20072008)
Commissioner and Chair, Parks and Recreation Commission — Elected position (20022006)
Spacecraft Engineer and Subcontract Manager, Lockheed Martin (19752005)
Volunteer Mediator, City of Mountain View — Appointed position (20002001)
Lieutenant, U. S. Army, Ordnance Corps (19711975)
Stanford University Masters, Mechanical Engineering (1980)
Georgia Institute of Technology Bachelors Degree, Aerospace Engineering (1971)
Member, Mountain View Historical Association (2002current)
  • Mountain View Chamber of Commerce
  • Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association
1.
Drought

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific. 

Answer from John M. Inks:
Water needs can be satisfied with a combination of water management, conservation and recycling.  Conservation will continue to be most effective.  Advanced water treatment plants have been developed in recent years and is likely to serve future needs.   Policymakers need to have a fundamental understanding of environmental science, effective environmental protection, economics and practical decision making. Reduced fossil fuel consumption leverages resource conservation, air quality and traffic congestion. Some emerging green energy is becoming more popular and incorporated into newer developments.  However, state mandates and newer and renewable local energy sources probably will not do much to significantly influence the reality of climate change in very energy intensive economies around the world. 
2.
Money in Politics

Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?

Answer from John M. Inks:

Politics and money are directly related.  Political power to influence policies and laws attracts money from special interests.  Campaign contribution and spending limits and reporting attempt to limit the influence of money and provide transparency.  However, until voters elect  politicians who favor more limited government instead of  powerful political authority, money will still have influence.   

3.
Minimum Wage

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 

Answer from John M. Inks:

I do not support olitically mandated wage and price controls and the minimum wage specficall for the following reasons:

1. Wage (and price) controls distort an effective, competitive market exchange for goods, services and labor.  Generally, the minimum wage tends to drive up prices for customers and reduce the incentive to hire minimum wage workers.  However, there is not a lot of employment and price data measure the effect of the minimum wage because mandated minimum wages are  so close to or slightly higher than market rate wages that the impacts may not be that noticeable.  

2. The minimum wage impacts market rate wages already paying higher than minimum wage.  For example, when a low skill job paying $8/hr is mandated to $10/hour, that means a higher skilled job already paying $10/hour will create a demand for a higher wage for that job also.  The effect is wage compression.

3. Minimum wage policies distract focus from the more familiar and practical methods for low skill workers to earn higher wages.  Higher incomes are better achieved through job training, job experience, education, and English language proficiency, not the minimum wage.

4. Finally, mandated wage rates undermine individual right to choose.  The market place is more effective when employers, employees and customers decide what labor rates to pay, what jobs to take and where  to shop based on free choice.

4.
Fiscal Priorities

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?

Answer from John M. Inks:
1. Structurally balanced state budget as first priority   2. Sustainable public employee pension and healthcare systems as second priority   3. Improve California's competitiveness nationally and internationally.  Cut California's personal and corporate income tax rates.  
5.
High Cost of Living

If elected, what solutions do you propose to deal with the high cost of living in the Bay Area?

Answer from John M. Inks:

Local economies drive the cost of living in both affluent and less affluent regions of the state.  Supply and demand drive cost of living.   The cost of living in the Bay Area is higher than the central valley because the demand for jobs and hosting is greater here.  However, the State government can mitigate the cost of living state-wide by cutting high income and corporate tax rates.   

6.
Traffic Congestion

What steps are needed to improve region-wide transportation planning and the growing traffic congestion?

Answer from John M. Inks:
An outcome of a robust Bay Area economy is increased traffic congestion.  Infrastructure improvements like additional lanes and metering can help manage traffic volume.  Transit options provide some but not complete relief.  Ultimately, motorists decide how much traffic congestion they'll tolerate.

 

Total money raised: $14,670

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

1
INKS, JOHN M.,
$10,000
2
Korchula Productions
$990
3
Spieker Investments
$950
4
Bahl Homes
$900
5
Farmers Insurance Group
$500
5
kabam
$500

By State:

California 100.00%
100.00%

By Size:

Large contributions (98.09%)
Small contributions (1.91%)
98.09%

By Type:

From organizations (0.00%)
From individuals (100.00%)
100.00%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.
Email johninks@sbcglobal.net
Social Innovation Entrepreneur
2,603 votes (2.4%)
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  • Support the Bernie Sanders Movement & Give the Government Back to the People!
  • Economic Equality & Opportunities For All!
  • Get BIG & Dirty Money Out of Elections!
Profession:Social Innovative Entrepreneur
Internal Vice Chair, Student Union Assembly at the University of California at Santa Cruz — Elected position (20032004)
Chair, Student Committee On Committees at the University of California at Santa Cruz — Elected position (20032004)
University of California at Santa Cruz Biology & Environmental Studies, Focus on Sustainability, Plant Sciences, Restoration Ecology, Community Ecology, and Non-Profit Management (2004)
Gunn High School, Palo Alto (1998)

