News

Local voters guide to this week's election

Find last-minute candidate, polling place information

Election Day polls are open. While many voters have already cast their votes through early polling or mail-in ballots -- voters had returned 307,966 out of 700,709 mail-in ballots in Santa Clara County by Nov. 6, according to the Registrar of Voters -- many others are preparing to head to the polls today.

Locally, Palo Alto voters will decide on new members of the City Council and Board of Education, and district representatives for the state Assembly, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as Santa Clara County measures that could impact affordable housing and transportation.

Over the past several weeks, the Palo Alto Weekly has interviewed the candidates, hosted debates and reported on the issues, and now we've assembled everything here in one place to help you make informed, last-minute voting decisions.

In the links below, you’ll find information about each City Council and school board candidate’s stances on the issues, what you need to know to vote on local issues and how to find your polling place.

Endorsements

Palo Alto City Council candidate stances

Palo Alto Board of Education candidate stances

Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees candidates

Measure A: affordable housing

East Palo Alto races

East Palo Alto City Council candidates

Ravenswood City School District Board of Education candidates

Voting information

Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters

San Mateo County Registrar of Voters

For a complete archive of election coverage, go to the Weekly's online archives for the City Council and school board.

On Election Night, come back to PaloAltoOnline.com for up-to-the-minute results on the City Council and school board races.

Or, follow our live election coverage on Twitter.

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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Comments

56 people like this
Posted by Nancy
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 7, 2016 at 10:28 am

Vote Greer Stone, Lydia Kou, and Arthur Keller! Let's make sure city council represents the wants of Palo Altans and not developers!!


53 people like this
Posted by Jim Colton
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 7, 2016 at 11:21 am

Jim Colton is a registered user.

I agree with Nancy. We've seen what a city council can do when they give way to profit-driven developers at the expense of quality of life. Let Kou, Keller, Stone, and Greer represent the residents of Palo Alto.


46 people like this
Posted by Annie Chan
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 7, 2016 at 11:33 am

I watched videos for all of the (serious) candidates and was impressed by Kniss, McdouGall and Fine. They each demonstrated an ability to speak about issues that affect all sides of the community - elderly, young people, affordable housing, cyclists, workers, and so on. I like their approach and I'm voting for them!


53 people like this
Posted by Voting for Inclusion + Sustainability
a resident of Addison School
on Nov 7, 2016 at 11:36 am

My votes are for Fine, Kniss, McDougall and Tanaka. We need people who will promote inclusive political discourse, and a sustainable future - in terms of environment, equity and economy. A lot of people in our community are dealing with serious issues - housing prices, commutes, noise - We need proactive and constructive thinking. I'm tired of the negativity, the lies about developer funding and the dismissiveness. Vote Fine, Kniss, McDougall and Tanaka - they are balanced, inclusive, thoughtful and analytical - candidates who will listen to everyone, not just the people who agree with them.


50 people like this
Posted by liberal
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 7, 2016 at 11:40 am

Please cut out the "___ will represent residents" and "___ will represent developers" nonsense. All of the candidates are running to represent the residents of Palo Alto -- they just happen to have different visions of what Palo Alto should look like.

Some would prefer a more liberal, small city atmosphere, where people can walk to services and public transportation is good. Others would prefer to keep the physical structure just as it was in 1960 even if it drives up prices. The NYT had a good story on this liberal/conservative divide. Web Link

Personally, I prefer the liberal perspective. I'll be voting for Fine, Tanaka, Kniss, and McDougall.


48 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2016 at 11:41 am

I'm not a voter, I don't live in Palo Alto and I'm not going to live around here for long, but I can tell you I am shocked by the campaign carried on by Kou and Keller, and their attacks to the other candidates.

Google "kou pac paf palo alto", and you'll see what we are talking about here. Nixon was a better and more transparent person, which says it all...
Not enough? Google "lydia kou check 5 families palo alto " then....

Do what you want with your vote, but please do NOT vote those individuals.


24 people like this
Posted by Sarit Schube
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2016 at 11:56 am

I strongly believe the School Board and our community would benefit tremendously from Jennifer DiBrienza's leadership. She is the only school board candidate to get the endorsement of all four local publications: The Weekly, The Daily Post, The Paly Voice, & The Campanile!


42 people like this
Posted by Kate
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Adrian Fine, Liz Kniss, Greg Tanaka, and Don McDougall are the right choices this year. Let's be an inclusive community where young families, students, our educators and our public safety officers can afford to live.


41 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of University South
on Nov 7, 2016 at 12:19 pm

We need a City Council that supports an inclusive community and listens to ALL residents. I am disappointed in this City Council and I want a change.

I support Adrian Fine, Greg Tanaka, Liz Kniss, and Don McDougall. They have a solid track record of promoting housing affordability, cycling and pedestrian safety, and keeping Palo Alto's downtown vibrant and interesting. They are also endorsed by the Democratic Party, Joe Simitian, Rich Gordon, Jerry Hill, and Anna Eshoo.

