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Cupertino Mayor Darcy Paul State of the City Address

January 31, 2018
Cupertino Mayor Darcy Paul
State of the City Address
The program for our upcoming meeting on the 31st will be Cupertino Mayor Darcy Paul 's State of the City Address at a joint City of Cupertino, Cupertino Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Cupertino event which will be held at the Quinlan Community Center. 

My Fellow Residents and Friends of Cupertino,
Good evening.  Here to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance this evening is
Alison Paul:
Thank you, Alison.  I appreciate you and your sister Annabel being here
this evening to support Dad.
Earlier today afternoon, I spoke to the importance of sustaining a culture
of volunteerism.  Tonight I’d like to cover a few issues of interest to our
residents.  I’d like to address a couple of larger questions of the day.  
Basically, I’d like this address to be the opposite of what we think of as
political verbiage.
With this backdrop and context, and general aim, I’d like to continue the
address this evening with several selected issues of relevance to my
fellow residents of Cupertino, and these issues, by virtue of our basic
interconnectedness, which of course of late has received a number of
upgrades in quality and speed, are ones that affect, and are affected by, a
much wider community.
Before I move into the evening speech, I’d like to introduce again our
Cupertino City Council: In addition to myself, we have Vice‐Mayor Rod
Sinks… Councilmember Barry Chang… Councilmember Savita
Vaidhyanathan… and Councilmember Steven Scharf.
And our executive staff members: City Manager David Brandt… City
Attorney Randy Hom… Assistant City Manager/Community Development
Director Aarti Shrivastava… Public Works Director Timm Borden…
Administrative Services Director Kristina Alfaro… Innovation and
Technology Director Bill Mitchell… and Recreation and Community
Services Director Jeff Milkes.
One of the issues that gets frequent attention in Cupertino is
development and what to do with particular spaces.  This past year, we
held a speaker‐series of panels addressing retail, housing, and transit.  
This was, all in all, a well‐received effort by our City to bring forth to the
community a discussion‐based format for considering the various issues
that we face with developing our spaces.  A particularly significant space
is the Vallco Shopping Mall, which has been there since the Fall of 1976.
This is an interesting year, as it happens also to be the year that Apple
was founded… and the year I was born.  Well, our community in the sum
totality of it enjoyed the informative aspects of the discussions.  We were
able to see experts interact in detail under some understandable and
intuitive propositions, namely, that retail is in a state of flux, housing is in
demand, and that traffic is getting worse.
Retail is an interesting topic, made further interesting with respect to
Cupertino by the fact that we are Apple’s hometown.  Extraordinary
things happen here which have had worldwide repercussions in the
presentation of modern cutting‐edge products.  The first iterations of the
Apple stores existed in Cupertino.  It’s fascinating to think about how,
when you drive around our City, any number of interesting things are
happening that may well have a significant and, we hope, beneficial
impact on the planet and our fellow inhabitants.  Money as a tool seems
like it’s here to stay, and by extension, retail is something that we should
keep considering.  Certainly, smart phones have taken a strong hold.
But maybe the whole idea should be to slow things down and to take our
time.  Let things breathe.  Give us space.  It is fascinating, indeed.  Maybe
we can think about our modern capabilities and come up with some
really extraordinary retail experiences in Cupertino that end up becoming
widespread.  Maybe we can promote clean‐energy usage through our use
of space.  Maybe we can think about how we take yesterday’s garage and
perhaps supplement it, perhaps re‐imagine it.  I don’t know.  But
something tells me that we’re sitting on an opportunity to work with our
hometown advantages.
