PASZ Endorses Four for Palo Alto City Council:
Tom DuBois, Eric Filseth, Karen Holman and Lydia Kou
Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning (PASZ), a grassroots organization dedicated to advocacy on land use, parking and transportation issues, has endorsed four candidates for the Palo Alto City Council: three first-time candidates and one incumbent.
The fresh voices are first-time candidates Tom DuBois of Midtown, Eric Filseth of Downtown North, and Lydia Kou of Barron Park. All three have demonstrated meaningful and effective advocacy on important Palo Alto land use and other civic issues.
The fourth PASZ-endorsed candidate, incumbent Karen Holman, has been a consistent advocate in support of residents during her term on the City Council as well as during her eight years on the Planning & Transportation Commission.
“Recently, there’s been a lot not to like about the density trends in Palo Alto. I support just these four candidates because I trust them to reverse the trend of overly dense development and hostile architecture, and to protect the quality of life that makes living in Palo Alto worthwhile,” said PASZ board member, Joe Hirsch.
The PASZ endorsement of DuBois, Filseth, Kou and Holman is the result of a vote of the membership with more than 90% of those participating voting in favor of endorsing the four candidates.
During the past year, DuBois, Filseth and Kou were all involved in the successful referendum that overturned the Council-approved Planned Community (PC) zoning district for the Maybell Avenue site. The PC rezoning would have created high-density housing in a residential neighborhood along a crowded “safe route to schools”. Since then, DuBois, Filseth, and Kou have each continued to engage in notable civic efforts on behalf of Palo Alto residents.
Outspent 12-to-1 and with no endorsements from Council members, elected officials, or political or civic organizations, the citywide neighbor-to-neighbor “VoteAgainstD” campaign was endorsed by the local press and won by a resounding 13 percentage point vote spread.
In view of that clear expression of residents’ displeasure with zoning exemptions being granted by the City Council, the Jay Paul Company withdrew its PC application for a huge office complex on 395 Page Mill that would have added 311,000sf on a fully-developed site already having a 211,000sf building, and developer John Arrilliaga never formally filed an application for his plans for four office towers on 27 University Avenue, the current site the MacArthur Park restaurant. City Council’s discussions of the Arrilliaga plans were the subject of a Santa Clara County Civic Grand Jury investigation, which found that those discussions failed to meet the expectations of transparency required of local legislative bodies by failure to engage the public at the proper time.