From the Mayor's Desk: Stay safe at home and make the best of it

 

Every day brings about a change as we see the old normal quickly disappearing and the new normal emerging. Well, it’s not a new normal, as it’s constantly changing as well.


Other Voices: Support YMCA caregivers, others suffering losses from pandemic

Coronavirus measures are canceling everything. School is out and many of us are amateur-hour home-schooling our kids – learning the new stress of both full-time parenting while simultaneously working from home. Luckily for many of us, we will still receive our salaries and health insurance benefits. That’s not the case for our El Camino YMCA teams, who are furloughed during the closure.

In nonpandemic times, we depend on the staff of the El Camino YMCA after-school programs to keep our kids alive, safe and loved while we are in our full-time jobs. Now that we’ve all been sent home for the coming weeks, our YMCA teams are out of work. We’ve been refunded, and that means they won’t be paid once their very limited vacation time runs out. Their health insurance also will lapse in one month.

Other Voices: All public schools should help all children learn

 

As we consider long-term options for Los Altos public schools, questions have been raised about which schools serve which students. I believe that every public school should help all children learn and thrive. It’s important to evaluate how all Los Altos public schools serve English-language learners, socioeconomically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities. 

Other Voices: Divesting fossil fuels – who, me?

Until recently, I thought divesting fossil fuel stocks and mutual funds was the enterprise of the Big Boys – well-endowed universities, philanthropic foundations and faith-based organizations. After all, those muscle clubs have been seriously divesting for at least a decade. Me? I dropped out of Girl Scouts before I earned my Insider Trading Badge. But my millennial son shamed me into action. So I plunged into research and quickly found out it is easier than ever to assess the damage done and discover which funds to buy to remedy this oily situation.

Other Voices: BCS enrollment process needs third-party audits

When I was younger, I struggled with learning disabilities. If it weren’t for the public schools I attended, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Making sure all children in our community are afforded the same opportunities is of critical importance to me. Schools that don’t enroll a representative population of low-income and special-needs students result in the remaining schools having to educate the highest-need students with insufficient funding.

For charter schools, enrollment is controlled by an annual lottery and management of waitlists. The lottery selects students from different prioritized buckets, and those priorities heavily influence school demographics. When students decline positions from the lottery, selective recruitment from the waitlist can further impact demographics. Unlike charter schools, the Los Altos School District enrolls students from within geographic boundaries and does not prioritize which students are admitted.

Other Voices: Run for your life

 

Many have decided trying to get into and stay in shape is more important than binge-watching the latest mind-numbing TV series or sampling the new mega-sized offering from their favorite fast-food factory.

Other Voices: Measure D: Not a fair rate of return for renters

When rents were rising rapidly in 2016, forcing many renters to move, Mountain View voters passed Measure V, which stabilized rents to keep lower-income renters in Mountain View. It also enacted just cause for eviction, and, at the same time, allowed for a fair rate of return for landlords. Measure V, also known as the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA) capped rents for approximately 13,500 units in Mountain View built before 1995. The League of Women Voters of the Los Altos-Mountain View Area believes our communities are stronger when there is rent stabilization and just-cause programs to minimize displacement, provide stable and predictable housing costs and provide a fair rate of return to landlords.

However, a group of landlords initiated a ballot measure planned for the November election that makes radical changes to CSFRA, effectively suspending it. To potentially avoid this ballot initiative, the Mountain View City Council developed Measure D and placed it on the March ballot. Measure D makes significant changes to current policy. The LWV opposes Measure D because it is inconsistent with the fair rate of return standard and eliminates the use of an inflation index in determining the maximum annual rent increase. These two changes can more likely lead to large rent increases of up to 10% per year. In fact, rents could potentially increase up to 20% in just 13 months.


Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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