Birth of New Leaders & Engaged Residents

But after the unanimous council vote on high-speed rail in 2009 and outside the self-congratulation within the elements of the coalition that helped create that result, something very special was happening with our community.

A remarkable quartet of Palo Alto women, new to local civic matters as far as I knew, wanted to know more about this project that would cut through Palo Alto neighborhoods.

They focused on research, communication, and the public interest. Through their extraordinary efforts they educated and changed the minds of the entire council and directly influenced discourse on high-speed rail statewide. They are the founders of Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design (CARRD), local residents, change-agents.

And today, a large group of residents in Barron Park and Green Acres are adding their mark to the noble and long-standing Palo Alto tradition of stepping up to challenge assumptions, development pressures, and impropriety to keep this a desirable place to live.

There are familiar faces at the public points of those opposed to Measure D, but there is also a very large group of new ones, who are making a difference.

And the new neighborhood leaders from within this group are smart, engaged, quick learners, and determined.

As discussed, they hired a premier peer reviewer to assess the traffic analysis. His findings have already influenced the city, and if No on D wins, will not only stop one disputed analysis, but further assist the entire community to end the continuing stream of inadequate, incomplete traffic studies that never show impacts.

And reflect on and marvel at what the Maybell residents action group accomplished in their petition drives.

After final council approval of the PC at the end of June, they had just 30 days to collect 2,300 validated signatures to cancel the PC and bring it to the voters. They got 3,550.

Then they lost two weeks before deciding to start a second petition, to cancel another council action, the comprehensive plan change based on the PC. They did it again, bringing in 3,000 signatures.

The Comprehensive Plan item will not be on the ballot, as the city accepted the change. It was “non-determinative” the city attorney told the council. Or in plain English, and as explained earlier, as a charter city, Palo Alto legally does not have to pay attention to its comprehensive plan, so no need to place the matter on the ballot, just rescind the change.

Enhance the energy of the Maybell grass roots community


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