Victor Frost


Candidate Victor Frost is easy to find.

Nearly every day, he can be spotted sitting on Homer Avenue across from Whole Foods Market with a large cardboard sign and small American flag.

He's also a fixture on the Palo Alto ballot, having run for City Council in at least the last five elections.

But Frost, a large man with shaggy white hair and streetwise fashion, hasn't ever been elected.

Once an outspoken homeless representative, Frost now has his own lodging in the recently constructed Opportunity Center. That hasn't stopped him from speaking up for the less-fortunate, however.

Frost wants to streamline community meals for the homeless, which are currently scattered across the city, making it tough for people with mental or emotional difficulties to keep track of, he said.

And this year, he's particularly riled up about City Manager Frank Benest and the council's extension of a "sit-lie" ban, which was intended to prevent panhandlers and others like himself from occupying public sidewalks during busy hours.

Interestingly, the ban doesn't seem to be working — Frost and others can often be found along Homer Avenue. The city hasn't given a coherent reason for its lack of enforcement.

Nonetheless, Frost is working on a lawsuit against the city and Whole Foods, an effort he hopes will finance his retirement to a goat farm in northern California.

This year, Frost says his campaign is about constitutional rights and the oath of office taken by officials, which he believes the council members who voted for the sit-lie ban have broken.

Frost said he moved here when he was 9, after his parents died in a vehicle accident. He grew up in area group homes.

He has fond memories of Palo Alto, particularly the Duck Pond, and said he fell on tough times after he lost his job.

As a perpetual candidate and panhandler, Frost said he is in touch with the average Palo Altan and pledges to "generally improve the quality of life for all Palo Altans and develop a better democracy."

Frost says he's also a strong library supporter and an environmentalist, dedicated to organic gardening and solar power.

His stance on the Stanford Medical Center and Shopping Center expansions isn't particularly important, Frost said.

"Stanford will do what they want to do," Frost said.

If elected, Frost said he plans to make presentations and videos that will be accessible on the city's Web site.

He thinks public wireless is a better way to go than broadband fiber and said he won't carry a cell phone if elected.

Frost said he's most proud of the awareness he's brought to the homeless community, and he plans to continue working to improve conditions for the city's least fortunate.

Birth place: Another state

Profession: Panhandler, homeless advocate

Affiliation with Stanford University or other major conflicts: No

Currently reading: Although he doesn't read books, Frost said he's a voracious watcher of videos he borrows from the library. His favorite is "The King of the Masks."

Favorite food: Seafood

Vehicle: 1968 maroon Mercedes that needs two front seats

Hobbies: Flying kites, playing in the Trinity River, barbecuing

Web site: None

How to contact: Visit on Homer Avenue.

  • Election 2007: Stories, links and resources

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  • — Palo Alto Online staff


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