And I appreciate that this opportunity is not one that exists in the
absence of well‐resourced interests.  We have done fantastically well
economically.  Successful economics really comes down to maintaining
integrity in a few basic trust‐based relationships.  You trust your
government not to misuse the resources that you give it.  I know, some
people find that humorous.  But really, that’s critical.  Some will tell you
that you should always let people behave however they feel like
behaving, and that the so‐called free market will figure it all out.  That’s
just obviously and completely wrong.  We have figured out by now that
some of the well‐resourced, if not held to account, will use their
resources in order to get what they want irrespective of particular
considerations.  Some of these considerations are quite important.  And
so, what I’d like to do here is simply make clear the basic considerations
behind, first, what seem to me after several years of eva luating
community feedback some of the key considerations of our community,
and second, my own sense of what’s practical, responsible, and keeping
with our historical norms which are, in fact, quite good.
First, my preferences:  In real estate, as we know, the comps are
important.  For Vallco, there happens to be a convenient comparable just
north of there in Apple Park.  The Vallco space sits on approximately 58
acres. Apple Park sits on approximately 176 acres.  The amount of
square‐footage of developed space that Apple has made is approximately
3,621,000 square feet.  Translated to 58 acres, this is a floor‐area ratio, if
you will, of approximately 1.2 million square feet, which is actually quite
a coincidence because that’s the square‐footage of Vallco Mall.  That’s
where I get my personal preference for square‐footage.  And I think
square‐footage is a pretty valid way of considering the overall feel and
effect of a space.
True, there are ways to make a given amount of square‐footage feel
substantially different, but insofar as the potential openness and
opportunities to interconnect with the natural ecology are concerned,
you start with a minimal footprint and you work upward from there.  
Actually, in 2009, when I first ran for City Council in Cupertino, I held a
campaign right across Tantau in what is now the midst of Apple Park.  It’s
a building occupied now by Panasonic.  I knew one of the people
developing the building.  They spent a substantial amount of resources
and commitments to what we think of as green building, and also
Not everyone knows this, but our Valley once was at the forefront of the
country insofar as the density of Superfund sites needing environmental
reclamation were concerned.  This is because, in the early days of chip
manufacturing, the disposal of materials was shall we say somewhat
more casually regulated.  No one argues these days that burying toxic
waste near and in the middle of residential areas is not a great thing.  
And this also is what I mean by the fact that we do need some oversight,
it just needs to be informed and intelligent.  Anyway, the developers of
this building were spending a lot of resources to make sure that the
building was very green, and that the soil reclamation was thorough, with
a couple of different pump‐and‐cleaning systems on site that you
wouldn’t even notice were there unless someone told you about them.  It
was at that time that I held a campaign event at this site to highlight
these efforts.  And I’m so pleased now, almost a decade later, that we
have a space in town that is not merely carbon neutral, it will generate
more electricity than it uses, it has real open space, and it is being used
for the good purpose of continuing the excellent work set forth by one of
our hometown companies.  
Of course, that space is not in its entirety open to the general public.  
However, due to the efforts of the company and, I think, some
encouragement by our Council and public, we do have a Visitors Center
for Apple that is completely unique, and which is a part of the new
campus.  Through this experience and general observation, I think that it
does take a fair bit of thought and organization and effort to consider
how we use the best of our knowledge to keep our spaces
interconnected to the ecology as well as aesthetically functional.  A lot of
that work is delivered by our City.  And I’d like to take this opportunity to
thank our Planning Commissioners some of whom are in attendance this
evening: Don Sun is the Chair, Geoff Paulsen is the Vice‐Chair, and Jerry
Liu, David Fung, and Alan Takahashi are also in attendance this evening.  
Thank you for the volunteer work that you do in balancing the requests
of applicants and the input that we get from the community; this project
is one of many.
But as I say, much if not all of the nitty‐gritty of the detailed work here is
delivered by our professional City staff.  While putting together this
address, I did put in a few late nights and early mornings at City Hall.  It’s
true, on perhaps one or two occasions, I ended up leaving maybe around
6 in the morning.  But you know, on one of those occasions, I ran into one
of our building inspectors getting ready for work and arriving at City Hall.  
Our staff has people who have worked so well and with so much quiet
integrity not just now or for the Apple Campus project, but throughout
the City, from Public Works to our Parks, and from keeping our records in
order to making sure that everyone adheres to building standards.  I
know that it’s not always pleasant, but it needs to be done, and of course
there is always room for improvement.  From what I’ve seen, there is a
willingness to improve, and there is certainly a great deal of good work
being delivered.  And I think that our staff should really be given credit
for all that they do here.  Please, give them all a hand.
