News

Stanford medical researcher seeks City Council seat

Hope Lancero looks to focus on affordable housing, constituent services

Hope Lancero, a medical researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine, has joined the race for a seat on the Palo Alto City Council with the goal of bringing more affordable housing to the city.

Hope Lancero, a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine, is seeking a seat on the Palo Alto City Council. Courtesy Hope Lancero.

Lancero, a Long Beach native, moved to Palo Alto about 20 years ago and currently lives in the Evergreen Park neighborhood. She said that if elected, she would like to serve as the voice of the "disenfranchised," referring to people who feel priced out of the city. This extends to her Stanford colleagues and university students.

"I am surrounded by many people who tell me, 'We would live here but we just can't afford it. We could be just one step from being working homeless here,'" Lancero, 54, said in an interview.

Lancero is hoping to fill one of three seats that will open up at the end of the year. Council members Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth will both term out, while council member Alison Cormack has opted not to seek a second term on the seven-member council.

Lancero, whose job focuses on performing pediatric brain tumor research, acknowledges that she is new to politics. If elected, she said she would like to focus on constituent services and be the voice of people who aren't normally involved in politics. This could mean bringing attention to potholes that need to be repaired or areas that require cleanup.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

She said she often hears from people who say they are dissatisfied by what their city is doing but don't believe that getting involved in local government would change anything. She is hoping to give these people a voice.

"I'm representing the people who don't vote but complain," Lancero said.

Lancero moved to the Bay Area to do her postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco. After a stint at Stanford, she had spent four years working at numerous small biotech firms before returning to Stanford earlier this year.

She said she has grown to love Palo Alto's "small-town feel" and enjoys running into her neighbors when shopping for groceries. She believes that in approving housing, the city should focus on options that would be affordable to families with children. Most of the houses that are getting built, she said, are far too expensive for anyone not working in the tech sector.

"The developers are building for the sake of developers," she said. "If they could develop so that we can actually afford to live in their developments, that would be awesome."

Lancero is part of a growing field of candidates seeking a council seat in November. Planning and Transportation Commission Chair Ed Lauing has formally announced his candidacy for the council. Three other residents — author Julie Lythcott-Haims, Utilities Advisory Commissin member Lisa Forssell and Alex Comsa, a local realtor — filed papers indicating an intent to run for a council seat.

Candidates for the council have until Aug. 17 to file their nomination papers.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Gennady Sheyner
 
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 >>

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

Get uninterrupted access to important local city government news. Become a member today.

Stanford medical researcher seeks City Council seat

Hope Lancero looks to focus on affordable housing, constituent services

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Jul 6, 2022, 9:40 am

Hope Lancero, a medical researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine, has joined the race for a seat on the Palo Alto City Council with the goal of bringing more affordable housing to the city.

Lancero, a Long Beach native, moved to Palo Alto about 20 years ago and currently lives in the Evergreen Park neighborhood. She said that if elected, she would like to serve as the voice of the "disenfranchised," referring to people who feel priced out of the city. This extends to her Stanford colleagues and university students.

"I am surrounded by many people who tell me, 'We would live here but we just can't afford it. We could be just one step from being working homeless here,'" Lancero, 54, said in an interview.

Lancero is hoping to fill one of three seats that will open up at the end of the year. Council members Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth will both term out, while council member Alison Cormack has opted not to seek a second term on the seven-member council.

Lancero, whose job focuses on performing pediatric brain tumor research, acknowledges that she is new to politics. If elected, she said she would like to focus on constituent services and be the voice of people who aren't normally involved in politics. This could mean bringing attention to potholes that need to be repaired or areas that require cleanup.

She said she often hears from people who say they are dissatisfied by what their city is doing but don't believe that getting involved in local government would change anything. She is hoping to give these people a voice.

"I'm representing the people who don't vote but complain," Lancero said.

Lancero moved to the Bay Area to do her postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco. After a stint at Stanford, she had spent four years working at numerous small biotech firms before returning to Stanford earlier this year.

She said she has grown to love Palo Alto's "small-town feel" and enjoys running into her neighbors when shopping for groceries. She believes that in approving housing, the city should focus on options that would be affordable to families with children. Most of the houses that are getting built, she said, are far too expensive for anyone not working in the tech sector.

"The developers are building for the sake of developers," she said. "If they could develop so that we can actually afford to live in their developments, that would be awesome."

