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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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City of Mountain ViewCandidate for City Council

Photo of Pat Showalter

Pat Showalter

Civil Engineer
12,060 votes (11.74%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Getting our community through the COVID-19 crisis; making sure people have food, are protected from eviction and get our businesses back to work in a safe manner.
  • Continuing vital government services such as safety, clean water, roads, parks and libraries.
  • Protect Mountain View's shore from sea level rise and continue sustainability efforts to fight climate change.



Profession:Retired Civil Engineer
Commissioner, San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission — Appointed position (2016–current)
Councilmember, Mountain View City Council — Elected position (2015–2019)
Retired Senior Project Manager, Santa Clara Valley Water District (2001–2017)
Governing Board Member, San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority — Appointed position (2015–2017)
Mayor, Mountain View City Council — Elected position (2016–2016)
Commissioner, Mountain View Environmental Planning Commission — Appointed position (1994–2002)
Coordinator, San Francisquito Creek Watershed Council; a program of Acterra (1997–2001)
Hydrologist, US Geological Survey (1980–1987)


University of California at Berkeley Masters in Engineering Science, Civil Engineering, specializing in Geotechnical Engineering (1978)
Mount Holyoke College Bachelors, Geology and History (1974)
Princeton University Visiting Student, Engineering and Environmental Science (1973)

Community Activities

Board, Alta Housing (formerly Palo Alto Housing) a non-profit corporation devoted to building and operating affordable housing (2019–current)
founder and president, Cooper Park Neighborhood Association (2019–current)
Board member and vice president, Carbon Free Mountain View (2019–current)
Board Member, League of Conservation Voters (2000–2014)
Board Member, Los Altos Mountain View League of Women Voters (2003–2014)



Pat served on Mountain View's City Council from 2015 to 2019 serving as Vice Mayor in her first year and Mayor in her second.  She guided the City through the council priorities of housing, transportation and sustainability. Pat was active in regional issues through the Santa Clara County Cities Association, serving on the Bay Conservation & Development Commission as well as the Recycling & Waste Reduction Commission


Pat Showalter, has dedicated both her career and her public service to protecting and advocating for the environment of the Bay Area. Professionally, Pat is a licensed civil engineer who started her career as a hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, served as director for the non-profit San Francisco Creek Watershed Council, and retired after 15 years with the Santa Clara Valley Water District. She specialized in multi-agency projects like the Valley Habitat Plan and the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration. She was also active in her union IFPTE Local 21.


Beginning in 1994, she dedicated her spare time to Mountain View’s Environmental Planning Commission, where she served nine years and maintained an active role in local leadership.  Pat learned that protecting the Bay Area's environment and providing adequate housing are inextricably linked.


Showalter holds a Master’s in Civil Engineering from U.C. Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Geology & History from Mount Holyoke College. She served for many years on the Boards of the Los Altos - Mountain View League of Women Voters and the Santa Clara League of Conservation Voters. Pat may be spotted biking with her husband along the Stevens Creek Trail or hiking in one of the many Bay Area parks that she works so hard to protect.


Pat and her husband Steve are so grateful that their children live nearby, so they can visit often.  She also appreciates the support each member of her family is giving her to be elected to City Council.




Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (3)

  • Santa Clara County Democratic Party
  • Santa Clara League of Conservation Voters
  • South Bay Labor Council

Elected Officials (2)

  • Congresswoman Anna Eshoo
  • Supervisor Joe Simitian

Questions & Answers

Questions from LWV Los Altos/Mountain View Area (2)

  What can the Council do to ensure people who work in Mountain View can also afford to live here?  
Answer from Pat Showalter:

The two most important actions that have been taken recently are increasing the minimun wage and passing rent control.  Mountain View raised the minimum wage to over $15/hr in 2015.  I was very proud to vote for that and to support the incremental increases every year I was on Council.  Rent control was passed in 2016. There have been serious efforts to undermine our rent control system at the ballot box and by appointing members to Rental Housing Committee who are not interested in protecting the system.  Council members must make sure that renter protections like rent control are protected by making good appointments to the Rental Housing Committee AND not putting measures on the ballot to undermine it like Measure D which was defeated in the March primary.