Vallco Shopping Mall is 1.2 million square feet of retail.  While it’s
probably true that the retail experience can be informed by current
capabilities and even improved while saving some space, it would also
seem apparent that some reasonably substantial amount of space is still
necessary for the quality of our modern‐day retail experiences.  True, as
all of our other capabilities have been informed by experience and
ingenuity, so has the design of our interior and interactive areas.  It’s not
too much to ask, however, that we preserve half of what is there now for
retail, and it seems to me that we have a landowner and staff committed
to ensuring that this happens.  Retail connects to quality of experience.
I ask that we look to some of the standards set by Apple for trying to
define how we approach retail.  Let’s use some creativity and imagination
as well as some good anticipation as to what we can deliver.  People
obviously still need recreational activities such as, for example, ice
skating, bowling, and going to the theater.  Health and fitness are very
important, and it’s always unfortunate to see those types of
opportunities disappear.  But what can we do with all this knowledge that
we’ve gathered, and all of this capability that we’ve gained?  The richest
person in the world owns a company that aspires in not too much of a
stretch to deliver consumer products ordered on the internet within the
same day.  We’ve come quite a ways from the Sears and Roebuck
catalog, and perhaps this is the right time and place to be asking
ourselves whether we can meld the elements of the mall, which was also
quite the step away from the mail‐order catalog, with our new
capabilities.  Is it all experiential?  At the very least, our spaces would
seem to be able to be utilized more efficiently.  And this is the
strangeness of it all.  One would think that with all this time that we are
saving, and with all this space we are also saving, that we should be a lot
more free to do the things that we enjoy within spaces that can better
address what we all want to see.  What is it that’s happening here?  Why
are we even busier and more congested, to the extent that we are?  We
need to ask, first, whether it’s possible to achieve our preferences, and if
we do that in a positive fashion, then answer the question of what we
need to do to get to that point.  In my opinion, if anyone is looking to
build a legacy, a testimony to their time on this planet and their
contributions to their fellow human being, then that would be the couple
of standards to follow.  For me, the limits of freedom and functionality
would seem to be around 1.2 million square feet.  I’d like to see incubator
space and clean‐technology development.  But then, what does that
leave out, if we’re talking about retail and office?
Right, residential space.  The issue here is that the utilized office space
constructed not just here but throughout the area has created the need
for housing for people who work in these spaces.  A numerical metric
that is very useful in determining whether a given jurisdiction is balanced
in this regard is known as the jobs‐to‐housing ratio.  This ratio is a factor
used by ABAG to help determine what our responsible allocation of
housing is for a given seven‐year period of time, the current
implementation period of which runs from 2015 to 2023. A 1.5 ratio of
jobs‐to‐housing is considered good.  If, for every one‐and‐a‐half jobs we
have one unit of housing, that’s considered a good mix.  It helps to
account for living space being in close enough proximity to jobs such that
workers have a place to live close by, if they choose to live close by.  True,
not everyone takes this option, but from a quantifiable perspective, if you
adhere to these proportions, you can have the overall benefits of
available and appropriate spaces complementing each other.  Now, when
this proportion gets out of balance and in favor of too many jobs, then
you tend to see housing shortages and increased traffic patterns.  And I
will concede that no metric is perfect and that our jurisdictional borders
are not necessarily the be all and end all of defining how we apply this
analysis in looking at needs.  However, the data is real, it has good utility,
nothing is perfect, anything can get better, and this gives us a tangible
message with observable repercussions that are and will continue to be
experienced.  If you eva luate these ratios in any given City in this area,
you will see that there is indeed a fair reflection of housing demand as
well as impacts on traffic.  Office space corresponds for obvious reasons
to jobs.  Generally, calculations that translate office space to jobs range
from 250 to 300 square feet of office space per job.  But in actuality,
calculations of jobs in the jobs‐to‐housing ratio don’t strictly go by square
footage; the numbers that are used are actual, or derived from this and
other data that get as close to actual as possible.  And so, where is it that
Cupertino stands in this regard?  Let’s take a look at this question both
historically and with respect to our neighboring jurisdictions. [TABLE] As
you can see, Cupertino has historically been quite responsible insofar as
meeting our obligations to the larger community where keeping our
number of jobs and housing units balanced.  You can see that in the last
year where we have census data available, 2010, that our jobs‐to‐housing
ratio stood at 1.29. However, our best projections for 2040 have
increased since that time.  It’s not at a point where anyone can justifiably
say that we’re at a critical level where drastic measures must be taken,
but the data is telling us that we should pay more attention to ensuring
that our housing stock keeps in balance with our job growth.  We are
projected at this point, if no housing units are added, to be at a ratio of
approximately 1.66 to 1 in the year 2040.
