The Environmental Candidate

I’ve been an environmental activist for decades. When a major housing development was planned next to my favorite spot for wildlife photography (Coyote Hills), I got involved and eventually decided to run for the Fremont City Council.

My undergraduate degree is in Zoology with an emphasis on environmental science. I learned about anthropogenic climate change and accepted it as fact back in the 80’s.

I became a leader in the local Sierra Club group in 2001. I took on various leadership roles in the Club such as the SF Bay Chapter Executive Committee and Political Committee until I was elected to the Fremont City Council in 2012. It was through my work with the Sierra Club that I understood the importance of getting environmentalists into elected office.

Northern Shoveler

In 2006, I worked with the Sierra Club and other environmentalists to try to stop a giant housing project called Patterson Ranch directly next to Coyote Hills Regional Park. This was personal to me as I regularly enjoyed doing wildlife photography at the park. (The photos here are all mine from Coyote Hills.) We gathered signatures and got a resolution on the ballot to limit development next to the park. Unfortunately, we were outspent 16 to 1 and lost.

Anna’s Hummingbird

The Patterson Ranch property owners donated tens of thousands of dollars to the then serving City Council members. Not surprisingly, the Council approved a General Plan Amendment that increased the number of homes allowed on the Patterson property to over 500. At that moment, the value of the land increased by literally hundreds of millions of dollars. Seeing this pay-to-play scheme in action infuriated me and led me to run for City Council myself.

As a Councilmember, I advocated for more affordable, sustainable, walkable communities instead of the auto-oriented rows of expensive town homes and sprawling neighborhoods that Fremont has seen too much of. I argued for stronger solar regulations and solar-friendly building design. I brought a referral to protest the dangerous oil rail cars that were coming through Fremont. I also championed improvements to our bicycle lane infrastructure.

I represented Fremont on many regional environmental boards such as East Bay Clean Energy, StopWaste, San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority,  and the Liaison Committee to the East Bay Regional Park District.

Red-tailed Hawk

I was also proud to work for several years at Save the Bay before I served on the City Council. The story of the three women who founded it back in 1961 is fascinating. We coordinated a lot of tree plantings and trash pickups.

Song Sparrow

I’m an avid cyclist, grow a lot of organic food in my backyard, and do what Ican to live in an environmentally responsible manner.

I’m actually a second generation environmentalist. My father was an environmental engineer before they used that term. He was named Engineering News Record’s man of the year in 1967 for his work in Chicago. He was the father of the deep tunnel project that greatly reduced the amount of pollution going into Lake Michigan.

If elected to be the next Mayor of Fremont, I will once again work hard to make Fremont a greener city that does its part to combat global climate change.

Long-billed Dowitcher