Santa Clara County

Local chapters

Santa Clara County is an international innovation hub, but is stuck in car-oriented land use policies from the 1950’s. A tradition of prioritizing spaces for cars instead of places for human beings has had devastating consequences: oppressive traffic, rampant displacement, and families forced to live in vehicles. It’s time to redesign cities to get our neighbors out of cars—and into homes in walkable, welcoming neighborhoods.

2020 presents an opportunity to defeat some high several high-profile NIMBYs and swing several cities to a pro-housing majority. South Bay YIMBY and Peninsula for Everyone collaborated to vet candidates from Gilroy to Palo Alto and are excited to support pro-housing challengers and incumbents throughout the county.

November 2020 Election Cheat Sheet

Explanations for endorsements are below.

California State Senate

District 15

✅ Dave Cortese
District 17

✅ John Laird

California State Assembly

District 24
✅ Marc Berman
District 25
✅ Alex Lee
District 30
✅ Robert Rivas

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors

District 3
✅ Otto Lee

California State Ballot Propositions

Supplemental endorsements by Peninsula for Everyone below
Prop 15
✅ Yes
Prop 19
✅ Yes

Regional Ballot Measures

Measure RR
✅ Yes

Campbell

City Council, District 1
✅ Anne Souza
City Council, District 2
✅ Sergio Lopez

Cupertino

City Council, At-large
✅ Hung Wei
✅ JR Fruen

Gilroy

City Council, At-large
✅ Rebeca Armendariz
✅ Zach Hilton

Mountain View

City Council, At-large
✅ Alex Núñes
✅ John Lashlee
✅ Pat Showalter
✅ Sally Lieber
Measure C
⛔ No

Palo Alto

City Council, At-large
✅ Cari Templeton
✅ Raven Malone
✅ Steven Lee

San Jose

City Council, District 4
✅ David Cohen
City Council, District 6
✅ Jake Tonkel

Santa Clara

City Council, District 5
✅ Suds Jain
City Council, District 6
✅ Anthony Becker

Sunnyvale

City Council, District 2
✅ Alysa Cisneros
City Council, District 6
Dual endorsement — vote for only one candidate
✅ Leia Mehlman
✅ Omar Din

* Endorsements marked with an asterisk are made by only by the local chapters. All other endorsements are from both the local chapter and YIMBY Action.

Endorsement Explainer

California State Senate

CA State Senate District 15

Dave Cortese

Dave Cortese is currently the County Supervisor for District 3 and serves as the Chair of the Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee. Two of his priorities for Santa Clara County have been focused on increasing affordable housing and finding solutions to homelessness. He has expressed support for housing along transit-corridors and voted for the CASA Compact, and is committed to expanding access to affordable housing.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

CA State Senate District 17

John Laird

Laird’s experience as an environmental champion gives us confidence he will be a leader on science-based climate policies. He knows housing and transportation policies are key elements to creating sustainable communities.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

California State Assembly

CA State Assembly District 25

Alex Lee

Alex Lee has worked as a Legislative Policy Advisor in the California State Senate and Assembly working on issues including housing, public safety, education and climate change. He believes housing is a human right and that the state must work towards building affordable housing faster, building stronger tenant protections, and take advantage of underused lots for mixed-use and mixed-income housing. He was a strong supporter of SB 50 and champions transit-oriented policies.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 30

Robert Rivas

For Assemblymember Rivas, housing is a personal issue: he grew up in farmworker housing. In 2019, his first year in the Assembly, he passed an important bill that sets quality standards for farmworker housing and makes it easier to build. This year, Rivas authored two housing streamlining bills, AB3153 and AB3155, and carried fourplex bill SB1120 in the Assembly.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

California State Ballot Propositions

✅ YES

Proposition 15: Schools and Communities First

Proposition 15 will get rid of property tax breaks for big businesses, and put billions of dollars towards schools and local services.

Currently, thanks to 1978’s Prop 13, owners pay property taxes based on the price they originally paid for that real estate—typically a lot less than what it’s worth today. Prop 15 will roll this back for many large businesses, raising property taxes to be assessed based on the property’s current (probably much higher) market value. Prop 15 will raise approximately $6.5 to $11.5 billion — 60% for cities, counties and special districts, and 40% for schools and community colleges. Homeowners and businesses with under $3 million in California property will be exempted, along with farm land.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY, Peninsula for Everyone, and YIMBY Action.

