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About this blog: Growing up in Brooklyn, NY I lived in high-density housing and experienced transit-oriented services first hand. During high school and college summers I worked in Manhattan drafting tenant floor plans for high-rise office buildi...  (More)

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We need Chelsea Nguyen for City Council District 3

Uploaded: Sep 23, 2020
Hard to think that it has been 26 years since we moved to Menlo Park in 1994. Because I was concerned about the speed to traffic in Linfield Oaks, along the way I volunteered as a worker on the City Council campaigns for Paul Collacchi, Steve Schmidt and Mary Jo Borak. If you want to meet people, joining a campaign as a worker bee is an easy – and fun - way to expand your horizons. I ultimately was appointed to the Planning Commission and Finance Audit Committee which provided at lot of experience with the dynamics of staff, neighborhoods and project applicants.

I considered running this election for District 3. I was encouraged by friends, family and neighbors. But then recalled my aversion to long meeting zoom meetings. The City Council should consider and enact a policy that all private electronic communications with the public during a meeting should be made part of the public record.
When I evaluate new candidates, I first the examine the relevance of a candidate’s personal and professional experience – relevant to ascending to council being a council member - especially experience with city commissions that have voting authority.

I was intrigued by Chelsea Nguyen's background - 40 year MP resident and Air Force veteran. When I ultimately met Chelsea a few weeks ago, I knew Menlo Park deserves and should have someone with constitution on the Council. What I observe as her largest strength: courage, a part of her DNA. Her volunteer work is exceptional: being a single working mother with a special needs child and still putting all her energy anytime she's needed.

Chelsea is passionate about the issues. She gets emotional when talking about them. For her, it's never about the talking points, just to get elected. She is an independent thinker, not a puppet for anyone. I know if elected, she will listen and do what is best for Menlo Park. She is not swayed by money, power and politics. She told me if elected, she will probably be the poorest City Council member ever. She is as real as they come.

Chelsea mentioned in one of our conversations that she is not ashamed of her life challenges life has tossed her path. When she related that she came from Vietnam I had images of helicopters landing on the rooftop of the American Embassy in Saigon; of being poor, being harassed, discriminated against, other social injustices. She told me her life is the "sum" of who she is, all good and bad roll into one, and she is glad for it. She has grit.

We have never had anyone like her running in our City. She is real. She is a breath of fresh air. She has all the right stuff.

Please join me in welcoming her to the council. We need someone like her: integrity, courage and not easily bought.
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   6 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on Sep 23, 2020 at 6:31 pm

Joseph E. Davis is a registered user.

Rent control is, always and everywhere, a terrible idea. She is not suitable on that basis alone.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Brian, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows,
on Sep 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Stu,

I have to disagree with you. While Chelsea Nguyen has an impressive resume as you pointed out it is light on civic service. She would benefit by sitting on some of the city commissions before running for city council.

Jen Wolosin, on the other hand has sat on city commissions and started the Safe Streets program to help the kids get to school safely. She is also on the Transportation committee. I think that her dedication to the city and residents has been well proven and she would make a good city council person. I think Chelsea would as well after spending a little time on some of the committees and commissions in the city.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Stu Soffer, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Sep 24, 2020 at 10:28 am

Stu Soffer is a registered user.

Brian:

Chelsea is heavy on federal government and military service.
Regarding Jen's background, could you point us to the exact city commissions to which she was appointed, and the votes and issues upon which she voted.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Chelsea, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Sep 24, 2020 at 10:38 am

Chelsea is a registered user.

Brian: What commissions were Jen Wolosin really on? Please let us know, and what years?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Brian, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows,
on Sep 25, 2020 at 11:57 am

Brian is a registered user.

Stu, Chelsea

I am surprised you are not as well informed as I expected. First off Jen was instrumental in founding the Safe Routes to School to help make it safer for our children to get to and from their schools. Something she has worked closely with the city on implementing. She also currently sits on the "Transportation Master Plan Oversight and Outreach Committee". Stu as a member of the Sister City committee I am sure you are aware of the work that the Commissions and Committees in Menlo Park serve and the work that those members do, as volunteers, to help the city.

Sorry I don't have time to tally her voting record, but it is public information so you are welcome to look at it and listen to the committee meetings. My point was that I am more for a person who has dedicated time to the city in the past and is willing to put in the ground work before running for what is the cities highest elected office.

