We invited all Santa Clara City Council candidates to speak directly to the voters through The Weekly’s print publication and on the Silicon Valley Voice website. If you don’t know what District you’re in, please check the City’s District map on their website.
Candidates had a week to reply. We asked candidates to answer the following questions in 100 words or less:
- What’s your position regarding the City’s continued appeal of the voting rights lawsuit it lost in 2018 and what course of action would you advocate for?
- What do you think is the City’s major challenge and how would you address it?
- What do you think is the major challenge in your district and how would you address it?
- What is your view of Santa Clara’s current Council dynamics?
- What’s the first motion you would make as a Councilmember?
Here are the candidates’ answers, unedited. We note candidates who chose not to respond.
- After Measure C failed, the City should close the case. The City residents have spoken through their vote. It is wasting our time and funds, like other unnecessary lawsuits. So let’s spend our time building positive relationships and being constructive with our time and resources. Especially after COVID our people are looking for solutions to help their quality of life, housing support, for economic support, and helping small businesses survive. We need to spend time creating positive value to benefit the public.
- COVID & Economic Recovery —We need to stop the CVRA lawsuits, restart the Levi’s stadium programming safely and in consideration, restart destination marketing of the city for future events to uplift the economy and the budget, and explore revenue streams, models and programs for a sustainable future. I will collaborate and partner to solutions to the needs of the city, safely. Existing contracts need to be reviewed to identify opportunities for re-negotiations, community benefits, and relief. We’ll need sustainable recovery programs, Internet access, and rebates for the hard hit residents and small businesses. We will need to increase commissions like the Climate Commission and explore jobs and workforce retraining.
- It seems many of the challenges facing the City are in District 1. Firstly, Northside Santa Clara is urgently in need of an area plan to ensure infrastructure, mobility and traffic management, open spaces, community benefits, climate solutions, market rate and affordable housing, existing and new retail/commercial are designed in balance for a quality of life for new and existing residents. The current planned developments include ~15,000 new housing units, entertainment district, new commercial spaces, but no unified and integrated Northside area plan and limited input in the various projects. I will work with the community and staff to produce a plan.
- We need more of qualified, diverse, future minded, objective, collaborative and community focused councilmembers that can get along. It’s time to create value instead of poor relationships, negotiations, and lawsuits. In this economic climate, fresh perspectives and new representatives will help our recovery and get things done, while building future leaders. I would leverage my community, state, county, and city relationships to support our residents. For example, the funding to open the Northside library was possible with the support of partnerships. Now during COVID, by collaborating with the community, we addressed significant PPE gaps and relief solutions for Santa Clarans to nationally. We can do much more for our city, cooperatively.
- The first thing is to improve our financial status. Starting with closure of the CVRA appeal and other frivolous lawsuits, starting our economic engines, getting the public involved, and working with the county and state to address the resident’s needs, safely. So, we can spend our energies creating solutions that provide a more livable, sustainable, safe, enriching, and thriving city for everyone.
“I won’t be replying,” Watanabe.