Long-term, we need to continue to increase the amount of housing that is build, particularly affordable housing.  Mountain View has agressively zoned for new housing in a way that builds complete neighborhoods with parks, schools and mobility improvements.  We need to encourage housing development in places where people won't be displaced like the North BayShore, East Whisman Area and Terra Bella Area.



  What are the leadership qualities that will make you an effective Council Member?  
Answer from Pat Showalter:

Collaborator:  I know that the best decisions are made when people with a wide range of perspectives and expertise work together.  Throughout my career, I have worked with multi-agency/stakeholder efforts from the San Fransicquito Creek Watershed Council which had 23-signatory members to the South Bay Salt Pond Project with 5 agencies committed to restoring the marshes of the San Francisco Bay.  I'm fascinated by the power of collaborations between cities, agencies, corporations, the faith community and non-profits.

Good Listener:  This is something I think is very important and worked on as a Councilmember.  I was pleased to have people bring this up as the reason why I should run for Council again.

Eager to Learn:  There are always new issues coming to Council or new aspects of old ones. It's vital to learn as much as possible from as many sources as possible.  Fortunately, I have a strong educational background to build on.

Community Knowledge:  I've lived here for 36 years, so I know our community.

Empathy:  Government is supposed to help people, so it's important that leaders care.

Compassion:  Leaders need to understand that everyone doesn't have the same advantages.  Everyone in our community has something to offer and needs our help.

Questions from LWV Mountain View Area (1)

  Describe your vision for the City’s downtown? Has the Covid experience changed that vision? How?  
Answer from Pat Showalter:

I'm interested in vibrant, fun-filled Downtown where people can eat out, attend community events, shop, work and live.  The closure of Castro Street to vehicles is a welcome change.  It serves as a pilot project for permanent closure.  Before COVID-19, I saw outdoor dining as a interesting extra.  Now I see use of the sidewalk by merchants as something we should encourage as long as it is done safely.  We want to encourage Mountain View residents to get to Downtown under their own power-either by walking or on a bike- to reduce our GHGs and improve our collective health.  We want to make sure there are beautiful trees shading the ourdoor areas.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


Political Philosophy: An essay describing the candidate's political philosophy. Limit: 1,000 words.


 Early in my career I came to the conclusion that most political decisions had an environmental component. Better decisions were made when people like myself with environmental knowledge were included in the political decision-making process.  That concept is what led me to get involved in local politics.


 When I served on the Mountain View Environmental Planning Commission, it became evident to me that you could not be an environmentalist in the Bay Area unless you were also a housing advocate.  Consequently, I've been advocating for more housing, particularly affordable housing for the last 25 years. We need to build more housing so people don't have to drive so far to their homes and so we can protect more open space.

  I believe that Democracy is NOT a spectator sport.  It's important to be active and involved. In our family, voting is not voluntary, it's your civic duty. 

I believe that the best decisions are made when differing perspectives are shared and understood.  It's always important to understand what is behind different perspectives. Cultural experiences, professional knowledge or life experiences can all produce valid and divergent opinions.  Over the course of my experience, the sweet spot is discovering the values and interests that are shared.  These lead to productive action. 

Civility is crucial.  On the one hand, people should be treated with respect because it's the right thing to do.  On the other hand, treating people civilly is effective because it encourages participation and leads to better outcomes.  For example as Mayor, I tried to welcome every person who spoke to Council by name to show respect and give them a genuine welcome.

 I believe in Science.  As an environmental engineer, I have worked to apply the best science available for restoring San Francisco Bay and protecting our region.  The importance of asking the right questions can not be over-estimated. Working with integrity and curiosity is paramount.  I know that as more information becomes available, what is the best science may change.  Locally, we have access to very high caliber scientists and it is important to include them in the political process taking advantage of their knowledge and insight.  As we go through the pandemic, it is vital that we rely on good science to keep everyone as safe as possible.


 I believe in protecting the environment.  As a civil engineer who specializes in water resources management, my professional life focused on protecting the environment. Currently, I apply the policy knowledge developed over my career by serving on the San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission and the board of Carbon Free Mountain View.


 I believe that shelter, adequate food and healthcare are human rights.  It's our collective responsibility to take care of our families, our fellow human beings.   I believe that kindness, humor and a walk thru a tree-lined park can do wonders.












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