During the November elections, the City of Sunnyvale elected district representatives for the first time in the city’s history. Among the newly elected, Alysa Cisneros, a third generation Silicon Valley native.
Cisneros attended Cupertino Middle School and Homestead High School in the early 2000s. She earned her Associates degree from De Anza Junior College and Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Mills College in Oakland. During that time Cisneros was also raising her young daughter, giving her a perspective she believes will be an asset on Sunnyvale’s City Council.
“I think I will be the first Sunnyvale City Council person to receive SNAP benefits in their lifetime,” said Cisneros. “I’m the first Latina to be elected. First any person of Hispanic descent of any kind in about 30 years of office…There are very few women who have served…Then there’s the matter of economic diversity too, and coming from a different perspective, and understanding a different aspect to the problems that we tackle.”
Cisneros’s candidacy was endorsed by Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein and almost all of the sitting Councilmembers. Her relationship with the local leaders is one of the reasons she is looking forward to working on the City Council.
“Our Council is very functional. Everyone gets along really well. I think that the rapport there really shows and the ability to look at an issue and really move on it without there being too much drama,” said Cisneros. “I really appreciate just how straightforward our Council and our city management and our city government processes are.”
As the first representative of District 2 Cisneros knows there are some big items on the docket.
“Number one, finishing our downtown is a massive undertaking for my district. Overwhelmingly, people want this done and it’s looking good,” said Cisneros. “Then moving forward on improving library services as well. I hope to support our schools in a city capacity through library services.”
Cisneros also understands that her role on Council isn’t just about her district, but also about the entire City of Sunnyvale.
“We have a great responsibility to not just focus downtown, but to make sure that we are making everywhere in the city vibrant and accessible,” said Cisneros. “We all understand that though we represent one district and just one district votes for us, we make votes on behalf of the entire city.”
Making Sunnyvale for everyone is just what Cisneros wants.
“I want anybody who works and wants to be part of this community, to be able to be part of this community, especially the folks who teach our kids and pave our roads, and do all of the really important work like washing dishes or working in tech, to be able to have a place here where they can raise a family and be part of community where they want to be,” said Cisneros.
“I’m one of the very few people that I know of who I graduated from high school with who still live here,” said Cisneros. “I think [that] is something else that is a major issue affecting Sunnyvale and the larger region is that, can we expect our kids to be able to move back to their hometown? Are we raising a generation of people without a hometown? I think we are and that needs to change.”