PALO ALTO — The following announcement is from the office of Palo Alto City Councilmember Greg Lin Tanaka.
With 100% of votes reported, Councilmember Tanaka wins re-election for another four years on the Palo Alto City Council. Tanaka shook up the race by holding his seat against both a progressive newcomer slate and the residentialist slate, in a contentious and expensive Palo Alto election.
With a population of fewer than 70,000 residents, Palo Alto sets the bar high for a small city with its cutthroat election tactics and fundraising. The long-standing struggle between “pro-housing” and “residentialists” has increased fundraising competition during the past several elections. This year, the progressive newcomer slate and the residentialist slate raised a reported $330,000 combined so far for 2020, nearly quadrupling the amount of Tanaka campaign contributions.
The Tanaka campaign ran independently without pooled resources from the slates and without political consultants, making his campaign 100% volunteer-powered. Although his resources were limited, he persevered through the race with over 400 endorsers, the most of any candidate, and maintained his seat on City Council.
“I owe much of the campaign success to my team of over 80 volunteers and Palo Alto residents,” said Tanaka. “My legislative aides have helped me reach out to the community extensively with office hours nearly every week for the last four years, inspiring me to make City Hall work for everyone.”
Tanaka endured negative campaign ads, personal attacks and a failed complaint to the Fair Political Practices Commission, all in an effort to discredit his candidacy. Instead, his campaign remained transparent and loyal to shared community values with no negative campaigning. The Tanaka campaign received 100% of donations from community stakeholders in Palo Alto, without resorting to hiding any contributions behind independent expenditures.
“I understand the dissatisfaction citizens may have with our government,” said Tanaka. “Whether you supported my campaign or not, I am a councilmember for everyone and will work to bridge any division that exists between our residents and our elected officials.”
Since being elected to City Council in 2016, Tanaka has helped with pension reform and worked to minimize city tax and fee increases. As a councilmember during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tanaka championed downtown street closures to cars and parklets for restaurants and business grants for store-front businesses.
Tanaka hopes to help revitalize Palo Alto’s local economy with a recovery plan that meets this year’s unprecedented challenges while also preserving the city’s quality of life. Through his regular office hours every Sunday, Tanaka plans to prioritize constituent services in order to make City Hall more inclusive and representative of the city’s diverse community.
The latest results from the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. The top four candidates were elected.
Patrick Burt 13.35% 14,353
Lydia Kou* 12.49% 13,424
Greg Lin Tanaka* 12.02% 12,920
Greer Stone 11.17% 12,005
Ed Lauing 10.38% 11,163
Raven Malone 10.05% 10,804
Steven Lee 9.58% 10,299
Carolyn Templeton 9.22% 9,912
Rebecca Eisenberg 7.25% 7,793
Ajit Varma 4.51% 4,845
The Pan- Asian community here is diverse and nuanced and does not support Tanaka uniformly.
He would be more credible if he had aided the Yamamoto initiative.