Carolyn Clarke joins Menlo Park City Council race

Housing commissioner announces run

Carolyn Clarke's reason for running for Menlo Park City Council is simple. "If you have ideas, and you're not running for office, people don't listen. So you have to be somewhere in the decision-making process to be listened to," she said.

Describing herself as "a regular everyday person who understands the needs of the 99 percent and understands the issues," Ms. Clarke wants to put her finance background and nonprofit experience to work for the city she's lived in about 20 years.

A small business owner with a degree in accounting from San Francisco State University, Ms. Clarke is familiar with juggling the demands of work, family and civic service. Her experience includes serving on the Housing Commission, the Las Pulgas Committee, and the new housing element update steering committee. She also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and co-founded the School of Wisdom and Knowledge charter school in East Palo Alto.

Housing, traffic and job creation are the top three issues Ms. Clarke sees facing Menlo Park. She'd like more people to be able to work and live in the city, even if that means a personal sacrifice. "If my property value has to go up at the expense of people being homeless, I don't care for it to go up."

Ms. Clarke said that her neighborhood, Belle Haven, sometimes seems like a place apart from the city. "I think if I run, that would be the beginning of addressing that," she said. "I think that the east and west side need to learn more about each other. The community on the east side has changed quite a bit, and the other side might not be aware of that."

She said she has no political ambitions beyond city hall. Three other residents so far have announced their intention to run for one of the two open council seats: Transportation Commissioner Ray Mueller, firefighter Dave Bragg, and incumbent Kelly Fergusson.


Like this comment
Posted by Ms Watkins
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jul 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm

I'm happy as can be to see you running for the City Council. Let's get it done!

Like this comment
Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 17, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Glad to hear of this. Best of luck.

Like this comment
Posted by Jane P
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jul 18, 2012 at 11:59 am

Hmmm. A one-issue candidate.

Like this comment
Posted by George Yang
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jul 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I know Carolyn personally and she will be a great city council woman. It has been a while since we have strong advocates for Belle Haven. She has the passion and the energy to render valuable service to Belle Haven and the City in Large.

Like this comment
Posted by John G.
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm

@ Jane P. The article identify her three issues as traffic, Jobs, and housing. Have you read it?

Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm

What is her position on public unions?

Like this comment
Posted by Carolyn Clarke
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jul 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

Thanks to all, for your interest in my campaign and your suggestions as well as your support.

@ Joanna;

As an accountant, I will work to achieve long term fiscal health for the city. And I look forward to a cordial working relationship with the employees and staff in the city, as well as their union representatives. But I will always remember that my allegiance is to the citizens of Menlo Park, current and future.

Carolyn Clarke

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