Los Altos could become philanthropy HQ
Silicon Valley is destined to become one of the major sources of philanthropy in the nation. Now that we have the highly regarded David and Lucile Packard Foundation here, ensconced in a distinctive building, perhaps the town could consider establishing Los Altos as the local center for such organizations.
These entities are respected, inherently green, attract a wide variety of interesting visitors and aren’t typically spendthrifts. Like Los Altos, they are of the Valley, but at a certain remove from it – a separation we would dearly love to retain.
We’d need to consider creative tax approaches – for both incentive and revenue purposes – and perhaps how to foster a little healthy architectural one-upmanship. The entrepreneurial energy that created the Valley is now innovating and disintermediating philanthropy, and the emerging foundations and charities will need a home.
They will likely exemplify the values we as a community aspire to, and the idea that the children of the town will grow up where the creative, compassionate and successful come to do good would surely be the sort of legacy we all could enthusiastically support. This idea could provide a lasting identity for our town and a thematic focus for planning that folks would rally around.
Los Altos could benefit from a shared sense of purpose. This could be it.
Developers should support community
I am sure that many Los Altos residents have been and will be impacted by the construction of Carmel the Village on San Antonio Road. We have put up with all the congestion, noise, inconvenience and potential traffic hazards they have created. In addition, our public schools will be negatively impacted by the influx of students from their huge housing development.
Because the residents do not own their apartments, they do not pay property taxes that will benefit our schools. They are located in Mountain View, hence we will not even benefit from the sales tax provided by any retail operations that will be located there. Their retailers may even compete with our downtown stores.
Clearly, there is nothing that can be done about this now. However, the developers of Carmel the Village should be supporting our local schools and other philanthropic organizations such as the Los Altos Community Foundation, the Los Altos Educational Foundation, etc.
Parent volunteers should contact them to solicit donations/sponsorships for their fundraising events and they will hopefully be a good corporate citizen and generously sponsor our walkathons, auctions, Junior Olympics and other community-building events.
Because they charge more than $4,000 and up a unit per month, I would think they would have the resources to do so and want to give back to the community instead of just taking.