This is what I find interesting and informative about this data.  If you look
at it, it’s not really just a reflection of how many jobs we have and how
many homes we have.  It’s also a reflection of our approach as a
community.  Certainly, we can point and compare with other
communities and rationalize, but instead we tend to take the approach
that we take care of meeting our obligations responsibly so that when
future opportunities arise, we’re prepared, thoroughly, to optimize those
opportunities.  That’s why I’m not really making any kind of personal
policy decisions here.  My job in this elected capacity is in large part to
reflect and continue our community approach, particularly in those areas
where we’ve been historically successful.  That’s why, from a policy‐
based position albeit just in reflection of my one vote in five, it seems to
me that we should be focused on housing at this point.  The circumstances are not dire.  But certainly the time to act would be at this
point.  And, of course, our problems are ones that have been created by
success.  We can absolutely build upon that success, but let’s not do it in
a vacuum devoid of adherence to the good thinking and approaches that
got us here in the first place.  As far as I’m concerned, Cupertino should
continue to meet its responsible obligations to the greater community
CUPERTINO STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS 2018 while looking out for the interests of its residents.  And the pathway to
doing so in the context of how we approach development in the
relatively near term is quite clear and achievable.  Living spaces represent
quite the exciting opportunity to explore what we know and how we live.  
And the same goes for retail.  One way to think about retail is quite
straightforward – how would you like to spend your money?  And it
seems that we do like our theater, and would even appreciate a greater
variety of them insofar as selections of offerings and ability to put forth
live performances are concerned, our ice rink, our bowling alleys, and our
physical fitness facilities.  There does seem to be a longing in our
community for spaces to connect us with what we think of as the
traditional retail activity of purchasing consumer goods.  But where is the
balance these days when we in the totality are such savvy and steady
customers?  Ultimately, the industry will need to meet this demand for
higher quality, which in the final analysis, is a good thing.  We have a
company within our borders that does this, and now we have an
opportunity to open our doors again to retail that takes into account and
makes good use of enhanced abilities, first, to save space because
anyone with a smartphone can shop for virtually anything and, second, to
save even more space because our delivery capabilities allow us to store
goods more cost‐effectively.  But these factors should all be balanced
with each other.  I’m certain that an ecosystem of possibilities still allows
for people who are clever and committed enough, and mostly committed
enough, to deliver a fantastic traditional retail experience.  If we want to
support more of what we’d like to see, then please put forth the
suggestions as to who we look to bring into the community in this regard.  
And support them with your time and consideration.  After all, the free‐
market is nonetheless quite powerful, and we can apply what we’ve
learned empirically over the years to better harness the benefits that
come when you provide people freedom to take action and make choices
within a fair and efficient framework.  With our modern knowledge and
historical wisdom, looking at this optimistically, Cupertino does have a
number of options here as we proceed carefully to envision space that
meets our aspirations and obligations.
