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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Local

City of SunnyvaleCandidate for Mayor

Photo of Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith

Councilmember/Educator
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Increase supply of affordable housing through planning, local ordinances, and pushing for financial tools at the state level
  • Commit to recovering economic and socially from COVID-19 through support for local business and prudent fiscal management
  • Develop safe infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians and invest in improved transit solutions

Experience

Experience

Profession:Sunnyvale Councilmember / Educator
Program Manager, NVIDIA Corporation (2003–current)
City Councilmember, City of Sunnyvale — Elected position (2017–current)
Vice Mayor, City of Sunnyvale — Appointed position (2020–current)
Member, Caltrain Local Policy Makers Group — Appointed position (2017–current)
Vice Chair, Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority — Appointed position (2020–current)
Vice Chair, Santa Clara County Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission — Appointed position (2019–current)

Education

Olivet Nazarene University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Mathematics (1986)

Community Activities

President, California Native Garden Foundation (2019–current)
Member, Rotary Club of Sunnyvale (2006–current)
Founding Sponsor, Sunnyvale Youth Public Policy Institute (2017–current)
Board Member, Sunnyvale Community Services (2005–2007)
President, Leadership Sunnyvale Alumni Association (1999–2006)

Biography

Nancy Smith was elected to the Sunnyvale City Council in November 2016 and was named Vice Mayor in January 2020. She serves as the City’s representative to the Water Commission of Valley Water, on the Caltrain Modernization Local Policy Makers Group and as Vice Chair of the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority and Vice Chair of the Recycling and Waste Reduction Committee for the County of Santa Clara. She also serves on the League’s Housing Production Working Group and serves as treasurer for the League’s Peninsula Division.

Vice Mayor Smith works as a program manager at NVIDIA Corp, the world leader in visual computing technologies. She served on non-profit boards starting in her 20s, and helped found the Third Street Community Center. Eventually, she shifted her focus to politics and serving on boards and commissions in her community and county before running for office. 

She currently serves as the chair of the League of California Cities Women’s Caucus, an organization dedicated to supporting over 800 elected municipal women in leadership in the state of California to build their networks and influence. Serving as president in such a momentous year as the 100th anniversary of the women gaining suffrage in the United States is an honor she cherishes.

Her service on behalf of residents of the City of Sunnyvale builds from Nancy having always been active in her community. In Dallas Texas in the 1980s and early 1990s, she served on the boards of several non-profits. She served for five years on the executive committee of the Board of North Dallas Shared Ministries, an organization that provided emergency food and rental assistance. She served as the Advocacy Chair. In that position, she headed up letter writing campaigns to push for policies at the city, county, state and federal levels to provide fair and equitable treatment of low-income people.

Like many residents of Sunnyvale, Nancy’s story began outside of California, but it was here that she found home, a successful career and community. Nancy grew up in Illinois and in 1986 earned her BA in Mathematics from Olivet Nazarene University. She was a part of a new generation of young women in technology and engineering that would revolutionize society – both in how we communicate and the faces of those making the change.

Nancy began her career as an executive in a biomedical imaging firm in Dallas, and even early in her career, she found time for community service. She volunteered on the board of directors of a non-profit providing emergency assistance to families in need. 

In 1994, she relocated with her husband to Sunnyvale to be a part of the new Silicon Valley. Back in Illinois or college, she was well known to everyone in town as a clerk in her parents’ hardware store, and many who knew here then are cheering her on as she expands her accomplishments. 

Since moving to California, she helped found the Third Street Community Center in downtown San Jose. She developed the curriculum that teaches basic computer skills to adult learners and set up a program that gives computers to graduates of the program. She served as interim director while the organization conducted a candidate search.

Nancy felt she could be of greater service as a policy maker rather than a non-profit advocate. To start that journey from community volunteer to elected leader, she applied for and was accepted for Leadership Sunnyvale, class of 1999-2000. After graduating, she served on the City of Sunnyvale Housing and Community Services Commission. After that, she was appointed to the board of the County of Santa Clara Housing and Community Development Commission and, later to the Valley Water Environmental and Water Resources Committee, where, during her time as Chair, she set up an innovative system of independent working groups to enable commissioners to explore policy issues and community concerns. She raised community voices through independent working groups that brought policy gaps to the attention of the Board. Her proudest achievement was the “Policies for Addressing Homeless Pollution of Streams.” Efforts to address the issue humanely were included in 2016’s Measure A initiative that passed, bringing long needed resources to the housing crisis.

