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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 16

Photo of Greg Lin Tanaka

Greg Lin Tanaka

Councilmember/CEO/Father
11,096 votes (6.6%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • I am a firm advocate for fiscal responsibility because I believe that we have an obligation to ensure that our democracy can sustain the fast expanding pressures of today’s global economy.
  • Our healthcare system is broken. We must demand transparency from Big Pharma and commit to the idea that Americans need not just treatment, but a system that cares for them – healthy or sick.
  • Environmental scientists estimate we are fast approaching the point of no return. I will take decisive steps to curb our dependence on fossil fuels by shifting our focus to green and renewable energies such as wind, nuclear, solar, and hydropower.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Palo Alto City Councilmember
CEO and Founder, Percolata (2012–current)
CEO and Co-Founder, Pika Group (2020–current)
CEO and Founder, Percolata (2012–current)
City Councilmember, Palo Alto City Council — Elected position (2017–current)
Commissioner, Planning and Transportation Commission — Appointed position (2010–2016)
Director, Strategic Development, Rambus (2008–2012)
Commissioner, Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission — Elected position (2010–2012)
Sr. Manager, Partners and Sales Channel Management, Rambus (2005–2008)

Education

Stanford University Master of Science (M.S.), Electrical Engineering (1998)
University of California, Berkeley Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (1994)

Biography

Greg Lin Tanaka was born in Los Angeles to a Japanese-American father and a Chinese-American mother. Raised in a single parent household, he went on to attend the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley. Greg moved permanently to the Bay Area in 1993, settling down in Palo Alto’s College Terrace neighborhood in 2004. He is a father, an entrepreneur and devoted public servant, someone with the experience necessary for competent leadership and the outsider’s perspective central to innovative policy solutions. The pressing need for government and policies to catch up with technological advancements and a changing economy prompted Greg to run for Congress. His campaign is built on the belief that Silicon Valley and its residents deserve representation prepared for the challenges and opportunities of a new digital age. 

Councilmember Tanaka’s career encapsulates the enterprising spirit and commitment to community service and promoting the public good that makes Silicon Valley what it is today. Greg is a committed public servant with nearly fifteen years of experience in local government and politics in Palo Alto. He initially served in a range of roles in city government, including as chair of the Planning and Transportation Commission, before being elected to the Palo Alto City Council in 2016. As an elected council member, Greg has been a tireless advocate for business friendly and financially responsible policies. His practice of holding regular ‘office hours’ sessions where he listens to the concerns of constituents has gained recognition, and in both of his campaigns for public office, he was committed to transparency and incorporating the input of residents. When the pandemic struck and shuttered businesses and upended lives nationwide, Greg fought in the City Council for policies to revitalize the local economy and help get Palo Altans back on their feet. His work as a ‘Councilmember for everyone’ earned him a whopping 400 endorsements in his 2020 campaign for re-election, and he is dedicated to taking this approach to governance to Congress as a representative for Silicon Valley.

Prior to taking office on the City Council, Greg first cut his teeth as a design engineer before pivoting to the business side of the technology industry. For years, he took a leading role in a series of startups working with both hardware and software, making a name for himself in Silicon Valley during his time at Synopsys and Rambus, gaining indispensable experience in an industry that is rapidly redefining our economy and society. In 2012, he founded the business analytics firm Percolata with funding from Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. At Percolata, Greg pioneered the use of machine learning to help clients like Uniqlo and 7-Eleven make smarter marketing decisions and optimize their operations. Additionally, Greg founded Pika Group in 2020, a web3 startup that develops algorithms to help automate day trading. Throughout his time at the intersection of the tech and business worlds, Greg has developed a unique perspective on how to leverage technological innovations and the power of the internet to better the lives of Silicon Valley residents and everyday Americans. He would bring the instincts of an entrepreneur and the pragmatism of an experienced public servant to Capitol Hill, instead of the narrow-mindedness of political insiders. 

