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Re: Agenda Item I3 - Please Do Not Hire Bryan Lanza!

From: domainremoved <Jennifer>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2017 19:00:43 -0700

Hello again,

Per my NextDoor post below, I realize that this is a complex issue, and I
thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration of what's at stake.

Sincerely,
Jen

I have learned more since first posting: Menlo Park wants federal funds
allocated to the Dumbarton Corridor project. Given that California is low
on the priority list (extreme understatement) for the Trump administration,
it appears unlikely that the federal government will just "give" money to
our area. So, to increase our extremely low odds, Menlo Park wants to hire
a firm that has close connections to Trump who can "sell" our community's
needs with the hopes of getting funds. Apparently, without this insider
connection, Menlo Park stands little to no chance of getting the
Administration's attention and funding. Following this logic, it therefore
makes sense that the "best" person to hire for this is someone like Bryan
Lanza, a true Trump guy. Only someone of the same political make-up as
Trump could get close enough to the President to be influential. Assuming
that the above information is true, and it's really about either hiring a
Trump insider, or sitting in traffic indefinitely (the current positioning
of the issue), we must consider: For those of us who are opposed to hiring
Mercury/Bryan Lanza, are we opposed to any Washington lobbying firm, any
Trump-leaning Washington lobbying firm, Mercury or Bryan Lanza? Is it the
individual, the firm or just the concept of lobbying in general that upsets
us? If we are opposed to Bryan Lanza, or Mercury or a Trump-insider firm,
but we're ok with lobbyists, does it make sense to go with a firm/someone
who is more palatable, but probably less effective? If we're hiring someone
for access, and we hire someone with less access because they are not as
Trump-like, does that make sense? If we're not ok with lobbyists, or the
system of influence ($$), are we ok accepting that we may not get any
federal funding in the near future (at least while Trump is in office)? As
we all know, traffic is a nightmare, and infrastructure dollars are
needed...are we willing to sacrifice congestion relief for our values? If
we decide to go for it and hire Bryan Lanza because we are desperate for
congestion relief and federal infrastructure dollars, and we don't actually
get the results we want (there are no guarantees that this lobbying effort
will work - it's a gamble), how will we feel? Will it have been worth it to
those of us who have serious concerns about this? I once interviewed for a
company whose biggest client was a tobacco company. The owner asked me if I
had issues with that. I told the owner that I was staunchly opposed to
smoking and the tobacco industry and that I could not work for this client.
On the way home from the interview I had second thoughts (this was during
the recession and I needed a job!) and I called and left a message that I
was willing to do it. I still didn't get the job. I felt like I sold my
soul...for nothing. It was a personal lesson to stick to my values. I
wanted to send this follow-up to illustrate the issues/values at stake.
This is complex. Please consider these carefully and let City Council know
what you think (city.council_at_(domainremoved)
discussion on this topic will be very interesting.

On Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 12:33 PM, Jennifer Wolosin <jenwolosin_at_(domainremoved)
wrote:

> Dear City Council Members,
>
> As much as I want the City of Menlo Park to be well-informed and
> well-positioned to received the most state and federal funding as possible,
> I am deeply disturbed by the idea of having Bryan Lanza, former Trump
> Campaign AND Citizens United Communications Director on the City's payroll.
> Please DO NOT move forward with Staff's recommendation to contact with
> Mercury.
>
> Sincerely,
> Jen Wolosin
> Menlo Park Resident
>
Received on Fri Nov 03 2017 - 19:05:26 PDT

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