Before we move on to the next topic, I did want to share something with
you. When we speak of development in Cupertino, the opening of Apple
Park not only created a buzz locally, but also globally.  I’d like to share this
video from our neighbor and hometown company, Apple…
And so, Apple has put forth a remarkable space within our borders, one
that we hope will support its endeavors and speak to the interests of the
broader – much broader – community for many years into the future.  
We’ll be there to support these efforts.  We get that this is a publicly‐
traded corporation but a corporation nonetheless that has shareholder
interests to bear in mind.  But like our Chamber of Commerce, which has
its legal reason for existence advocacy to our jurisdiction in the interests
of the business community, any given business can make the same
decisions regarding their more localized involvement.  It just so happens
that Apple lives in a small‐town environment and does have to balance
the interests of the company with, depending upon the day, what is
sometimes the largest market capitalization in the world, and more cash
reserves than most countries.  But I still maintain that you’re only as
wealthy as how wisely you spend your resources.  You can take that
wisdom with you anywhere you go, after all.  That wisdom has guided us
in Cupertino to make strides to develop ecologically sound park spaces
throughout our community.  Let’s take a step back and see where we
stand in this regard, and where we can potentially go next to deliver
healthy spaces.
We have as a City recently acquired a residential space next to Blackberry
Farm.  This will allow us to make a much‐needed separate pedestrian
path into the park rather than having foot traffic walk up and down San
Fernando, sharing the narrow road with vehicles.  This is a really good
thing.  It took us all of a couple of months to make this decision.  I would
like to give some attention to an area of Cupertino that doesn’t have as
much City‐owned‐and‐operated park space.  Here is a map of what park
distribution in Cupertino looks like.  [MAP OF PARKS IN CUPERTINO].  As
you can see, this area of Cupertino, the Rancho Rinconada neighborhood,
is particularly lacking in park space.  There are other areas as well,
granted, such as where I live in northern Cupertino, but as far as areas
with opportunities for the acquisition and provision of significant
amounts of public‐use and park space, Rancho Rinconada represents a
significant opportunity in that the neighborhood adjoins a space that is
both significant in size and location.  This location is just south of where
Calvert Drive meets Lawrence Expressway, and if Mitty Way on the
eastern side of Lawrence Expressway extended to the western side, then
that would be the southern boundary of the space that we could
dedicate to public park use.  Such a use could potentially be passive or
active.  One of the considerations is the fact that it does adjoin Lawrence
Expressway.  But the utility of the space as a trail extension for the San
Tomas Aquino / Saratoga Creek Trail has long‐ranging beneficial
repercussions for how we improve quality of life in Cupertino and in the
entire region.  We have done a good job with Stevens Creek running
through McClellan Ranch through Blackberry Farm and the City‐owned
historic Stocklmeir property, which contains a remaining orchard.  The
question we now need to ask is whether we are willing to put in the work
to ensure that society at large doesn’t simply write off certain areas as
impervious to application of our modern‐day ecological principles as they
intersect with the spaces where we live and commute.  To me, the
answer is obvious that there is no such practical barrier as to render the
one impervious to the other.  And I think that we all appreciate that this
is true.  We don’t just write off areas.  We should continue to set a
standard in a careful and measured manner.  It’s certainly not necessary
to be reckless in order to do good things.  But now, after more than thirty
years, and especially as set against the backdrop of a land acquisition that
took us much less than a single year to finalize near Stevens Creek, we
should start to do the same for Saratoga Creek.  It’s a real commitment,
true, and if I were here ten years ago, it would certainly not have been
the right time.
All right, the point is this.  We are not at a time right now where it’s a
stretch to obtain this space and dedicate to a use that improves quality of
life and interconnections.  As we look to the next generation, we will
want to be able to improve the Lawrence‐280 interchange, and when we
do that, we should consider what we need to do in order to ensure that
this pathway we have doesn’t just abruptly stop right here [MAP ‐ 
Lawrence‐Mitty parcel triangle in red], where Mitty Way would meet us
on our side of Lawrence Expressway.  This creek, if we choose to dedicate
us all the way from the Bay to the foothills, and we don’t need to weave
this out of whole cloth through existing neighborhoods over already‐
existing uses.
