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Meet JR

Biography

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I’m a third-generation resident who grew up in our schools and devoted my life to Cupertino. The Valley of Heart’s Delight brought my family here in 1952. After graduating from UCLA, I returned to Silicon Valley because there’s no home like Cupertino. I’m running to make my story possible for future generations.

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I have the unique skills and experience to confront our challenges. As an attorney, entrepreneur, and longtime community advocate, I’ve tackled planning decisions, school enrollment, and budgeting. I’ve fought for transparency, fiscal responsibility, and held city leaders accountable. I advanced safer bicycle-pedestrian infrastructure, and won financial support for renters, homeowners, and small businesses to protect residents during the pandemic.

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ATTORNEY

I started my own practice as an entrepreneur and am currently practicing. I got into the law to fight for those who get left behind in our society.

COMMUNITY ADVOCATE

I've been an activist in our community for over 15 years, always speaking out against irresponsible or selfish governance, as well as injustice. I helped found Cupertino for All—a grassroots group focused on creating a more inclusive Cupertino and currently work for a non-profit to provide financial resources for those struggling due to COVID-19.

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Cupertino voters are smart — too smart for a lot of the misinformation and lies that are no doubt flooding your physical and virtual mailboxes. Here is my simple but authentic pitch to you: I will bring a new, extremely qualified voice of balance and reason to a City Council that has been dominated by obstructionism, wasteful spending, and petty personal grievances. I care deeply about our community. I will ensure our families, children, young adults, homeowners, renters, workers of all wages, and seniors, all get the the attention they need and deserve, while simultaneously managing our future growth responsibly.
(The Mercury News agrees as well, stating that I am one of the standout candidates in the race that can help put Cupertino back on track.)
 
Also, take a look at this week’s media coverage, which points out a stark reality: We are likely to lose ALL local control of land in Cupertino on February 1st due to the incompetence and mismanagement of the current City Council. This means developers will be able to build projects of almost any size on almost any plot of land in Cupertino, under the “builder’s remedy” clause of State law. 
 
We have one shot to fix this – elect a new City Council that can correct our current course. I am the most qualified to prevent Cupertino from being subject to the "builder’s remedy" because I have actual legal expertise on issues of housing and development.
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By now you probably have been bombarded by all sorts of emails, flyers, mailers, and particularly pernicious messages, from a group calling itself “Cupertino Facts.” 
 
It’s important for ALL voters to know the truth. "Cupertino Facts" is run by someone who: 
 
 
 
  • is now feverishly writing nonstop lies to voters about ME. 
 
So, please let me SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT:
 
Building homes for our future 
 
As an attorney who understands land use law very well, I will leverage my strong knowledge of public policy to extract as much as possible from developers for our community. 
 
And, as an attorney, I'm more than qualified to deliver this bad news: 
 
By saying “no” to negotiated projects, the current City Council has:
  • sacrificed MILLIONS in community benefits,
  • gotten us into constant legal trouble, and 
  • set us on a collision course with the State of California and the Attorney General. 
 
All for failing to plan for new housing at all income levels as required by State law. 
 
When this Council finally says “yes” to new homes, it is only to rubber stamp those projects whose approval was legally required. And here's the crux of the matter: 
 
If we continue down this path, under current State law, Cupertino will lose almost all local control on February 1, 2023. This non-negotiable reality would happen BY DEFAULT, because our do-nothing City Council has failed to timely submit the legally required housing plan to the State for review.
 
The good news is, I know how to navigate State housing laws to get Cupertino back on track.  
 
READ MORE about my housing plans in detail.
 
Strengthening our schools
 
I will make sure our future families and their children have the same opportunities that I had as a child here in Cupertino. We need a strong City Council that operates based on real data to accomplish this. By thoughtfully planning for new, diverse, well-located housing options, we can (1) reduce the strain on existing families with a larger taxbase, (2) negotiate new and better community benefit packages to fund our schools, and (3) stem chronic enrollment decline to avoid future school closures. 
 
READ MORE about how I can support our school district from the City Council.
 
Eliminating wasteful spending, lawsuits, and lack of transparency
 
Cupertino taxpayers deserve true transparency – they deserve  to know how their dollars are spent, rather than endure the current lipservice we get. I promise to not waste millions on needless lawsuits. In contrast, the current City Council has wasted over $100 million in taxpayer money by blocking virtually all development, filing lawsuits (all of which they have lost) either through the City, or against it as private citizens—and spending city staffing resources on their personal political agenda. 
 
Just think about this: the first thing this City Council did when elected into office was to repeal the City of Cupertino's Code of Ethics. 
 
We can and must do better. I will use my skills as a practicing attorney to resolve our ongoing legal battles expeditiously and avoid provoking future ones.
 

Keeping us safe 
 
We all deserve to feel safe. The Sheriff’s office, which serves as Cupertino’s police force, has kept violent crime to a minimum, but there’s so much more we can do to keep our families, children, and seniors safe.
 
  1. Rebuild the Block Leader program to enhance public safety and community connection.
  2. Tag stolen goods like catalytic converters, and subsidize protective measures.
  3. Install better street lighting for nighttime safety.
  4. Leverage funds from new developments, existing revenue streams, and our partnership with the County Sheriff, to create emergency response beacons in several public areas.
  5. Adopt a new "Complete Streets Plan" to prevent car-inflicted deaths.
 
READ MORE about how Cupertino can be a safer city
 
Restoring our reputation and partnerships
 
  1. Cupertino's ineffective leadership has lost all ability to collaborate with others. They have burned all of our bridges with our school districts, nonprofits, the business community, other cities, and the State. In contrast, I have strong working relationships with our leaders in the public and private sectors.
  2. Look at my endorsements. They demonstrate that I know how to work with other people, and that I am trusted by our fellow elected officials and organizations across the Bay. We need my kind of collaborative skillset to achieve our City's goals. The plain fact is, as a city alone, we are too small to accomplish them alone. Notably, Better Cupertino’s Council candidates are only endorsed by other members of Better Cupertino. 
  3. I know how to work with our State leaders to get the best bargain. The Mercury News puts it best: “Cupertino has become the Silicon Valley poster child for city mismanagement.” Instead of working closely with our state leaders to get funds for city services and regional planning solutions, our City leadership has triggered the State into passing SIX unique laws specifically aimed at correcting Cupertino’s mistakes over the past 4 years. 
 
I have always maintained that we need to paint a positive vision for Cupertino’s future, and I look to earn your vote so that we can craft and realize this vision together. I know that we can make better decisions as a City, but only if we elect competent, ethical leadership. I pledge to be that leader for each and every one of us. Let’s put Cupertino back on track together. 
 
Please make sure to vote by November 8th! You’ll find me at No. 8 on your ballot.
 
In Community,
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