It's hard to follow the issues and easy to get confused by the mudslinging on Town Square. When all of the people you trust in higher office endorse exactly the same set of people, that tells you that these are good people who know what they are doing, and that they are in line with Democratic values.

Vote Fine, Kniss, McDougall, and Tanaka!


24 people like this
Posted by Longtime Democratic Voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2016 at 12:58 pm

One of the strangest lies coming from the PAF crowd is that the PAF candidates (Fine, MacDougal, etc) are the "liberal" choice and that others are sone how otherwise.

Fine I believe this year switched his status from Republican so he could run. The perspectives and policies of the PAF group are all rightwing template, most especially to favor big corporations and big development, but also to disclaim their real motives until they are elected in order to get peopke to vote for them against their own interests.

There is nothing partisan here. As a longtime Democratic voter, I will be voting for Kou, Keller, Stobe, and Carl,
because they exemplify those values and have deep experience helping our community already.

Shame on people trying to co-opt voters by trying to make an utterly false connection between major parties.


24 people like this
Posted by Longtime Democratic Voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Sorry, mistakes thanks to ipad.

I will be voting for Kou, Keller, Stone and Carl.

They are the clear choice for anyone who wants good thoughtful leadership. (Including Democrats)


6 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2016 at 1:25 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@Nancy and Jim Colton

You named three. Who is your 4th pick or are you still debating? That's okay, I am too. I personally don't like slates or de facto slates, especially when our Chamber of Commerce gets involved and selects one. And, I also don't like PACs or de facto PACs.

I think our current council has worked out very well in dealing with our issues even though they were divided on many things. Thanks go to Mayor Pat Burt who was a swing vote on several occasions. He brought his many years of service, experience, and wisdom to the table to aid in the process. I would like to see that kind of divide continue, only so we can hear both sides of an issue debate the pros and cons. Having 6 or 7 members in total agreement, for or against, on any issue that comes forward, is not good. They could undo the progress that I think has been made so far.

I've read all the articles about the candidates in both local newspapers, read 'too many' of the posts, viewed the TV interviews of the candidates, have seen their endorsement ads, and actually met in person, 4 of the candidates, all nice people.

But you know what?...if I met all of the candidates I think I would come away with that same impression...they are nice people.

Although both sides like to paint a picture, in the worst way, of what the other side stands for, they all, really, and basically, stand for the same thing, with a few exceptions. It's a matter of how they would deal with those problems. Everyone is in favor of a 'good/better quality of life' so zero that one out. Everyone is concerned about affordable housing. That's an election talking point but we can't zero that one out because of the differences on how they propose to achieve it. Everyone thinks there should be so much more done on transit/transportation issues. Can't zero that one out either. Measure B has not been supported by all the candidates. It's a double tax on gasoline, that our daily workers who can't afford to live here would have to pay. That's not right.

More housing and denser housing...many different views, including increasing the height limit, rezoning for more of it. It would be good to have that discussion at CC meetings. I have written many times about my thoughts, including raising height limits and rezoning. Housing for teachers, firemen, policemen: Firemen and policemen wouldn't buy into any proposals I think, and as far as teachers goes, there is so limited space to build housing for them. So, just another nice talking point at election time to get votes, but with nothing coming out of it in the future.

Infrastructure has also been a big talking point, and a very important one, if we are trying to increase housing by large numbers. Not much has been put forward by any of the candidates regarding that tho...so far as how to solve it. Let that debate happen with a divided council. I'll be watching the CC meetings live for that debate.

The office/research cap. Some candidates have been very quiet about it but most are in favor of keeping it for the time being. Good idea, and it's encouraging that developers are choosing, on their own volition, not to put those developments forward. They are getting smartened up about what PA residents and voters think about them. We're not an 'easy sell' anymore, just for the money to flow in to support our General Budget account. We can figure out other ways...might have to tighten the belt, increase local taxes on us old homeowners, et al.

Parking/Underparked Developments/ADU's: I like those candidates who take a wait and see attitude. Let's get some hard data on how the RPP and TMA efforts have worked out so far. How successful has Scoop been? We could let the VTA parking lot housing proposal go thru, with minimal damage, I hope, to test the idea that many young people don't own cars, don't drive, and only rely on public transit, bikes, or walking. I'll be a skeptic until I see hard evidence. ADU's? Well, I think that idea will die on the vine. It will do little for easing our housing shortage and it opens up so many chances of violation by homeowners using those as Airbnb units for profit. That wasn't the original intent, and that intent shouldn't be violated, even tho it has been already in several instances. Those violators should be fined, but where are the code violation officers who will track them down and fine them, and also those future violators? We don't have them.

Homeless: Another great talking point at election time. Are our CC candidates relying on Measure A to help us out here in PA? I think we'll be left holding the bag, and I've seen numbers ranging from 153 to 400 homeless in PA. Let's get real numbers and tackle the problem here. Don't rely on Measure A to help.