Chelsea, I think your federal government work and military servire are admirable but have you worked at the city level and specifically with the organizations and government in Menlo Park? Have you volunteered for any of the committees of commissions?

I personally hope there is a district 3 debate scheduled soon so we can hear all the positions on the different topics.

Cheers

Brian


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Stu Soffer, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Sep 25, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Stu Soffer is a registered user.

Brian,

Is it too much to lend a bit of authority to your comments by using your full name?


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Brian, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows,
on Sep 25, 2020 at 6:38 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Been posting under Brian for a long time, many users only use one name, right Chelsea?


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Brian, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows,
on Sep 25, 2020 at 6:56 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Stu,

I am not sure what "authority" you are looking for. What I said I either expressed as my opinion, that being preferring someone with more local experience and who has worked with the city in the past, or as facts that you can easily look up and verify. Here let me give you the links to support what I said, I am sure that will go farther than my last name ins lending "authority" to my posts.

Jen Wolosin is a current member of the Transportation Master Plan Oversight and Outreach Committee:

Web Link

there are many articles on Jen's involvement in the Safe Routes to Schools program. You just need to google "Safe Routes to School Menlo Park" to find many articles from the Almanac and Mercury News, all of which mention Jen as the founder of Parents4saferoutes. Here is one I picked at random from 3 years ago:
Web Link

I am not looking to get into an argument with you. You expressed your opinion and I respectfully disagreed with it. Apologies if you and Chelsea took offense but that will not change how I feel. I am looking forward to the candidate forums coming up.

Cheers


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Iris, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Sep 28, 2020 at 10:38 am

Iris is a registered user.

If you are interested in the District 3 Candidate Forum moderated by the local League of Women Voters, register here: Web Link


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Iris, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Sep 28, 2020 at 10:38 am

Iris is a registered user.

If you are interested in the District 3 Candidate Forum moderated by the local League of Women Voters, register here: Web Link


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Chelsea, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Sep 28, 2020 at 3:21 pm

Chelsea is a registered user.

Hi Brian,

Yes, I know about Safe Routes (how many years ago?) and also the Transportation commision: representing Parents for Safe Route. But it's all the same, isn't it?

Otherwise, is there anything else? I am surprised, for someone who has all the free time in the world.

I, on the other hand, am a single mother, "working" and raising my children (1 with special needs) for years. That's 2 full time jobs, all on my own. If that's not a feat, I don't know what is.

If you read my website: I do do volunteer work, specifically with local VA veterans, unless you don't count the local veterans as part of the Menlo Park community. That would be a real shame.

As for debates, I am all for it.

Chelsea


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Stu Soffer, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Sep 29, 2020 at 1:48 pm

Stu Soffer is a registered user.

Brian

"Stu as a member of the Sister City committee I am sure you are aware of the work that the Commissions and Committees in Menlo Park serve and the work that those members do, as volunteers, to help the city."

You forget my terms on the Planning Commission (Chair), the Finance Audit Committee, and the Chamber of Commerce, provide the depth and breadth for me to comment on City bodies.



 +   2 people like this
Posted by Brian, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows,
on Sep 30, 2020 at 2:43 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Chelsea,

I am going to have to say I am a little disappointed in your reply. For someone who wants to sit on the City Council and who will have to work with a variety of people in the city, many of whom will not agree with your point of view, your comments seemed very defensive. That is just my opinion.

First off, I already pointed out that Jen has been working on Safe Routes to Schools for many years, I even included an article form 3 years ago. Are you asking for the date and time she started working on Safe Routes? If so why is that relevant? You can ask Jen if they are the same thing, maybe during the forum this evening?

Based on her website Jen is also a mother of two and busy with many things. I am not sure how much you know about the role of City Council members, but from speaking with several of them it is not on a "Tuesday night job". They have many meeting during the days and many evenings. Frankly I am not sure how they are able to fill the role of City Council and hold down a full time job.

I am happy to see you volunteer, I think everyone should and I do so myself. But you are missing my point. Veterans Groups are not volunteering for the city and learning how things work in Menlo Park and giving your time to help all the residents of the city by working one one of the commissions or committees before seeking the highest elected office in the city.

As Stu pointed out, he has a lot of experience on the different committees. That volunteer work for the city allows him "to comments on the City bodies". Personally I would like to see a candidate with that experience before I voted for them.


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