Seeing the world change at such a rapid pace during his time in both public service and the world of technology, Greg believes that it is time for Congress to get a reboot, and for Silicon Valley to have the legislator that it deserves. There are a lot of problems to tackle, especially with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges posed by emerging technologies and a digitizing world, but there are also countless opportunities that can be harnessed with the right policies and innovative spirit. Greg is running so that Silicon Valley residents can finally have the twenty-first century solutions that they need.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

Organizations (1)

Elected Officials (1)

Individuals (2)

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

The Federal Government plays a part in California water allocation and use through a variety of projects and laws.  What, if any, new programs or projects or reforms to existing programs and projects would you support in an effort to handle water shortages caused by the current and any future drought?
Answer from Greg Lin Tanaka:

As gas prices continue to rise across the country, we are in the midst of an energy crisis. Furthermore, the significant effects of climate change have forced Californians to undergo a third year of drought, with the state experiencing the driest January, February and March ever recorded (ca.gov 2022). However, there is a simple and cost-effective solution for both of these problems: Diablo Canyon.One of the most pressing issues facing the state of California is the decommissioning of the nuclear plant at Diablo Canyon. The plant is scheduled to go offline in 2025. A Stanford study published in November 2021 found numerous benefits to delaying the retirement of Diablo Canyon. Delaying retirement of the plant to 2035 would reduce California power sector carbon emissions by more than 10% from 2017 levels and reduce reliance on gas, save $2.6 Billion in power system costs, and bolster system reliability to mitigate brownouts; if operated to 2045 and beyond, Diablo Canyon could save up to $21 Billion in power system costs and spare 90,000 acres of land from use for energy production, while meeting coastal protection requirements. Using Diablo Canyon as a power source for desalination could substantially augment fresh water supplies to the state as a whole and to critically overdrafted basins regions such as the Central Valley, producing fresh water volumes equal to or substantially exceeding those of the proposed Delta Conveyance Project—but at significantly lower investment cost. 

Operating Diablo Canyon as a polygeneration facility—with coordinated and varying production of electricity, desalinated water, and clean hydrogen—could provide multiple services to California, including grid reliability as needed, and further increase the value of the Diablo Canyon electricity plant by nearly 50% (and more, if water prices were to substantially increase under conditions of worsening drought). These key findings highlight the state’s dire need for nuclear energy due to its low cost and high versatility. If elected, I will do everything in my power to keep Diablo Canyon open.

Should immigration laws be changed?  What changes would you support?  Please explain why.
Answer from Greg Lin Tanaka:

I believe that the efforts of talented workers from other countries can improve the competitiveness of the American economy and the skill level of American workers. Foreign workers help fill key gaps in employment, improving the productivity of American industries, the quality of American-made goods, and the overall well-being of our economy. Their presence also betters American workers, as foreign workers’ everyday interactions with U.S. citizens in the workplace enables for exchanges of ideas and perspectives that better prepare American workers to succeed in diverse work environments and equip them with important new skills, talents, and knowledge. I will support legislation that increases the number of work visas and employment opportunities open to talented foreign workers, specifically by boosting the number of H-1B and L-1 visas available and streamlining the issuing process by providing automatic qualification to applicants with advanced technical degrees. Above all, I hope to be a leader in recognizing immigrants’ broader contributions to our economy in Congress.

Policy

As Congress Member what, if any, policies or legislation would you support to preserve democracy for all US residents?

No answer provided.
What legislation, if any, would you support to reduce American greenhouse gas production?  Please explain the reasons for your position.
Answer from Greg Lin Tanaka:

As the specter of climate change continues to loom over the United States, the search for viable and renewable fuel sources has never been more important. One of these sources, nuclear power, has been largely overlooked on Capitol Hill for far too long. Any ambition for the United States to be powered by clean and zero emission energy cannot come to fruition without significant investment in nuclear power. Nuclear energy currently supplies 20% of the nation’s electricity and has done so consecutively since 1990. In 2020, nuclear energy provided 52% of America’s carbon free electricity, making it the largest domestic source of clean energy. 

