By Steve Levy
Reintroducing Myself and This BlogUploaded: Oct 5, 2013
I want to reintroduce myself and talk a bit about how I see this blog.
I came to Palo Alto in 1963 to attend Stanford and have lived in the area since. Nancy and I have lived in Palo Alto since we were married in 1977. We have lived on Stanley Way, Edgewood Drive and now live in a condo on Forest downtown. Our children went to Paly.
I am an economist and work as a consultant for public agencies and an occasional large private company on their planning for the future 5 to 30 years. My work consists of projecting future trends in job, population and housing growth that are inputs to key investment decisions. I also study workforce trends and related policy implications and sit on the local (NOVA) and state workforce boards.
My office has been on or near University Avenue in downtown for more than 40 years. I do not represent public agencies or private parties with respect to specific developments and do not own property in the area besides our home.
I see investing for our future as an economic imperative and a quality of life imperative for the country, state, region and Palo Alto. I know that most Palo Alto residents, but only a small number of previous Town Square posters, share this conviction. I know this from the large support for school, library and other public investments in our town that most voters do not use directly.
Most residents in Palo Alto my generation support investing in our schools, for example, even though no family member is likely to go to school here in the future. We do this for many reasons but one of those is that we see a connection among generationsearlier generations provided for us and we want to continue, as they did, investing for our common future.
While I vote for most investments in education and transportation, I vote no occasionally as with High Speed Rail and tax measures targeted at specific groups and for only one program.
Nancy and I like living in Palo Alto and in downtown. I have never thought of Palo Alto as a quiet suburban community given Stanford next door with a regional hospital, shopping center and research park besides the university. Downtown where I live and work was a pretty rocking place in the 1960s and remains a vital, though somewhat different, place today.
I am not a complainer by nature. I am skeptical of anonymous posters calling other people greedy or corrupt with no evidence cited. I do not think developer is a dirty word just as I do not think capitalist or property owners mean something evil.
We are in the midst of a large, vital and growing region. That attractiveness and growth has and will bring traffic and density. Santa Clara County was the fastest growing county in terms of population last year and the peninsula continues to post some of the highest job growth rates in the nation.
My response is to invest to keep pace with growth and try and improve our quality of life in the context of being an incredibly desirable place to livea conviction shared by many who push housing prices and rents upward.
I hope the Weekly is successful in broadening the appeal of Town Square and continues to work toward maintaining a lively and civil place for residents to exchange ideas.