Our interconnectivities and park spaces at large are being well‐
considered by our staff and our citizenry.  Public Works and Recreation
and Community Services are both hard at work bringing forth visions to
reality in these regards.  I’d like to recognize the heads of those
respective departments at this time, Timm Borden and Jeff Milkes, if they
would please stand so that we can give them all a hand.  Thank you.  And
we have members of our community who serve on the Bicycle and
Pedestrian Commission as well as on the Parks & Recreation Commission
whom I’d like to recognize for all of their efforts on creating plans related
to pedestrian access, bicycle routes, and our entire system of parks.  It’s a
lot of time and dedication to be the public interface for these efforts, and
so please give them a hand [Bike‐Ped – Sean Lyn, Chair; Jennifer Shearin,
Vice‐Chair; Pete Heller; Erik Lindskog /// Parks Rec – Helene Davis, Chair;
Neesha Tambe, Vice‐Chair; Meenakshi Biyani; Carol Stanek; Judy Wilson].  
It is through these efforts that we better prepare to keep thriving while
keeping our community happy, healthy, and inter‐connected.
And our preparedness also extends, and extends most critically, to
matters having to do with emergency management and response.  
Cupertino has a very robust and active emergency‐response corps of
committed staff and volunteers.  Claire Francavilla, our Emergency
Services Coordinator, is a recent hire. [I know she’s here tonight. Claire,
could you please stand up and be recognized. Let’s give her a hearty
round of applause.] Clare has dedicated her working life to ensure that
our families are as safe as possible during an emergency.
But she is not alone. As with many other aspects of our community, there
are groups of community volunteers that make us, in this case, safer.  
Members of our Public Safety Commission are here this evening.  [Chair
Jerry Tallinger just finished his term as one of our Public Safety
Commissioners. Vice‐Chair Andy Huang is here tonight, as our
commission members Neha Sahai, Robert McCoy, Hymanand Nellore,
and our newest Public Safety Commission member Yvonne Chao.]  Our
Public Safety Commission represents just some of our many groups
committed to ensuring that we are ready in emergency situations. There
is also the Cupertino Amateur Radio Emergency Service (or better known
as CARES), our Medical Reserve Corps, and the Community Emergency
Response Team (or CERT). Unfortunately, sign‐ups for CERT by Cupertino
residents has dipped in recent years. I encourage you all to visit the City’s
website periodically to find out when the next CERT Academy is coming
up. There will be one in March that will be taught in Los Altos Hills, and
then one in June that will be taught here in Cupertino.
This year, in addition to the incredible efforts of our volunteers, I would
like to see the integration of data aggregation efforts combined with our
technological capabilities that anticipate areas of need in various
emergency scenarios.  Tonight I am pleased that we are joined by people
at the private‐sector and non‐profit forefronts of our emergency
preparedness efforts:
• Ahmad Wani, CEO and Co‐Founder of One Concern, a company
using those modern‐day data aggregation analytics to help us deliver
better preparedness and responses to scenarios involving
earthquakes, floods, and fires.
• Nicole Hu, the Co‐Founder of One Concern as well as their Chief
Technology Officer.  
• We are also joined by Ken Toren, the CEO of the Silicon Valley
Chapter of the American Red Cross.
I commend Mr. Wani and Ms. Hu for their concern and dedication, and I
thank Mr. Toren for being here to support our community this evening as
well.  A note about this evening’s discussion and set‐up.  We’ve
purposefully created a round‐table format for the purpose of continuing
discussions after these remarks, and so, please, after my remarks
conclude, get some refreshments if you wish and have a chat with Ken
and Nicole and Ahmad, and your friends, neighbors and colleagues.  
