Back on January 8th, MVCSP and City officials and staff welcomed a small group of Santa Clara residents to downtown Mountain View to learn about how MVCSP advocates for sustainable land use planning. We took the train (so convenient!) from Santa Clara to Mountain View. We were met at Centennial Plaza by Community Development Director Randy Tsuda.
Mr. Tsuda talked about the value that a group like MVCSP brings to the City planning process. He said that while planning staff may not always agree with MVCSP's views, staff has found it very valuable to have a group that advocates for sustainable development because it brings balance to the public discourse. He cited the Mintons' project as an example of when MVCSP's perspective brought a lot to conversation and influenced the outcome!
Environmental Planning Commissioner Eric Anderson and Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga met us at Dana Street Roasting Co
. where we enjoyed the atmosphere at one of Downtown's many outdoor cafe spaces. Mr. Anderson and Councilmember Abe-Koga talked about how important it is that MVCSP is a group of local
advocates, as there is nothing more valuable to the public process than the perspective of residents. Mr. Anderson also stressed how much he likes to hear about local
examples of sustainable planning practices, rather than cool stuff happening far away. Interesting feedback!Finally, we met with Riad Elbdour and Bruce England, two Mountain View residents
and active MVCSP members. Bruce and Riad told Green Action members about how often our group meets, what we do, how we make decisions, and what it's like to be involved. Riad talked about how much he likes being part of a group that is respectful and wants to work within the City process.
Bruce talked about how he likes that MVCSP brings people with lots of different backgrounds together in one group. He gave a little background on how MV Cool Cities, the City's Environmental Sustainability Task Force, Green Mountain View, and MVCSP each developed and how the different groups continue to coordinate. Bruce also talked about his work with the City's Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, to which MVCSP members have sometimes contributed. After a whirlwind hour some of us hopped on the train and some carpooled back to Santa Clara. It was a really fun afternoon.
MVCSP hopes that Santa Clara Green Action members had fun and that they might like to get something similar going in their own city. It'd be great to work together. We'll see!