✅ YES

Proposition 16: Allows Affirmative Action

Proposition 16 would repeal a ban on affirmative action in public institutions that was enacted in 1996. Women and people of color still face discrimination in hiring, employment, contracting, and education. Prop 16 will enable government agencies to begin dismantling structural racism and sexism.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone.

✅ YES

Proposition 17: Allows Parolees Right to Vote

California has the opportunity to expand voting rights to people on parole with Proposition 17, something that is already legal in 19 other states. There are currently 50,000 Californians who have completed their prison sentences and can’t vote, which is a racist disenfranchisement of poor people and people of color who are more likely to be convicted of crimes and lose their voting rights. Furthermore, finding housing is often difficult for people who have completed their prison sentences, and they are then not even able to vote for politicians who can represent them and work to address their housing needs. YIMBYs are dedicated to promoting anti-racism and fair democratic representation, and Prop 17 would significantly advance both of those goals. We strongly recommend a YES vote on Proposition 17.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone.

✅ YES

Proposition 18: Expands Youth Voting

Prop 18 would allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries and special elections if they will turn 18 before the November election. Adults are more likely to be reliable voters if given the opportunity to vote as minor. Establishing greater voter participation among young people, who are disproportionately impacted by the housing and climate crises, is important for building this movement’s power.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone.

✅ YES

Proposition 19: Changes Some Property Tax Transfers and Exemptions

Proposition 19 adjusts the rules of 1978’s Proposition 13. While many YIMBYs would like to see major reform to Prop 13, this is a small adjustment to California’s property tax rules. Prop 19 reduces tax subsidies for people who inherit multiple homes, and shifts them to people downsizing homes or who are moving due to natural disasters. Any excess tax revenue from reducing the multiple-homes subsidy goes to wildfire protection.

Currently, for homeowners who want to downsize to a smaller home, if it costs more than the original price of their big home, they can end up paying more taxes (depending on their county’s rules). Prop 19 makes sure that people who are down-sizing homes are protected from tax increases. Ideally, this allows long-time homeowners to downsize and allow others who need more space to move into their larger homes. Prop 19 also extends to people who are moving due to natural disasters, so they don’t face a tax hike on top of the trauma of losing their homes.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY, Peninsula for Everyone, and YIMBY Action.

⛔ NO

Proposition 20: Increases Criminal Sentencing and DNA Collection

Proposition 20 would undermine criminal justice reforms and waste taxpayer money on prisons. Increased prison spending could force draconian cuts to rehabilitation, schools, mental health, and services for the unhoused. The harsh sentences of Prop 20 could put teenagers and people of color behind bars for years for low-level, non-violent crimes. Housing justice and criminal justice are linked: formerly incarcerated people are 10 times as likely to be homeless. California should be building homes, not prisons.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone.

✅ YES

Proposition 21: Expands Options for Local Rent Control

Prop 21 would help to provide more housing stability to Californians by giving cities more options to limit rent increases. Prop 21 sets sensible guardrails for rent stabilization by exempting small landlords with only one or two properties as well as new construction less than 15 years old. Ensuring housing stability is critical for homeless prevention and community wellness.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone.

⛔ NO

Proposition 22: Classifies Rideshare and Delivery Drivers as Contract Workers

Prop 22 would provide a special exemption to labor laws for app-based taxi and delivery services. Allowing app companies to use exploitative labor practices will contribute to increased ghgs and decreased transit ridership. Prop 22 is additionally concerning due to a requirement that future gig worker protections would require a 7/8ths majority to pass through the legislature.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone.

✅ YES

Proposition 25: Eliminates Cash Bail System

Proposition 25 replaces money bail with a risk assessment for suspects awaiting trial. Currently, if a person is unable to pay bail, they are incarcerated while awaiting trial. Money bail results in innocent low-income people being needlessly incarcerated. Incarceration, a risk factor for homelessness, should be reserved for violent offenses.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone.

