Charismatic and loquacious, Sid Espinosa says his campaign has generated a momentum of its own, attracting both supporters and donations.
The 35-year-old director of philanthropy at Hewlett-Packard didn't make his connections to the community overnight, however. The Professorville resident is vice president of the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation and serves on the board of the Chamber of Commerce.
A self-proclaimed public-policy wonk, Espinosa attended Wesleyan University and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and worked as an aide to Attorney General Janet Reno.
When he returned to California, Espinosa chose Palo Alto.
"This is a wonderful city," Espinosa said. "This is a unique place. A lot of people forget that during campaigns."
His first area to focus on would be the city's aging infrastructure.
It's embarrassing that residents head to neighboring cities to visit a first-class library, Espinosa said.
"It's been 30 years since we've built a city facility and that's unheard of to go that long. ... We've just rested on our laurels," he said.
Financing the improvements to city facilities, streets and other necessities won't be easy, Espinosa acknowledged. "We need to as a city come together and think about how to get creative."
He has already worked with the city as a board member of the Art Center Foundation, which is working in partnership with the city to renovate the center.
As a council member, Espinosa said he would also try to increase revenues, control costs and make Palo Alto a center of green entrepreneurship.
"People need to start looking at the environment as an opportunity for business growth and development," Espinosa said.
Espinosa acknowledged that additional housing growth will occur and said the city needs to focus on well-planned, carefully approved projects.
Stanford Medical Center is a "world-renowned resource," Espinosa said, adding that he plans to negotiate hard to ensure Palo Altans are compensated for the consequences of the proposed expansion.
He said he hopes to tap into existing in-city talent to provide services such as the city's Web site, which he said could have been created by top-notch local designers volunteering their time. Residents should also be more involved with the development of the city's budget, Espinosa told Palo Alto Neighborhoods.
Espinosa said he's an advocate for government transparency and believer that "parkland is sacrosanct."
Espinosa loves his job at Hewlett-Packard but sometimes, he admitted, he lets himself slip into the "high-pressure, fast-paced" Silicon Valley lifestyle.
"Sometimes that's fun, but it can cause you to be in such a rush that sometimes you forget to slow down and step back and just appreciate that we live in this country and are blessed with so many things."
Birth place: Santa Clara
Profession: Director of Philanthropy, Hewlett-Packard
Affiliation with Stanford University or other major conflicts: No
Currently reading: "What is the What" by Dave Eggers
Favorite food: Ha Long Bay Soup from Tamarine, lamb chops from Evvia Estiatorio, naan bread and sushi
Vehicle: 2000 Ford Escort
Hobbies: Watching movies, scuba diving, taking photos, hiking, reading
Web site: http://www.sidespinosa.com
How to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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