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Priority Setting Meeting

From: domainremoved <David>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 09:30:26 -0800

*Dear Mayor Ohtaki and Councilmembers, I understand that you are discussing
the Council’s workplan for the year today. Unfortunately I won’t be there
as I will be at the office. I would like to provide my thoughts by email. I
would like to see the Council take up the affordable housing shortage. I
understand that the Council has many priorities and the staff is limited.
This is a major issue impacting the ability for people to live and work in
the area. Like transportation, housing is an issue that affects all cities
in the Bay Area. It’s a question of equity that has not been sufficiently
addressed in most cities, including Menlo Park. I read the results of the
recent Godbe city survey; people are concerned about housing, as well as
other related issues. There has been a lot of talk about the library (or
libraries). While opinions differ on whether we need a new library and what
should go into and around this new library, one thing is clear: this is
public land. The architects at these meetings proposed library options with
30-40 units of affordable housing- which could really help.Although the
library might not be the first place you think of when you think about
affordable housing, it could be a great opportunity to show Menlo Park as a
forward thinking place. Every day people leave this city because they can’t
afford to live here. Every day people struggle to get out of their
neighborhoods because of the traffic. Let’s find more opportunities,
library or no library, to build near public transit, and to build quality
housing as quickly as possible. As a renter, I am particularly concerned
with making sure our city does everything it can to prevent stark economic
disparities--something it has little control over-- from eroding the fabric
of our communities. It can do that by making housing a priority.In closing,
I support the argument of the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo
County and others that the maximum number of housing units should be
increased in the Downtown Specific Plan. There are so many people who have
planning expertise and a strong interest in making Menlo Park into a model
city for walkability, environmental stewardship, and equity- so let’s
listen to them and make these priorities the Council’s priorities this
year. Thank you for your kind attention and the work you put in to make
Menlo Park so great,David Payne Hirsch*

*David Payne Hirsch*
Received on Mon Jan 29 2018 - 09:33:53 PST

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