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors

Supervisor District 3

Otto Lee

Otto Lee formerly served the City of Sunnyvale as a council member and Mayor. He wants his daughters to live in a more walkable, diverse, social neighborhood, which is why he supports upzoning in cities across Santa Clara County. He supports housing development on land owned by transit agencies like VTA and BART; and supports building more affordable housing county-wide.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Regional Ballot Measures

✅ YES

Measure RR

Measure RR is a ⅛ percent sales tax providing dedicated funding to save Caltrain from shutdown during Covid and to deliver more frequent service when the pandemic lifts, with better all-day, all-week service for commuting and many other types of trips, and better connections with other local and regional services, supporting an longterm 3-4x increase in ridership. Caltrain service is essential to address the housing shortage in our area – new housing for all income levels along the line from San Francisco through San Jose and Gilroy depend on continuing and improving Caltrain service.

Caltrain is also essential to environmental goals. Pre-Covid, Caltrain kept 4 lanes worth of cars off of freeways and roads, removing 400 million driving miles per year, which would grow by about 240 million with improvements funded by the tax, removing 110 additional metric tons of carbon emissions each day. While a sales tax is regressive, Measure RR would fund unprecedented new equity policies and programs to diversify Caltrain’s ridership. The grassroots support from YIMBY Action and other partners would likely be the margin of victory.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone, SF YIMBY, South Bay YIMBY, and YIMBY Action.

Campbell

Campbell City Council

District 1

Anne Souza

Anne Souza is a renter in Campbell, who wants her son to be able to afford to live in the area. She supports expanding affordable housing; supportive housing with wrap-around services for formerly homeless neighbors; rent control and banning evictions due to the pandemic; and wants to expand Campbell’s safe parking program.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Campbell City Council

District 2

Sergio Lopez

Sergio Lopez has experience at all levels of government and currently serves as an elected delegate to the California Democratic Party. He supported Senator Wiener’s SB 50; supports finding county and state legislation to increase funding for affordable housing; and wants to see Campbell integrate public transit into their land use and housing decisions.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Cupertino

Cupertino City Council

At-large

Hung Wei

Hung Wei believes an inclusive city offers housing options for all. She supports partnerships with nonprofits to provide assistance to RV/vehicle dwellers; a regional structure to support transit; and tenant protection ordinances like Right of Return and Relocation Assistance. If elected, she will leverage state housing laws to challenge the current no-growth mindset of the Cupertino City Council.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Cupertino City Council

At-large

JR Fruen

J.R. Fruen is a co-founder of Cupertino for All, and wants future generations to be able to thrive in Cupertino. He supports missing middle housing in single-family neighborhoods; increasing in-lieu developer fees to support affordable housing; and establishing navigation centers to help RV dwellers access resources and find permanent housing. If elected, he would be the only renter on the Council.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Gilroy

Gilroy City Council

At-large

Rebeca Armendariz

Rebeca Armendariz wants everyone to be able to afford to live in Gilroy. She supports a commercial linkage fee to fund affordable housing; just cause evictions and rent stabilization; and safe parking programs. She sees the future California HSR station as a big opportunity for Gilroy to build transit-oriented development.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Gilroy City Council

At-large

Zach Hilton

Zach Hilton believes in an affordable Gilroy for all. He welcomes city-wide rezoning; supports a Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance; and plans to introduce both TOD and TDM ordinances if elected. Zach also helped develop AB 3153 (Rivas), which would have allowed developers to reduce parking minimums in exchange for long-term bike parking. Zach is a member of South Bay YIMBY.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Mountain View

Mountain View City Council

At-large

Alex Núñes

Alex Núñez is a strong housing and anti-displacement advocate in Mountain View. He supports building affordable housing for low- and middle-income workers; exploring additional business taxes to support BMR construction; and a strong Right of Return policy coupled with No-Net-Loss development standards.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Mountain View City Council

At-large

John Lashlee

John Lashlee is an experienced housing and tenants’ rights advocate. He believes in an “all of the above” strategy to aggressively build public and private housing; supports expanding Mountain View’s head tax to fund affordable housing; and supports renters’ access to legal representation during eviction proceedings.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Mountain View City Council