So, where do you candidates stand, now that I've voiced my opinions?




25 people like this
Posted by Voting for Greg Tanaka!
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm

I just met Greg and his kids a week ago. I'm voting for him because he is the only one trying to make sure that family challenges are addressed in the city. For a city made up of families I find it very odd that there aren't any other candidates/council members that work and have school aged children. What happened to representation?

If you haven't met Greg yet, check out this video: Web Link


27 people like this
Posted by Another Logtime Democrat
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2016 at 1:46 pm

I originally planned to vote for Kniss, Stone, Fine, and Keller. I like the idea of having a diversity of perspectives represented on city council.

Then I saw the disgusting, dishonest ad campaign pushed by Keller and Kuo. So disrespectful to our city's politics! There was no way I could support Arthur Keller after that. I then decided to vote Kniss, Tanaka, Fine, and Stone.

However, this weekend I had someone stop by who said he was canvassing for McDougall, and I was very impressed with his record on environmental issues, his history with the Audobon society. The more I learned about him, the more I saw to like.

On top of that, the comments from residentialists on Palo Alto Online and elsewhere have only gotten ruder and more dishonest. Scroll up and see for yourselves! That comment claiming Adrian Fine used to be a Republican? I actually happen to know that's a total fabrication! I know his family, and Adrian Fine has (like myself) been a lifelong supporter of Democrats. [Portion removed.]

So despite my original preference to support a variety of factions among the candidates, I have now decided to vote for Kniss, Fine, Tanaka, and McDougall. Why? Because they're going to be pro civility, honesty, and integrity. They're going to be pro Palo Alto. I hope my fellow friends and neighbors will join me in voting for all four of these candidates and no one else. They are by far the most deserving of our votes.


23 people like this
Posted by Pro Kniss
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2016 at 2:02 pm

I've voted for Liz Kniss many times over the years, and I don't always agree with her, but I know she works hard and is earnest about serving the community. She'll be getting my vote again.

Watching the forums, reading mailers, and speaking with candidates, I'm also very impressed by Adrian Fine. He's young, energetic, and has fresh ideas. I think he would work well with others, and has a genuine desire to serve our city.


14 people like this
Posted by This is it!
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 7, 2016 at 3:29 pm

I am voting for Fine, Tanaka, Kniss and McDougall. They are pragmatic and have a vision for Palo Alto that is for a diversity of citizens. I have been consistently impressed with their depth of knowledge and commitment to public service.


46 people like this
Posted by Cheryl Lilienstein
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Much effort has been made trying to inform voters about what they are voting for in the city council race, and here is another stab at it.

What would happen if the policies Adrian Fine supported PRIOR to his candidacy are looked at in context of what the result would be of IMPLEMENTING those policies? For example, look at the massive Facebook 2.5 million square foot expansion just approved in Menlo Park. Existing Palo Alto policies preventing that are:

1. The fifty foot height limit (remember: the 1.3M sqft Facebook project is "only" 75 feet high)
2. The annual office growth-rate limit of 50,000 sf
3. The moratorium on PCs
4. Compatibility with surrounding buildings

Yet, Fine OPPOSED all of these policies on the record.

Let me be clear: Fine publicly opposed the policies that prevent Palo Alto from having gigantic developments like Facebook and those on San Antonio and California St in Mountain View.

The City Council is fundamentally a Policy body. To say, "I never supported x project," while at the same time supporting POLICIES which lead to such projects, is disingenuous and misleading. This is why Mayor Burt called him out on being deceptive. And an answer like, "I support the (50 foot height) limit until the Comp Plan is finished," when, if elected, he would BE one of the Comp Plan finishers, is simply an evasion. Candidates need to be forthright about their policy leanings. Since candidate Fine has not been forthright (whereas candidate McDougall, for example, has been), efforts to clarify the consequence of voting for him are necessary.

If all this sounds farfetched, remember that the megaprojects at 27 University and 395 Page Mill Road very nearly went before council just three years ago, and were only deterred by intense community opposition. The city should not have to be managed that way. I want councilmembers whose track record of working on behalf of the public is consistent with their public statements.

Please vote for Keller and Kou. What you will get with them is honesty and integrity.

And please vote for Veenker. For the same reasons.


39 people like this
Posted by Keller, Kou, Stone, Carl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2016 at 5:56 pm

CAn't go wrong!


35 people like this
Posted by Anne
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 7, 2016 at 6:18 pm

I, too, say Keller, Kou, Stone, Carl.


24 people like this
Posted by Mama
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2016 at 7:39 pm

Mama is a registered user.

It's clear that the pro development people, most of whom are not residents, are in full force trying to fool our voters.
Vote for Kuo, Keller, Stone, Carl if you want to keep the 50-foot limit and stop the rubber stamping every big development. These candidates also want enforced ground floor retail. My view is that the parking and housing problems were caused by overdevelopment, not our residents, Why should residents pay for the fix? Let Palantir et al pay for the problems they created.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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