Stanford MBA, startup CEO joins East Palo Alto council race

Kimberly Carlton also applied for vacant council seat last year

Three new faces have joined the quiet East Palo Alto council race, challenging the two incumbents who are running for two open seats on the five-member body.

Kimberly Carlton, a business-minded East Palo Alto resident and product of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, pulled nomination papers last week. Michael Lause, also an East Palo Alto resident who, according to his LinkedIn page, is a freelance computer system analyst, pulled papers on Friday, Aug. 1, according to City Clerk Nora Pimentel. Adam Falcon also pulled papers on Monday, Pimentel said.

Neither Lause or Falcon could be reached for comment.

Carlton, who also applied in 2013 for a seat vacated by then Vice-Mayor David Woods, says she has been active in the community since she moved to East Palo Alto in 2002, after graduating from Stanford. She served on the Citizens' Advisory Committee for the Ravenswood Business District/Four Corners Specific Plan and subsequently got involved in the East Palo Alto General Plan Advisory Committee.

Carlton is the former executive director of StartUp (now Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center), an East Palo Alto nonprofit that provides business development and support for under-resourced local entrepreneurs. She worked with StartUp for five years. She has also helped her husband run his own local small business, Stonesculpt, which does custom stonework and restoration.

She said she's currently working as CEO of a soon-to-launch education startup called Solvy, which will offer an online tutoring tool to help struggling high school students with math.

"My background is really in economic development and in particular a focus on small business and entrepreneurship," she told the Weekly Monday. This background is what she hopes sets her apart from the rest of the current council and other candidates, she said.

"I'm a big proponent of locally owned small businesses as an important engine for economic growth. It's really important for a community to have these locally owned businesses.

"I think East Palo Alto has a great deal of potential, and unfortunately, there are some obstacles in the way, but I'd like to see small-business development become a bit easier to do in East Palo Alto," she said.

Carlton, whose 11-year-old daughter attended East Palo Alto Charter School from kindergarten through fifth grade, said her other top priority is education, though she has no specific plans as of yet for how to tackle local education issues.

"I don't have any prepared answers on that," she said. "All I can say is I would definitely like to become better informed, and that's part of what I will do as a candidate and if elected, as an elected representative, to get a much more through understanding of what are the challenges and opportunities for improving education in East Palo Alto."

Carlton said she is working to file her nomination papers by the deadline, this Friday, Aug. 8.

Current council members Ruben Abrica and Donna Rutherford pulled papers late last month. Both of their terms expire this November.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 6, 2014 at 11:00 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

It'll be interesting to learn more about the other two new candidates. Thank you for the update regarding Carlton entering the race. Let's just hope that these candidates are brighter than Mayor Martinez and more on top of issues than Larry Moody.

I wonder what these new candidates think about the mess City Manager Magda Gonzalez has made of the city?

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 6, 2014 at 11:01 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

It's also rather humorous that much is made of Carlton's MBA. Councilman Abrica has his Master's in Education from Stanford, but that's not mentioned when he runs.

Like this comment
Posted by J
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 6, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Abrica went to Stanford but he did not get his Masters last i heard.

Like this comment
Posted by Memories
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm

J - do you think that his employers didn't check when they hired him?

Like this comment
Posted by Quick question
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2014 at 12:12 pm

If education is her top issue, she should be running for the Board of Education, not City Council. Does she understand how government is structured and public schools are financed?

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Good question, Quick question. I am guessing that since she's now on the General Plan committee, that she's interested in guiding the city in the near future, since she's also into small business. Of course anyone with half brain is concerned about education and crime, the latter which can be more impacted by being on the council, the former not so much, as you've said.

And as for Ruben Abrica, yes, he has a master's degree from Stanford, and he doesn't brag about it.

1 person likes this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm

I miss the Peter Evans show! It was such great entertainment!

Like this comment
Posted by M1
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm

This is a previous comment I posted for another forum. " I just heard !!! I'm voting for Kimberly Carlton!!!!! I am a recent grad and long time familial resident and owner of EPA. I am already willing to work for her campaign. I myself am extremely disappointed by city council meetings as there is a sheer lack of experience in Finance and Business Administration.One council member struggled with the concept and meaning of "one time revenue". Might I add these are two components extremely crucial to running a productive and blossoming city. Not to mention the lack of pro-business attitude. We have to strike a balance between those who own and those who are renters. I believe East Palo Alto needs commercial enterprise more than anything to pump money into the city, rather than focusing on more housing, given EPA is disproportionally residential. We need a business center, a main street (university ave ) and more importantly a downtown( possible area where Bay Road meets Bay Lands) to influx money into the city, create jobs for residents, which inevitably leads to less crime. Because EPA does not have commercial tax revenue the city is broke. There is absolutely no reason EPA should be so poor sitting directly center of Silicon Valley and neighbor to Facebook. I knew this day was coming and its time for joint evolution of East Palo Alto as a whole, as to many long time owners and residents it truly is a diamond in the rough that needs a certain type of jewler to give it just the right cut. Anyone who has been to the city council member meetings knows we need revenue not baseless "we are gonna do this" rhetoric . There is no reason a 2.612 square mile city should have the financial, violence , and water issues it does. It is too small to not be able to effectively thrive. I predicted a few years ago that if the city did not get EPA up and running, this would lead to prices remaining low thus allowing a "price out" buying from those who could not afford Palo Alto. Thus, leading to what we have now the beginning gentrification( people buy cheap, remodel and the previous price has quadrupled). If you don't develop your own city it's only a matter of time before others come and buy it for cheap a replace you from city council. It happened in some parts of Oakland( Temescal Area), Emeryville, Brooklyn, Harlem etc. If you are a long-time EPA resident I suggest you invest while you can !!! #EastPaloAlto #change #KimberlyCarlton"

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Posted by What the devil?
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 28, 2014 at 5:51 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment.]

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Fairmeadow

on Jun 5, 2017 at 2:50 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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