She joined Rotary in 2006. Nancy served as President of the Sunnyvale Rotary Club from 2011-12. Under her leadership, the Rotary-sponsored youth club at Homestead High School grew from 40 to over 200 members. She remains an active member to this day, and enjoys sharing updates from the community during the monthly club luncheons. 

In 2016, She volunteered with the Department of Engineering at Santa Clara University to develop curriculum for the Experiential Learning for Social Justice track to connect community members with engineers-in-training to discuss paving educational pathways for all. Bringing voices together to action embolden her desire to do even more, and in 2016 decided to run for City Council. She was elected with the largest vote total ever for a City Council candidate in Sunnyvale history. 

When, at the beginning of 2020, Nancy was appointed to Vice Mayor. Listening to the voices of the community helped move Nancy to run for Mayor.

Nancy is passionate for economic and social justice, self-expression, exploring innovative ideas and connecting with the community. Nancy believes that when we work together, we make our community stronger. And when we do it so every young girl, every child with parents born an ocean away, we all thrive and are lifted up. Nancy is ready to be Mayor and bring Sunnyvale to unity, working together, and realize our hopeful vision of Sunnyvale’s future.

Nancy and her husband Wade enjoy spending time walking around Ponderosa Park together every morning. He started out as a medical researcher, but now works as a hardware designer for computer chips. They recently bought their own pairs of ice skates in anticipation of the return of a winter ice rink to downtown Sunnyvale.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Santa Clara County Democratic Party
  • Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17)
  • League of CA Cities Women’s Caucus Executive Director Annie Lam

Organizations (16)

  • Democratic Activists for Women (DAWN)
  • National Women’s Political Caucus of Silicon Valley
  • Sunnyvale Democratic Club
  • Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee (BAYMEC)
  • Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters
  • Dean Democratic Club
  • Santa Clara County High School Democrats of America
  • Silicon Valley Young Dems
  • Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 270
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers AFL-CIO Local Union No. 332
  • IFPTE Local 21 / Sunnyvale Employees Association (SEA)
  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 265
  • South Bay Labor Council
  • Plumbers, Steamfitters, Pipefitters & HVAC/R Service Technicians UA Local Union 393
  • Teamsters Local 856
  • Teamsters Local 350

Elected Officials (33)

  • Santa Mateo Supervisor David Canepa
  • Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg
  • Mayor of Saratoga and President of Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority Howard Miller
  • Mayor of Santa Clara Lisa Gillmor
  • Mayor of San Mateo Joe Goethals
  • Mayor of Mountain View Margaret Abe-Koga
  • Mayor of Burlingame Emily Beach
  • Mayor of Alameda Marilyn Ashcroft
  • Vice Mayor of Redwood City Shelly Masur
  • Vice Mayor of Mountain View Ellen Kamei
  • Santa Clara County Office of Education Board Trustee Rosemary Kamei
  • President of Santa Clara County Office of Education Board Claudia Rossi
  • Chair of Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Nai Hsueh
  • Santa Clara Valley Water District Trustee Gary Kremen
  • Councilmember of San José Sergio Jiminez
  • Councilmember of Palo Alto Alison Cormack
  • Councilmember of Mountain View Lisa Matichek,
  • Councilmember of Morgan Hill John McKay
  • Councilmember of Hayward Sara Lamnin,
  • Councilmember of San Mateo City Amourence Lee
  • Councilmember of Winters City Jesse Loren
  • Vice President Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Directors Jodi Muirhead
  • President of San Jose Unified School District Board Teresa Castellanos
  • President of Cupertino Union School District Board Lorien Cunningham
  • Trustee of Palo Alto Unified School District Board Melissa Baten Caswell
  • Trustee of Fremont Union High School District Board Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto,
  • Trustee of Palo Alto Unified School District Kenneth Dauber
  • Trustee of Foothill-DeAnza Community College Board Peter Landsberger
  • Trustee of Fremont Union High School District Board Jeff Moe
  • Trustee of Fremont Union High School District Board Hyunju Rosa Kim
  • Trustee of Fremont Union High School District Board Roy Rocklin
  • Trustee of Sunnyvale Elementary School District Board Bridget Watson
  • Trustee of Cupertino Union School District Board Sylvia Leong