Jay calls himself a “Social Innovation Entrepreneur” and has been working on non-profit, social profit, for-profit and government projects, organizations, and movements for over a decade. He has started dozens of organizations, with a foundational background of Sustainability, of which at least 15 are still in existence. Currently Jay hubs all his projects and organizations within what he calls the “CommUnity Network”. Putting “Unity” back into Community, and the Unity Network which focuses on “Uniting all Peoples and Social Movements of the World”. Jay is actively working and organizing within the current Bottom Up Bernie Movement and People’s Movement to build the resources necessary for the People to rightfully take back their governments from Corporate and BIG Money interests, and also running as a Candidate for Public Office, now, and on-going into the future.

 

Even with the huge accomplishments Jay is still struggling to find resources, funding, and people to collaborate with to support his work, and mainly finds himself helping and supporting others, but that is ok. Helping others is the foundation to the entire vision of Jay’s work. His umbrella organizations sponsor dozens of projects and programs for at risk youth, community support, and startups alike.

 

Links to More Details:

 

Current Administrative Responsibilities:

  • Bylaws, Operations, Taxes and Finances for about 10 legal organizations, corporations, or businesses. Includes: Worldplay Ventures, Innovate United LLC, Community Life Network Incorporated, Everything Network Incorporated, California Cannabis Hemp Initiative, Community Governance Committee, BJC, UIS, and my own taxes and finances…

  • The Unity Network is an Umbrella Network and so Jay oversee administrative operations and finances for about dozen projects and programs that total about a $75,000 annual budget, not including last years $100k Worldplay Ventures budget.

 

Current Appointed Positions / Roles:

  • Chair Community LIFE Network

  • Treasure Worldplay Ventures



Skills:

  • Bylaws & Constitutions, Standing Rules

  • Agenda Creation

  • Facilitation

  • Taxes

  • Digital Design

  • Websites

  • Servers

  • Writing

  • Communications

  • Liasoning

  • Planning

  • Systems & Processes

  • Contracts

  • And much more. . .
  • I Do not Publish Endorsements - Vote for me because it feels right in your own heart not because someone told you to.
1.
Drought

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific. 

Answer from Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera:

This is a very specific question, and the best way to save on water is large scale greenhousing of the central vally. We use over half of our water on agrigulcture and there is an easy way to cut our water usage on agiculture by more than half. We can simply copy what Spain has done in the last 10 years, where they have turned the desert of cetnral Spain into the most fertile land of all of Europe. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but it works, so it has to be considered a viable option to save on water. You can see the pictures and more information at this link: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2013/08/the-greenhouses-of-almeria.html

2.
Money in Politics

Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?

Answer from Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera:

It is up to the people to STOP voting for candidates who are raising 100,000's and millions of dollars from the richest of the rich. If voters simply stopped voting for candidates taking the majority of their money from rich large donors, campaign finance reforms wouldn't matter. As a candidate I limit my fundraising to about $50 per contribution, and we could easily lower contribution amounts to as little as $500 from the current $2,700. How many people can actually give $500 to a political campiagn, very few. My primary goals are helping create more grassroots forums for local candidates and political organizations to encage our local communities with political issues without having to spend much money.

3.
Minimum Wage

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 

Answer from Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera:

As you raise wages for individuals, they have the ability to spend more money which increases the overall economy. This is as opposed to keeping wages low and all the money going to the 0.001% that save the money so it is spent little by little which reduces the immediate economic impact. Basically your talking trickle down, vs trickle up, and I am a proponent of equlizing our economic oportunitites and ensurign that the primary economy is increasing the money spend on main street which will help the overall economy including the money going to the 0.001%. I am calling for the SF Bay Area to raise the minimum wage to a minimum of $20/hr and the rest of the state to a minimum of $15/hr.

4.
Fiscal Priorities

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?

Answer from Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera:

I am committed to a balanced budget, so my top priorities are to raise taxes on the rich and BIG tech, and ensure that we re-fund Education, Health Care, our diiminising Courts, and of cousre Environmetnal Protections including our Parks.

5.
High Cost of Living

If elected, what solutions do you propose to deal with the high cost of living in the Bay Area?

Answer from Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera:

Raise the Minimum wage to a minimum of $20/hr in the SF Bay Area, and a minimum of $15/hr in the rest of the state. Of course we would also couple this with low income housing and homes for the homless to ensure that the people who need help the most get it.

6.
Traffic Congestion

What steps are needed to improve region-wide transportation planning and the growing traffic congestion?

