News

Ed Lauing makes fresh bid for City Council seat

Chair of Planning and Transportation Commission wants to focus on housing, public safety, climate change

Ed Lauing. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Ed Lauing, a City Hall veteran who currently chairs Palo Alto's Planning and Transportation Commission, said Tuesday that he plans to run for the Palo Alto City Council.

If elected, Lauing will fill one of three open seats on the seven-member council, with council members Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth both terming out this year and council member Alison Cormack announcing last month that she will not seek a fresh term. Lauing also ran for council in 2020 and narrowly missed out on getting elected, finishing fifth out of 10 candidates vying for four seats.

Much like during his last campaign, Lauing said he will make housing — particularly below-market-rate housing — a top priority. He also emphasized in an interview Tuesday that Palo Alto needs to promote housing types for various segments of the population, including seniors, service workers and families. This means thinking beyond microunits and small studios.

"There is a need for a variety of housing for a variety of needs and I definitely think the category of affordable housing is the most important," Lauing said. "It is definitely a value statement to house all those folks and really get lower-income folks to reach the first rung on the housing ladder. … We also have to plan for folks to live here once we get on that ladder."

Lauing has been heavily involved in analyzing Palo Alto's housing policies. He serves as co-chair on the Housing Element Working Group, which is charged with developing a plan for meeting the state's housing quotes. He has also been on the planning commission since 2017 and, prior to that, had spent seven years on the Parks and Recreation Commission, which included three stints as chair and one as vice chair.

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In addition to housing, Lauing said he wants to prioritize public safety. This includes addressing the trend of car break-ins and "smash-and-grabs." Two cars on either side of his Professorville home were recently broken into, he said. His car had also been broken into while parked on the driveway, he said.

To address these crimes, Lauing believes the city should consider more officers as well as take a closer look at recruiting and training within the department.

"We can't have a policeman in front of very doorstep but we need to find a better way to get coverage," Lauing said.

Another campaign priority is climate change. Lauing said he wants to see Palo Alto take "concrete actions" to implement programs to meet the city's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2030, with 1990 as the baseline. This includes "tactical" programs that give residents incentives to switch away from gas appliances to ones powered by carbon-free electricity.

"With help from the city to ease purchase and installation of electric water heaters, and with same-day delivery service, we can make sure we are not installing new devices that use natural gas for another 20 years," Lauing's campaign website states. "I will have laser focus on equitable, practical programs that our residents can afford that will gradually reduce natural gas usage."

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Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

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Ed Lauing makes fresh bid for City Council seat

Chair of Planning and Transportation Commission wants to focus on housing, public safety, climate change

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jun 14, 2022, 11:36 am

Ed Lauing, a City Hall veteran who currently chairs Palo Alto's Planning and Transportation Commission, said Tuesday that he plans to run for the Palo Alto City Council.

If elected, Lauing will fill one of three open seats on the seven-member council, with council members Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth both terming out this year and council member Alison Cormack announcing last month that she will not seek a fresh term. Lauing also ran for council in 2020 and narrowly missed out on getting elected, finishing fifth out of 10 candidates vying for four seats.

Much like during his last campaign, Lauing said he will make housing — particularly below-market-rate housing — a top priority. He also emphasized in an interview Tuesday that Palo Alto needs to promote housing types for various segments of the population, including seniors, service workers and families. This means thinking beyond microunits and small studios.

"There is a need for a variety of housing for a variety of needs and I definitely think the category of affordable housing is the most important," Lauing said. "It is definitely a value statement to house all those folks and really get lower-income folks to reach the first rung on the housing ladder. … We also have to plan for folks to live here once we get on that ladder."

Lauing has been heavily involved in analyzing Palo Alto's housing policies. He serves as co-chair on the Housing Element Working Group, which is charged with developing a plan for meeting the state's housing quotes. He has also been on the planning commission since 2017 and, prior to that, had spent seven years on the Parks and Recreation Commission, which included three stints as chair and one as vice chair.

In addition to housing, Lauing said he wants to prioritize public safety. This includes addressing the trend of car break-ins and "smash-and-grabs." Two cars on either side of his Professorville home were recently broken into, he said. His car had also been broken into while parked on the driveway, he said.

To address these crimes, Lauing believes the city should consider more officers as well as take a closer look at recruiting and training within the department.

"We can't have a policeman in front of very doorstep but we need to find a better way to get coverage," Lauing said.

Another campaign priority is climate change. Lauing said he wants to see Palo Alto take "concrete actions" to implement programs to meet the city's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2030, with 1990 as the baseline. This includes "tactical" programs that give residents incentives to switch away from gas appliances to ones powered by carbon-free electricity.

"With help from the city to ease purchase and installation of electric water heaters, and with same-day delivery service, we can make sure we are not installing new devices that use natural gas for another 20 years," Lauing's campaign website states. "I will have laser focus on equitable, practical programs that our residents can afford that will gradually reduce natural gas usage."

Comments

Midtowners
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 14, 2022 at 12:50 pm
Midtowners, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 14, 2022 at 12:50 pm

I'm so glad to see Ed Lauing throw his hat in the ring! Throughout years of city service, he's proven to be well informed, practical and effective. We'll be lucky to have his common sense leadership on city council!


felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2022 at 1:37 pm
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 14, 2022 at 1:37 pm

This is great news for our City. No newbie to City issues, Ed Lauing.
With his experience serving now on the Planning & Transportation Commission, and also as Co-Chair of the Housing Element Committee, he will be up and running once on City Council. He was also a Parks and Recreation Commissioner and a volunteer for decades in the community.
We will be in good hands with you on Council, Ed. Congratulations on your announcement.


Pat Markevitch
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 14, 2022 at 5:18 pm
Pat Markevitch, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 14, 2022 at 5:18 pm

I am so thrilled to see Ed Lauing run for Council. I volunteered with him for years on the Parks & Recreation Commission. He is very smart, honest and empathetic. Ed truly loves this community and the people in it. He will be a very welcome addition to City Council.


Hamilton H
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 14, 2022 at 5:59 pm
Hamilton H, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jun 14, 2022 at 5:59 pm

I feel fortunate Ed Lauing is running for City Council since he understands how the city government works and how to keep it moving forward on the top priorities. I worked with him on the Housing Element Working Group and have seen his continued focus on affordable housing and how to effective lead discussions on complex issues to get clear resolutions. I am also pleased to see his prioritization of public safety, which has become an increasing worry for many while also being fully committed to equitable policing. Ed is good listener who judges ideas based on their merit.


Chris
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Jun 15, 2022 at 9:32 am
Chris, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Jun 15, 2022 at 9:32 am

Anyone who isn't in the developers pockets (TANAKA) is a good choice


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 15, 2022 at 9:44 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 15, 2022 at 9:44 am

Seconding Chris's comment above. Also anyone not in big tech's pockets to provide market-rate housing and pods for their highly paid workers and contractors while ignoring families, seniors and service workers.


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 15, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Glad to see Ed Lauing running. Experience, fiscal prudence, and character. That is a good combination.


Ferdinand
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jun 15, 2022 at 10:24 pm
Ferdinand , Barron Park
Registered user
on Jun 15, 2022 at 10:24 pm

This is good news indeed. Thank you Ed for still caring.


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