Individuals (49)

  • former Mayor of Sunnyvale Pat Vorreiter
  • former Mayor of Sunnyvale Jack Walker
  • former Mayor of Sunnyvale Melinda Hamilton
  • Assemblymember(former) Paul Fong (AD-28)
  • former Vice Mayor of Sunnyvale Tara Martin-Milius
  • former Mayor of Menlo Park Kirsten Keith
  • former Mayor of San Mateo Claire Mack
  • former Mayor of Mountain View Mark Kasperzak
  • Sunnyvale Youth Public Policy Institute Founder Edith Pan
  • Sunnyvale Cool Member and Silicon Valley Carbon Free Chairman James Tuleya
  • Sunnyvale Public Library Foundation Member (former) Mark Diaz
  • Sunnyvale Housing and Human Services Commissioner Linda Sell
  • Sunnyvale Planning Commissioner Carol Weiss
  • Sunnyvale Planning Commission Chair Daniel Howard,
  • Sunnyvale Library Board Trustee Carey Lai
  • Sunnyvale Library Board Trustee Alysa Cisneros
  • Sunnyvale Bicycle and Pedestrian Commissioner Tim Oey, ZeroW.org
  • Marie Kuykendall
  • Michele Landis Dauber, Enough is Enough Voter Project Chair and Stanford Law Professor
  • Narattom Joshi, India Independence Day Organizer and Community Leader
  • Barry Vickery, Service Organization President-Elect
  • Max Kaehn
  • MJ LaRoche
  • Lois Shouse
  • Kirk Vartan, SV Catalyze
  • Mike Shum
  • Flo Oy Wong
  • Emily Duncan
  • Elijah King
  • IdaRose Sylvester, Chair of Mountain View Human Relations Committee
  • Mike Klein
  • Phyllis Freeman
  • Dr. Carol Somersille
  • Ruth Silver-Taube
  • Sergio Lopez, Campbell Historical Museum and Ainsley House Board Member
  • Diane Gleason
  • Ellen Turner, Rise Up Alum Rock, Indivisible East San Jose, Villages of Hope Silicon Valley
  • Stephen Meier
  • Emilie Gatfield
  • Fred Kameda
  • Harbir Bhatia, Santa Clara Cultural Commission Member
  • Debbie Mytels, Environmental Educator
  • Dani Mahler
  • Claude Nahum
  • Abigail Han
  • Bonnie Campodonico-Lieberman
  • Steven Lee, VTA Citizens Advisory Committee
  • Valerie Hu
  • Alrie Middlebrook, Former Director of the California Native Garden Foundation

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

 

Nancy Smith's vision for Sunnyvale follows these three goals:

  • Sunnyvale for All – Nancy’s commitment to elevating all Sunnyvale voices, regardless of age, economic status, gender, race, cultural identity, or abilities
  • Livable Sunnyvale – Accommodating the needs of our citizens by promoting safety, affordable housing, local recreation and entertainment, and balanced systems of transportation
  • Sustainable Sunnyvale – Forward-thinking targets and plans to mitigate the consequences of rapid growth and climate change in Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale is a city in which no one group has a majority. Nancy Smith believes that Sunnyvale’s diversity is a strength and she is committed to elevating all Sunnyvale voices – regardless of age, economic status, gender, race, cultural identity, or abilities. The first step to ensuring Sunnyvale is truly a city for all is creating a Sunnyvale that listens to others, fosters positive relationships and values diversity. 

Public Health and Safety

Nancy will, as Mayor, provide stories and data about why and how our communities need to ensure the health and safety of the people of Sunnyvale. Investment in public health, including safe responses to the pandemic and post-pandemic reopening, preventive efforts in mental health, care for our children, recreation for Sunnyvale’s citizens, balancing our resources to broaden capabilities to respond to non-criminal events, and addressing  racial health disparities here will all improve public health and safety. 