At-large

Pat Showalter

Pat Showalter is a former Mountain View City Council member with experience advocating for housing. She supports streamlining the entitlement and permitting process; finding additional funding sources for affordable housing; and rent control protections for mobile home communities. Pat is active on the League of Women Voter’s Housing Committee and the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Housing.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Mountain View City Council

At-large

Sally Lieber

Sally Lieber is an experienced local politician and former State Assemblywoman. She supports plex-zoning citywide; increased funding for affordable housing through bonds, land banks, and public/private partnerships; and wants to see rent control expanded to protect mobile home communities.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

⛔ NO

Measure C

Measure C, the “Narrow Streets Oversize Vehicle Parking Ordinance,” is an RV parking ban on nearly all Mountain View streets. It displaces many families living in street-parked RVs who are among the essential workers supporting our community. For those who cannot afford apartment rents, RVs provide shelter from wind, cold, and the COVID-19 virus.

Opposed by South Bay YIMBY, Peninsula for Everyone, and YIMBY Action.

Palo Alto

Palo Alto City Council

At-large

Cari Templeton

Our members strongly support Palo Alto Planning Commission Chair Cari Templeton!

Few housing projects have come to the Commission during Cari’s tenure. She understands structural changes are imperative to get affordable housing into Palo Alto’s pipeline.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone and YIMBY Action.

Palo Alto City Council

At-large

Raven Malone

We’re thrilled to support Raven Malone’s candidacy. Raven came to politics through the Black Lives Matter movement and is pushing for climate justice action. Raven is determined to right systemic injustices in Palo Alto’s zoning code.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone and YIMBY Action.

Palo Alto City Council

At-large

Steven Lee

Candidate Steven Lee will be a strong voice for diversity and inclusion.

As a renter, Steven understands the consequences of Palo Alto’s inaction on housing issues, and will work to undo the city’s legacy of exclusion.

Endorsed by Peninsula for Everyone and YIMBY Action.

San Jose

San Jose City Council

District 4

David Cohen

David Cohen is a member of the Berryessa Union School District Board and has seen how San Jose’s lack of affordable housing has impacted teachers in the district. He supports expanding opportunity housing city-wide; strengthening San Jose’s mobile home conversion ordinance; and wants the city to focus on infill development.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

San Jose City Council

District 6

Jake Tonkel

Jake Tonkel has a vision for thriving, inclusive neighborhoods in San Jose. He supports opportunity housing city-wide and protections for low-income renters; a higher commercial linkage fee to fund affordable housing; and access to attorneys for renters facing eviction.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Santa Clara

Santa Clara City Council

District 5

Suds Jain

Suds Jain is an experienced planning commissioner who has consistently fought for more deeply-affordable housing. He supports updating Santa Clara’s outdated zoning codes; safe parking programs; and has pushed for BRT lanes on El Camino Real. Suds is a member of South Bay YIMBY.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Santa Clara City Council

District 6

Anthony Becker

Anthony Becker wants to see more affordable housing built in Santa Clara and will bring the voice of renters to City Council. He supports rent control and safe parking programs, and has advocated for more LGBTQ+ homeless support centers and housing.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale City Council

District 2

Alysa Cisneros

Alysa Cisneros is running “to build a Sunnyvale for all.” She believes in enhancing tenant protections (like expanding Ab 1482’s just cause eviction protections); exploring safe parking programs; and expanding shelter capacities. She is committed to holding Sunnyvale accountable for market-rate and affordable home construction.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Sunnyvale City Council

District 6 – Dual Endorsement (vote for only one candidate)

Leia Mehlman

Leia Mehlman is also running for Sunnyvale City Council in District 6. As a mobile home owner renting the lot she lives on, she supports a city-wide rent control measure to stabilize lot rents. She believes in more affordable housing; supports upzoning; and supports safe parking programs.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

Sunnyvale City Council

District 6 – Dual Endorsement (vote for only one candidate)

Omar Din

Omar Din is running for Sunnyvale City Council in District 6. “I am fighting for an affordable Sunnyvale because after graduating college, I found myself priced out of my hometown.” He supports upzoning all of Sunnyvale; expanding just cause eviction protections; and wants Sunnyvale to be a walkable city.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.