Efforts like theirs and yours are critical in ensuring that we are as
prepared as we can be in emergency situations brought forth by
earthquakes, fires, and floods, all of which are part of our potential
experiences.  Our staff is currently examining their software to determine
whether our systems can be improved in this manner, and it’s through
these types of forward‐thinking actions that we can optimize our
response in these situations.  I know that it’s oftentimes difficult for many
to think about these types of situations before the fact, but it’s exactly
before the fact that we need to be considering and preparing for them.  I
thank our community volunteers such as Stuart Chesen and Fari Aberg,
who in providing on‐the‐ground emergency services for organizations
such as the Red Cross and for purposes such as ensuring that we have
medical personnel available at certain of our outdoor community events,
make sure that we respond with efficacy and competence and that we
anticipate with intelligence and organization.  I commend and support
your efforts.
We have a great deal of participation in this community, and a strong
appetite for gathering in a highly valued place, the Cupertino Library,
which is part of the Santa Clara County Library District.  Recently, I saw
Cupertino’s community librarian working the children’s section desk, and
I have to tell you, I was deeply impressed.  Clare Varesio is our
Community Librarian for the Cupertino Library and is here this evening,
along with the head of the county library system, Nancy Howe.  Clare and
Nancy, if you would please stand and be recognized and appreciated for
all that you do to bring forth this cherished community resource.  The
library truly is a special place with a priceless type of value that one
would be hard‐pressed to quantify.  Nonetheless, we can attempt to do
so, and there’s even an online value calculator from the American Library
Association.  With regard to the Cupertino Library, we deliver an
estimated value of at least thirty‐five million dollars annually to the
community.  I’m sure that Clare or Nancy would be happy to provide you
with a line‐item breakdown of the value of the various services.  But one
thing I’d like to see make significant progress in this year is a well‐
considered and planned‐out expansion of the Library such that we are
not needing to scale back on the various events and gatherings that the
community wants to have.  Our Community Hall had been pushing the
limits of its availability until the Library made decisions that were difficult
but the responsible thing to do to scale back on its well‐received and
well‐attended offerings to the community held at Community Hall.  Now
is the time to provide that space to our community so that we can
accommodate all of the groups and discussions, story times and classes
that we have the strong motivation and eagerness to attend.
In the same general civic space, I’d like to see that we keep on engaging
with the community to see what is desired and needed for our future City
Hall.  A plan was considered a couple of years ago, but funding became
an issue.  Given that we are on a good track of engaging with our citizenry
in a manner designed to inform and interact, it seems that we could take
that same pattern of approach and get something done with our future
plans for City Hall this year.  And we are not so far away in a practical
sense.  The plan itself, while subject to some aesthetic concerns insofar
as how it fit in with the tenor of the civic area and neighborhood, was
delayed due to the funding aspect of it.  We appeared to have a majority
willing to look at a budget of fifty million rather than seventy million.  But
I do think that we can achieve all aspects of what we want, including
palatable aesthetics, as well as addressing our need for sufficient
amounts of space for our staff – currently, for instance, the city
attorney’s office is entirely removed in a different building from the rest
of our staff – and possibly placing a fully functioning Emergency
Operating Center, or EOC, at City Hall, and more community meeting
space.  With regard to the EOC another good option being explored is the
Corporation Yard next to the southern point of the Don Burnett Bicycle
and Pedestrian footbridge along Mary Avenue.  And so, our prospects are
optimistic and it’s a time of well‐considered potential adjustments of
both our private and public spaces in Cupertino.