Answer from Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera:

We need to re-think transportation. Most importantly is ensuring that individuals can get from Point A to Point Z. Currently our transporation work based on individuals going from Point D to Point L, and the individual is reponsiblie from getting from Point A to Point D, and then again from Point L to Point Z. This is not working. Additionally we NEED to make it so that you can get to Point A to Point Z within 15-30 minutes of the time it would take to go to that same location by car. If it takes 15 minutes by car, and 2 hours by public transporation, something is wrong. The most applicable way of making this happen is utilizing a grid network for our public transporation systems. This would ensure that where the MOST cars travel, would all have bus or tram routes. Yet currently most freeways do NOT have buses that travel on them, meaning that where the most cars go, there is NO public transporation. This would be easy to fix.

The System is Rigged with the majority of economic gains going to the 0.01%. Our Elections are Rigged with the wealthy controlling candidates.  It is time to show that money can no longer buy our government.

Together we can prove that it is possible to win a low money political campaign that focuses on the People! The alternative is to vote for million dollar candidates who are selling themselves to the highest bidder between the 1%. You may see them more on TV or in your mail box, but do they really represent you? If everyone stopped voting for million dollar candidates and instead voted for normal people to represent them, we would do away with Citizens United and the BIG money control of our government in one election.

Join me to support the political Revolution that is taking place where we are rewriting our future for a government and economy that works for everyday people instead of the 0.1%. We will be working with leaders like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and other Bernie Candidates who are calling for Wall Street and Big Corporations to Pay Their Fair Share!

A Vote for Jay is a Vote for People over Banks, Children over Profits, and the Environment over Greed. If elected I will turn our 200 year old democracy into a 21st Century interactive technology epicenter where everyone can vote on issues in real time for direct influence on elected representatives. Let’s make the Future Now!

My goal in running is:

  1. Get Bernie Sanders Elected President Movement!

    • Initiate the New American Political rEVOLution!

    • Catalyze a Mass Millions Mobilization Movement that Bernie is calling for!

    • Elect Bernie Candidates at all levels of office from local to congress to support Bernie’s Agenda when he is president, and to continue his vision and push for the People’s Voice!

 

  1. Economic Equality & Opportunities for All!

    • Increase the Minimum Wage! $20/hr in SF Bay

    • Break Up Big Banks!

    • Reinstate Glass-Steagall

    • Tax Wall Street & the Rich!

    • Simplify Taxes and End Tax Loopholes

    • Make having a Job a Right!

    • Guaranteed Minimum Income!

    • Overtime Pay for People working 2+ Jobs!

    • Community Equity & Societal Equity

 

  1. Get Dirty & BIG Money OUT of Politics!

    • End Super PACs!

    • Reverse Citizen’s United!

    • Support Low & No Money Candidates – Get Normal Everyday Working People Running for Political Office at all levels!

    • Support Poor, Indigent, & Homeless Candidates – Make sure NO one can be pressured into Bankruptcy simply because they Run for Political Office!

    • Create the People’s Parallel Congress – Get Everyday Normal People Running for Office

    • Get Candidates to Sign Campaign Finance Reform Pledges

    • Approved & Score Voting! (OK with at least Runoff)

    • Article the First! – Ratify the 1st EVER Proposed Amendment to the Constitution!

 

  1. Stop Environmental Destruction Immediately!

    • Balance our relationship with the Planet!

    • Stabilize the Climate for a Thriving Earth!

    • Cut Carbon Emissions, Carbon Tax, Carbon Caps

    • Carbon & Pollutant Based Currencies

    • CRV (Cycling Resource Value) for All Physical Products starting with Cigarette Butts

    • Integrated Sustainable Design

    • Ban ALL Landfills & turn them into Resource Cycling Centers

 

  1. And Much Much More . . .

    • Democratic Trilogy including Direct Democracy & Community Elections where You decide Priorities!

    • Make Health Care a Right!

    • Free & Accessible Education for All!

    • Peace & Elivationism

    • Having a Home is a Right!

    • Security & Privacy

    • Net Neutrality

— April 27, 2016 Candidate Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera’s Humanity’s Evolution Project

Humanity is evolving, and there are distinct options for the direction we want to go. The world is coming to a major turning point, and there is no need to list the reasons why we need to change how we live as local and global communities.   What people need is direction and understanding about what is occurring, and a clear vision of a comprehensive proposal for where our society is going and more importantly a Step by Step Transition Plan for how we are going to get there.

 

Humanity’s Evolution is grounded in research which builds on expert knowledge of the actual situation happening in the world right now, and teaches us all the most comprehensive and applicable solutions utilizing science, technology, and the application of natural systems for the most efficient and effective way to transform our entire existing society to be in balance and harmonious with the earth.  The proposals directly address long-term economic stabilization, government integrity, environmental equilibrium, and not just to be sustained, but to be a thriving planet and human civilization.

 

http://humanitysevolution.com/

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Sea Reddy

Democratic
Retired Program Manager
2,102 votes (1.9%)
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Email paloaltolife@gmail.com

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