COVID-19

Nancy will work to ensure that City workers, businesses, and residents are aware of and implement guidelines for avoiding the spread and contraction of COVID-19. As we reopen businesses and government services, we need to ensure that our economy starts back up without compromising safety. Essential workers continuing their jobs and other workers returning to offices, restaurants, and retail deserve to feel safe. 

Mental Health

Nancy believes there are effective and humane alternatives to sending armed public safety officers to deal with non-criminal situations, such as homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness.  She wants Sunnyvale to look to best practices and lessons learned from other cities that have taken steps to reduce armed responses. 

Nancy champions preventative approaches to support mental wellness, especially strategies and efforts to prevent mental illness among youth. She sponsors a high school organization Sunnyvale Youth Public Policy Institute (YPPI), a youth-led group that develops events, sponsors meetings, and creates projects to educate students about mental health and how to maintain it. 

Racial Equity

To address our structural racism, listening to citizens is a necessary start. As Mayor, Nancy will help ensure Sunnyvale citizens and City employees have access to tools and information that empower us all to overcome racial bias in policing, delivery of services, and in our daily lives. 

Affordable Housing

One of Nancy’s core beliefs is that a diverse, vibrant community requires affordable housing. However, Sunnyvale rents have been shooting up in recent years.

Nancy worked with other municipal leaders at the League of California Cities Housing Community and Economic Development Policy Committee meetings to launch a housing production platform. The League of California Cities advocates for housing production, while ensuring cities retain flexibility. The platform calls for the Legislature to provide new funding mechanisms for affordable housing. As Mayor, Nancy will continue to push her colleagues around the state and the state legislature to build more affordable housing with all due haste.

Nancy is concerned that dramatic “new buyer” rent increases for mobile home spaces harms to mobile home park residents because a mobile home is often the resident’s most valuable investment.

Some of the residents of these parks are disabled, low income, or on fixed incomes. If the space rents continue to rise, it will devastate these residents. Sunnyvale has protected 400 acres for mobile home parks. Seniors on low and fixed incomes who live in these parks urgently need protection in the form of rent stabilization, rental agreements limiting rent increases, and vacancy controls. As Mayor, Nancy will lead the City Council to advocate for the individuals in these parks with the State and find innovative solutions to maintain space rental prices at affordable levels.

Digital Inclusing

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the importance of Internet access clearer than ever. Without it, at-home learning is severely limited, families cannot shop efficiently and safely for essential supplies, and communication is impaired. While the City has partnered with CPUC and tech leaders to provide access for some, we must ensure these options are expanded. 

Seniors and Digital Inclusion

Nancy asks that the County broaden digital access for seniors. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal and state authorities have authorized Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for doctor’s appointments that can be conducted via telehealth. This has saved lives, helped reduce the spread of the virus, and enabled providers to scale the response of an overwhelmed health system.

Telehealth has helped keep older adults connected to their medical care providers. For these and other reasons, Nancy believes it is likely that telehealth will, at least to some extent, remain an option for Medicare beneficiaries beyond the pandemic emergency. However, seniors who lack access to technology will remain unable to utilize telehealth services. 

Delivery services are also crucial in helping seniors remain safely at home. Those sheltering in place can have almost any product—including medical supplies, prescription drugs, food, and other groceries—delivered directly to their homes. To the extent that seniors have greater access to these services, they will be more likely to use home delivery services, and less likely to put themselves at risk by shopping in stores.

Increasing access to technology, along with education regarding its use, will provide seniors with much-needed connections and reduce loneliness.

Digital Inclusion for Underserved Students

 

In 2018, Nancy collaborated with a student from Sunnyvale to launch a global digital literacy campaign for young and old alike. Through this initiative, Nancy equipped students and seniors with the tools and training required to gain access to the Internet safely. The non-profit hosts regular events at the Sunnyvale Senior Center where teens share their love of technology with seniors.

 

Videos (2)

— October 9, 2020 Nancy Smith for Council 2020

The youth of Sunnyvale support Nancy Smith for Sunnyvale Mayor. Some of Nancy's interns provide insights about Nancy's positions, working style and what makes her the the best candidate for Mayor.

— October 12, 2020 Nancy Smith for Mayor 2020

Community leaders explain why they support Nancy Smith, the people's choice for Mayor of Sunnyvale

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