The most notable advantage of utilizing nuclear power is the fact that nuclear facilities emit zero greenhouse gases when producing electricity. When compared to fossil fuel plants, nuclear power plants are exponentially safer on a per unit electricity generated basis. Furthermore, nuclear is by far one of the safest sources of energy, resulting in a significantly reduced number of fatalities per year that is 99.7% fewer than coal, 99.6% fewer than oil, and 97.5% fewer than gas. Encouraging the use of nuclear power as well as other renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar should be both an economic and national security priority.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $95,352

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Society Of Kauffman Fellows
$5,600
1
Employees of Tictran
$5,600
2
Employees of Experiencefirst
$5,000
3
Employees of Google
$3,900
4
Employees of Northern California Branch Aal
$3,247

More information about contributions

By State:

California 86.29%
Massachusetts 6.35%
New York 5.67%
Texas 1.13%
Other 0.57%
86.29%

By Size:

Large contributions (93.60%)
Small contributions (6.40%)
93.60%

By Type:

From organizations (0.00%)
From individuals (100.00%)
100.00%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Videos (4)

— May 25, 2022 Greg Lin Tanaka for Congress

If our nation is going to deal with crippling inflation we need a fresh perspective. Silicon Valley and CA Coast: Vote for Greg Lin Tanaka by June 7th, 2022 for US Congress California District 16. Find out more at https://gregtanaka.org You deserve innovation, not inflation, jobs not crime, and housing not homelessness. We need healthcare competition that lowers your bills, education that sets your children up for success, and immediate action on climate change. We can do it now, and we can do it without corporate money. Join our movement by donating what you can: https://gregtanaka.org/donate I'm born, raised, and educated (Caltech/UC Berkeley) in California: a proud Bay Area citizen for three decades. I’ve started tech companies and served the people of Palo Alto through the depths of the pandemic on the City Council as an elected official.

More info: https://gregtanaka.org Donate: https://gregtanaka.org/donate Volunteer: https://gregtanaka.org/volunteer

— May 25, 2022 Greg Lin Tanaka for Congress

As the specter of climate change continues to loom over the United States, the search for viable and renewable fuel sources has never been more important. One of these sources, nuclear power, has been largely overlooked on Capitol Hill for far too long. We need leaders who are willing to put science and facts ahead of partisan politics in an effort to ensure a sustainable and clean environment for both our nation and the world. If elected, I will take actionable steps towards supporting nuclear energy at the federal level. The need for nuclear energy is discussed in a short, informational video we have made. Please watch, share, and give us your feedback as community input is one of the key aspects in making real change. Check out our website for a more detailed Nuclear Energy Policy Plan. #nuclearenergy #climatechange #pronuclear https://www.gregtanaka.org/nuclear-en... Video Approved by Greg Tanaka

— May 25, 2022 Greg Lin Tanaka for Congress

Airplane noise has been a consistent and pressing issue for this district. Speaking with the constituents throughout District 18, including San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties, further shows how the lack of transparency and representation surrounding this issue has become increasing over time. If elected, we will take actionable steps towards airplane noise mitigation and emissions. This is discussed in a short, informational video we have made. Please watch, share, and give us your feedback as community input is one of the key aspects in making real change. Check out our website for a more detailed Airplane Noise Policy Plan. #airplanenoise #environment #community #representation #sanmateocounty #santaclaracounty #santacruzcounty

— May 25, 2022 Greg Lin Tanaka for Congress

Learn more at 8by8.us #StopAsianHate #8by8 The 8 by 8 challenge is to get 8 people to take action (e.g. registered to vote, committed to doing the challenge or voting) by 8 days. If attendees post pledging to do the challenge with the hashtags #StopAsianHate #8by8 on any social media, they will get a giveaway at the rally while supplies last. Mortal Kombat star Robin Shou has already endorsed the #8by8 challenge: https://youtu.be/2rdKA9ICMZQ

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