Reports to Communities

A Victory Lap

June 14, 2023

Tuesday night the Mountain View City Council unanimously approved Google’s North Bayshore Master Plan as well as a Development Agreement between the City and the tech giant, culminating nine years of organizing, study, and deliberations.

In 2014, a handful of us formed the Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View to address politically our area’s unfavorable and worsening jobs-housing imbalance. Our chief objective was to change the pending North Bayshore Precise Plan to include substantial amounts of housing in the section of Mountain View north of U.S. 101 that remains dominated by Google offices. Our candidates won election to Council that year.

In December 2017, the new City Council approved the Residential Update to the North Bayshore Precise Plan. Google and the City continued community engagement on the project. After too many delays, some of which resulted from mixed land ownership in the Precise Plan area, on Tuesday night the Council cleared the way for the construction of 7,000 housing units on Google property in “complete,” sustainable, car-light neighborhoods with homes, offices, retail businesses, parks, wildlife habitat, and a school. This plan, to be implemented over many years, is already serving as a model for redevelopment elsewhere in Silicon Valley… continue…

Proud of Our Accomplishments

January 1, 2019

As my year as Mountain View mayor and my four years on the Mountain View City Council draw to a close, I am proud of what our city has accomplished. I remain aware, however, that much more needs to be done to complete the projects that we have started. I am also proud of my personal contribution, but I recognize that nothing could have been achieved without the cooperation of other council members, the hard work and expertise of city staff, and the support of the lion’s share of Mountain View residents.

Serving as mayor is a daunting experience. Many people think that the mayor has the power to fix problems and set policy on his own. In reality, I was only one of seven votes. This year, I jested, “The mayor of Mountain View does four things. He signs documents; he has his picture taken with others. He chairs meetings. And occasionally he gives a speech.”

Each year I have prepared an annual report to constituents, but as I’m stepping down after losing re-election to the council, I have expanded this summary to cover the entire four years since Ken Rosenberg, Pat Showalter, and I took office. I recognize that it’s long, but to me it only covers a fraction of what we have undertaken and accomplished… continue


December 13, 2018

Late Tuesday night, December 11 the Mountain View Council majority took an action so disturbing that I want to make sure that everyone in our community, indeed in our region, knows what happened. I am therefore sending this to several lists. Please excuse the repetition if you’re on more than one list.

Just after midnight Tuesday night/Wednesday morning the Mountain View City Council voted four to three to approve a developer’s proposal to tear down 20 rent-controlled, naturally affordable apartments to build 15 townhomes and rowhouses, displacing 75 predominantly Spanish-speaking residents. Before the vote, the Council and an overflowing chamber of tenants and their supporters heard impassioned pleas from representatives of the Royal Viking Apartments’ residents, affordable housing advocates, and others to deny the project.

The spokesperson for the applicant, an offshoot of Dividend Homes, explained that the new homes are expected to sell for at least $1.3 million. And he reinforced the developer’s plan to offer relocation benefits above and beyond the requirements of Mountain View’s relocation assistance ordinance as well as the Measure V rent control law… continue

Don’t Mourn. Organize!

November 9, 2018

It’s always disappointing to lose an election. And it’s particularly disappointing when one expects to win. I’m going to miss being on the City Council, with all the opportunities it has given me to meet with constituents, employers, property owners and developers, and leaders from other cities..

I appreciate the outpouring of messages of support and consolation, only a fraction of which were sent to this list.

Yesterday I did a newspaper interview about the election that gave me a heart-warming realization. The Mercury-News asked me if my defeat would undermine Mountain View’s drive to build more housing. I responded that all the candidates had campaigned in support of residential construction. See Despite Tuesday’s results, my allies and I have already won on the issues that motivated our candidacies… continue

My Trip to Chengdu, China

March 28, 2018

From March 25 to 27, 2018 I visited Chengdu, Sichuan as part of an unofficial delegation promoting technological cooperation between the Western Chinese city of 14 million and Silicon Valley. I was invited because I currently serve as mayor of Mountain View, California—the historical center of Silicon Valley—a city of 80,000 people. The trip was sponsored by a non-profit organization that appears to receive funding from local or regional Chinese governments… continue

Mountain View is a Leader

January 9, 2018

Thank you. I am indeed fortunate to be serving this community and especially so in this time of change. It is my hope that we will preserve all of the things we love about Mountain View—our quality of life, our diversity, and our vibrant economy—while we embrace and manage our path into the future.

For those who don’t know me, I’ve been an activist—indeed, a community organizer—most of my life. I moved to Mountain View in 1972. My wife’s family arrived here years earlier. I’ve been working in Mountain View since the mid-1970s. My son and daughter attended our local schools. So I’ve seen a lot of changes, some for the better, some for the worse.

As an elected official, I see each issue that we address as an opportunity to engage the public. As my friends and I declared in the 1960s: People have a right to make the decisions that affect their lives… continue

My Third Year on Council Ends with a Bang

December 26, 2017

Around midnight on December 12, 2017 the Mountain View City Council unanimously adopted the Residential Update to the North Bayshore Precise Plan. This visionary document is a key milestone in the transformation of one of the world’s most successful suburban office parks into a mixed-use, car-light, demographically diverse, multi-story collection of neighborhoods. In partnership with employers such as Google, developers such as Sobrato, and two school districts, Mountain View is setting a standard to which we hope other job-rich Silicon Valley cities will aspire.

Adoption of the plan culminates a three-year process of studies, workshops, and hearings that began with the 2014 election. It will take more hard work, public and private investment, and difficult decisions to turn this plan into a vibrant, sustainable community. The plan calls for the construction of 9,850 homes with a goal of 20% to be provided at below-market rent or price. We are insisting that residential developers work with our school districts to provide for new schools to serve the new student population.

Mountain View is leading the region in addressing the dual crisis of housing supply and affordability… continue

A Busy Year

December 28, 2016

2016 was a very busy year for me as a member of the Mountain View City Council. We not only had extra Council sessions, but I attended regional meetings on transit, housing, water, and aircraft overflights. Mountain View is a busy city, with 71 projects listed in our Planning Division update… continue

Report after One Year on the Mountain View Council

December, 2015

My first year on the Mountain View City Council is nearly over. It has been challenging, exciting, time-consuming, and rewarding. Mountain View has successfully completed plans and projects initiated by the previous Council. We are continuing others. And we are plowing new ground in addressing the jobs-housing imbalance, serving – I hope – as a model for our neighbors. Our Council is a collegial, congenial group. We have many split votes, but the alliances change. At times I have voted with every other Council member on significant issues. At times I am on the short end of a six-to-one vote… continue

Taking Office

January, 2015

I believe that the November 4 election may mark the beginning of a new era in Mountain View politics, in which our city’s amazing employment growth is constrained and balanced with our capacity to house and provide transportation for that workforce as well as other members of our community.

I expect, as a Council Member, to work to maintain and improve the city’s exemplary level of service and competency of management, to continue positive personnel relations, to promote sustainability, and to budget for long-term continuity of services and reasonable capital expenditures. But I intend to focus on the issues that led me to run for office in the first place… continue