I’d like to end this evening’s address with a topic of critical importance to
everyone’s future.  This is the mental health of our teens.   I know that
mental health is an issue that affects people of all ages.  I’d like to
approach the issue this year through the lens of seeing whether we can
initiate a couple of projects that will help bring about broader perspective
as well as provide some activities that help us all keep in mind that
ultimately our priorities are set in ensuring healthy and happy lives for
our future generations.  And yes it is true that ensuring that health and
happiness does intertwine with notions of competitiveness and all sorts
of complicated and inter‐related issues.  But what I’d also like to see is
that energy and enthusiasm being directed towards, for instance,
participation in volunteer activities.  Did you know that we used to have a
volunteer fair every year in Cupertino?  It was held at the top level of the
Flint Center garage.  I would like to bring that back to Cupertino; and we
will.  We will hold it near the end of the school year, when students and
their families are thinking about their summer plans.  Let’s coordinate
and work with all of our wonderful and amazing volunteer‐oriented
organization throughout this community to show our students and
families all the many opportunities for answering the needs, interests,
and aspirations of volunteers in this free and interconnected society of
And in an effort to more directly address the issue, I’d like sometime near
the beginning of the school year hold another type of fair, this one
specifically focused upon the topic of mental health. For this, I appreciate
the partnership of our school districts, the Cupertino Union, the Fremont
Union High School District, and the Foothill De Anza Community College
District, as well as that of our various private educational endeavors.  We
deeply appreciate and need the participation of our county jurisdictions
and health organizations as well as various non‐profits that have a stake
in the provision of mental‐health services.  But this is more expansive
than one might think.  In addition to the County of Santa Clara’s Health
Services Department and, for instance, major medical stakeholders such
as Kaiser Permanente which interestingly enough does have deep and
existential roots in this very community, we can and should be including
organizations that, for instance, teach people how to manage stress
through activities like yoga.  This type of event can make a difference and
also continue the positive message that we are deeply invested in
ensuring that we go about this set of interactions that comprise our
community by making sure that our present and future foundation
approaches society and the world in a calm manner, one that has
perspective, and one that interacts steadily with the various people and
groups seeking to do all of this in a healthy and honest fashion.
Let’s support the creative endeavors of our students.  There are a
number of hack‐a‐thons put forward by the community, and that’s a
great thing, and reflective of who we are.  But as a community that also
supports the arts and creative expression, let’s also support the efforts of
our students to find artistic outlets.  I was recently contacted by one of
our students who is here this evening, Varun Tandon, a senior at
Homestead, who would like to put forward a project to have a legal
graffiti wall.  This is a fascinating idea, and one that actually intersected
recently with environmental issues.  I ran into Cheri Donnelly and Alex
Wykoff at City Hall, staff members who were geared out in fluorescent
green safety apparel and who had just returned one morning last week
from cleaning out one of our local creeks.  Graffiti along a tunneled
channel is an issue there, but from an environmental perspective, the
major issue is people leaving behind spray cans.  If we put together more
of these perspectives and conversations, that’s how we start inter‐
relating things like creativity and innovation, and activities and their
environmental effects.  And then we can work towards making the
community healthier, happier, safer, and one that meets the promise of
our times, which is to be able to translate these ideals into a language of
common values that helps us all to be better, and to thrive.
In Cupertino, as always and everywhere, there is work to do, but the
State of our City is positive.  We’re optimistic and looking forward to our
And ‐ there is one more thing.  The title of tonight’s talk is “The Issues of
Cupertino and Our Day.”  I’d like to end by trying to weave together what
we’ve considered this evening with a couple of thoughts.  First, let’s be
good to each other.  You look around our nation and the world these
days, and within our communities, and interwoven throughout our
discussions and our news updates are examples of people not being good
to each other.  We’re all in this together.  Second, and very simply, in the
end, it’s critically important to find and adhere to your sense of
accountability.  Here’s mine: [screenshot of Sharon on Darcy’s phone].  
We should be good to each other, and hold each other accountable.  
These days, when I use Face ID, Sharon looks back at me, and this
reminds of several things. How lucky I am, of course.  Yes, this is a stern
photo of a beautiful person, and it makes me happy and laugh.  And then
there’s the basic honesty captured within it.  We are here to be good to
each other, but a basic part of that good treatment is, much like our
system, to place a check and balance upon each other.  I want to thank
my fellow residents and friends of Cupertino for all your work and
dedication, and I want to thank city staff for all the accountability that
you put up with to deliver us the infrastructure holding together our
community, with a particular thanks to Brian Babcock, Colleen Lettire, Rei
Delgado, Pete Coglianese, Robert Kim and Michelle Martin for helping
coordinate this Address.
Good night, and be good to each other.

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