Lancero is part of a growing field of candidates seeking a council seat in November. Planning and Transportation Commission Chair Ed Lauing has formally announced his candidacy for the council. Three other residents — author Julie Lythcott-Haims, Utilities Advisory Commissin member Lisa Forssell and Alex Comsa, a local realtor — filed papers indicating an intent to run for a council seat.

Candidates for the council have until Aug. 17 to file their nomination papers.

Comments

William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2022 at 6:09 pm
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 6:09 pm

OMG! Another person who thinks they can "save the world" even if it's not remotely affordable. "god" help us. A solid Chicago School economics education should be necessary for anyone seeking political office.


Citizen
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2022 at 7:07 pm
Citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 7:07 pm

I would like to know what civic volunteering the candidates have been involved in, beyond what they did for their own self-interest. I appreciate Ms. Lancero's interest, but the City Council is already smaller than it used to be, and we don't need more people using it as a platform for airing views that could be done other ways. There is work to be done for the City. I appreciate that she and some of the other candidates are intelligent well-meaning people, but I would also appreciate seeing that they've spent some time understanding what it means to be in government service or even volunteering for civic benefit, such as Alison McCormack did before she ran. Even those with executive experience can have really unrealistic expectations or be lacking in understanding of what it takes to deal with and serve the general public, not just their own interests or constituencies.

Cutting their teeth volunteering for civic projects is usually one good sign, at least as far as this voter in concerned.

My question for Ms. Lancero would be -- and this is a sincere question -- I thought Stanford made affordable housing available for its employees? Or is it just some employees?


Please Don't
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jul 7, 2022 at 11:24 am
Please Don't, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2022 at 11:24 am

Affordable housing WILL NEVER be solved at the local level and needs to be addressed by the state and federal government. I'm getting tired of the "affordable housing" discussion. Also, I hear Bakersfield is affordable, go there if you want "affordable".


rita vrhel
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 7, 2022 at 7:42 pm
rita vrhel, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2022 at 7:42 pm

Is Stanford having their employees run for PA City Council so they can ensure housing for their employees rather than provide it on their own land?

Does not Stanford presently own 37 houses in College Terrace which are standing empty? Why not help solve the "housing crisis" by renting these units?

How many "ghost houses" are there in PA? And why isn't PA taxing all existing ghost houses?

Will new housing be purchased by Stanford and other investors and left empty, thereby defeating the entire purpose of building more housing?

Anyone know the answers to these questions?

Thank you.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 7, 2022 at 10:21 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2022 at 10:21 pm

@Rita, Excellent questions. And what's Stanford doing to maintain the properties it owns which may be occupied and poorly maintained?

I ask because last weekend we visited friends in College Terrace and were horrified to see how bare their previouslu beautiful back yard is now without all the trees that had to be were cut down due to Stanford failing to deal with the infected plantings on their property backing up thg yard of our friends.

Absolutely shameful.

Either way, elected official with Stanford ties must recuse themselves from voting on anything concerning Stanford and/or land use. I mean if someone who belongs to PAN (Palo Alto Neighborhoods) had to recuse himself from voting on Casti simplky because PAN once sent a letter on the issue so should Stanford affiliates.

Fair's fair, right?


mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jul 8, 2022 at 7:36 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 7:36 pm

Council member Tom Dubois used to have to recuse himself when any item involving Stanford came up because his former wife worked at Stanford. Since council has now been reduced to 7 members it would be a mistake to elect someone who couldn’t represent the interests of their Palo Alto constituents every time anything remotely involving Stanford is on the agenda.


JR
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Jul 8, 2022 at 8:27 pm
JR, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 8:27 pm

I humbly suggest that any Stanford employee should run for Stanford City Council rather than Palo Alto City Council. Of course, there is no such thing as "Stanford City Council", that is because Stanford is run as an unaccountable plutocracy.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2022 at 11:40 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2022 at 11:40 am

I always like to thank those willing to enter the race, willing to spend time to attempt to do a role that few of us are willing to undertake. I am also of the opinion that those who are not likely to be supported by developers and similar would be great candidates, provided they educate themselves on the hot topic issues around town.

Saying that, it does seem that someone from Stanford may have divided loyalties or at best not know enough about how non-Stanford Palo Alto works.

I look forward to more newcomers and thank those considering.


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 11, 2022 at 3:53 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 3:53 pm

I disagree with this person’s stances.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.