My name is JR Fruen. My family has called this place home since before we were officially known as Cupertino. I’m running to create a shared future that we can all be proud of—a sustainable, inclusive Cupertino for tomorrow, where our seniors, families, students, teachers, service workers, and small businesses can proudly continue to call Cupertino home. And I know you are as well. Let’s do this together—in community.
JR'S PRIORITIES IN
Strengthening our neighborhoods and making affordable housing a reality
Cupertino is a popular destination with its great schools and jobs that are changing our world. However, we are lacking housing for our teachers, firefighters, service workers, seniors, and Cupertino’s own children. Young families can no longer move to Cupertino, leading to declining enrollment and threatening school closures. The result is a diminished community, lack of viable transit options, and a dying retail and restaurants center
We can get off this unsustainable path, but we need leadership that understands the severity of this crisis, and takes active steps to confront it.
1. Establish senior living spaces at locations close to transportation, restaurants, shopping, and parks in parcels along Stevens Creek Blvd.
2. Advocate for moderate-income housing for teachers and public employees to live in Cupertino
3. Build housing close to offices to attract people who work in Cupertino to live, eat, shop, and enjoy Cupertino
By concentrating new housing along major thoroughfares and allowing for medium-density mixed residential and retail uses at these sites, we can reduce our carbon footprint while addressing our housing and transportation needs.
Good Governance and Transparency
Cupertino's government should focus on the basics: keeping our city clean, paving our roads, making sure everyone has a home, ensuring we have adequate parking at our libraries and keeping our neighborhoods safe. All of these are components of a well-functioning city. Yet, we do not have adequate staffing at City Hall to meet the needs of our residents. Additionally, this current city council is far too focused on frivolous lawsuits that waste taxpayer dollars—in desperate hopes of blocking new housing from being built. This Council actively suppresses the voices of those they disagree with, and has expedited the departure of numerous talented City staff.
Enhancing Public Safety
We all deserve to feel safe both inside and outside of our homes. That means ensuring safe streets—reaching a vision zero policy of zero car-inflicted deaths. It means protection from threats of gun violence and being able to walk freely at night, with abundant street lightning. In our homes, we should be safe from property crimes and breakins. On council, I’ll advocate for a better
partnership between neighborhoods and public officials and rebuild the block leader program to mitigate these issues.
A VIBRANT CUPERTINO
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, our retail shops and restaurants struggled to stay in business. Decades of slow decline at Vallco impacted our ability to have a vibrant walkable center. In the wake of the coronavirus, working diligently to support our remaining businesses and using our planning tools to ensure that we can build back better will be key. Council must therefore:
Take advantage of the state’s mandatory 8-year housing planning cycle to reimagine our major thoroughfares as walkable residential and retail mixed use communities
Continue and expand hard-fought assistance programs for residential and small business renters and homeowners, so that our community can weather the pandemic
Enact a predefined community benefits program so that new developments provide the civic amenities we most want and that keep Cupertino healthy and secure, such as park improvements and alternative transit options like bicycle-pedestrian trails
The last two years have damaged Cupertino’s reputation in the region and the state. Our council and our public discourse has become troublingly partisan. We can correct our governance problems by:
Restoring balance: electing new leaders who have a fresh and different perspective from the current council majority
Properly prioritizing spending: using our resources to the benefit of the public good rather than wasting them on fruitless lobbying in Sacramento or legal adventures
Demanding accountability for unethical conduct among commission members and making appointments based on merit and competence rather than political favoritism
Avoiding budget-crushing legal liability
Holding to reasonable rules for council conduct so that meetings end at reasonable hours allowing for meaningful interaction with the public and better decision-making
But most of all: by approaching one another as neighbors first