MOUNTAIN VIEW — Two new politicos are going up against three incumbent city leaders for a shot at three open seats on the city council in the November election with the housing crisis dominating the political conversation.
Mountain View has long been seen as Silicon Valley’s beacon for housing construction, leading in office and housing construction among its neighbors in the north side of Santa Clara County. But with the post-pandemic setting in amid fears of a recession, the looming question is whether Mountain View can keep up with the housing construction boom while also expanding city services and shaping new neighborhoods.
The council’s three seats are currently held by incumbents Ellen Kamei, Mayor Lucas Ramirez and Alison Hicks, and their newcomer opponents will be Justin Cohen and Li Zhang. All candidates answered questions in a Bay Area News Group questionnaire this week, and outlined major issues facing the city and how to tackle it.
Kamei, who served as mayor in 2020, said she is running to “continue to bring my collaborative, balanced and pragmatic approach to tackling the city’s most difficult public policy challenges” which include the housing crisis, transportation and infrastructure needs and mental health.
Kamei is a Mountain View native who has spent the last eleven years in the city. She is a full-time working mom and has been in city politics for the last 10 years, including six as a Environmental Planning Commissioner, four as council member and one as mayor.
If elected she hopes to focus on “providing housing solutions for residents at various income levels,” increasing multi-modal transportation and pedestrian options in the city and enhancing public parks and open space.
“The best way to tackle any issue is to be bold and collaborative,” Kamei said. “I am running for re-election to continue to bring my collaborative, balanced, and pragmatic approach to tackling the City’s most difficult public policy challenges like our housing crisis, addressing transit and infrastructure needs, and mental health.”
Mayor Ramirez, who has been on the city council since 2018, is focusing his campaign on the work he’s done to address the region’s housing crisis. Since his foray in local politics as a member on the Environmental Planning and Human Relations commissions, Ramirez has focused on funding affordable housing, tenant relocation assistance, rent control for mobile homes and streamlining housing production by setting up guidelines like the East Whisman neighborhood plan.
A lifelong resident of Mountain View, Ramirez hopes to continue to work on the housing crisis and homelessness while also tackling traffic congestion issues in the city and the COVID recovery. Ramirez is also one of only two current council members to vote against the placement of Measure D in the 2020 ballot — which would have essentially dismantled the city’s rent control program — and against the RV ban, along with Hicks.
“Our Council has approved innovative and forward-looking land use policies that will meaningfully address the housing crisis and concerns about traffic congestion and safety,” Ramirez said. “We are converting suburban office parks into thriving mixed-use neighborhoods. By planning …read more
Source:: The Mercury News