Midpeninsula Post

(Courtesy Anita Enander)

Anita Enander is running for Los Altos City Council.

Enander currently serves as mayor and moved to Los Altos in 1978 for the “spacious yards and small-town atmosphere.” Before her election to council in 2018, she served on the city’s planning commission. She is currently the chair of the Institute for the Desert Arabian Horse and previously served as the owner and CEO of Arabian Horse World, a media company promoting the Arabian horse breed. 

While on council, Enander said she led the adoption of a fiscally responsible budget, helped protect parkland from development, ensured safe placement of wireless equipment, worked to create the city’s first dog parks, endorsed an all-affordable housing development and led the hiring of a new city manager with Fligor.

“Four years ago I committed to making our city run better and to be the voice of residents,” Enander said. “I want to keep my commitment. … I am uniquely qualified from having been on the planning commission and worked with the council on many land use issues, to make sure we make good decisions regarding future growth in Los Altos that result in affordable housing while protecting our business districts and single family neighborhoods.”

Housing
 
In April 2021, the Los Altos City Council approved an all-affordable, 90-unit development at 330 Distel Circle. Enander said she believes that similar projects will be the key to solving the housing crisis, instead of loosening zoning restrictions in accordance with state law, which will allow for more units in what is currently single-family zoning.
 
“There is a profound housing affordability crisis,” Enander said. “There is no question that we have to do something to help people who need subsidized housing, but they will not be helped by building more luxury and market-rate housing.”
 
Currently, 15% of a multi-family development’s units have to be at or below “moderate income” level — priced for four person families making between $31,850 to $126,600 annually.
 
While Enander says she will vote in accordance with state law, she also endorses a ballot initiative that would add an amendment to the state constitution, essentially stripping the state legislature of the power to create and enforce housing laws and leaving those decisions up to each city.
 
Climate
 
During an election forum, Enander was the only candidate who did not take a position on whether or not human contributions are the primary cause behind climate change. She does, however, support reducing local greenhouse gas emissions, increasing electric car charging infrastructure and putting climate change adaptation measures in place. 
 
Enander also voted against the city’s climate action and adaptation plan in March, citing a lack of input from residents.
 
“There is no question that we are experiencing climate change,” Enander said. “There is no question in my mind that humans are accelerating or exacerbating climate change. I don’t think there is settled science that says how well we can differentiate what would be climate change… that responds to various events like volcanoes blowing up and so on, and what is [caused by] human[s]. 
 
Mental health
 
Enander supports funding the Community Health Awareness Council, which provides mental health services to schools and community members in Los Altos. Funding CHAC is the primary way that the council provides mental health services. CHAC receives 24% of its funding from joint power agencies, which includes the cities of Los Altos and Mountain View, as well as Los Altos and Mountain View Whisman school districts. 
 
“CHAC continues to be a very important part of our community, and I can only anticipate the city will continue to fund it,” Enander said. “I can’t believe that [the city] would not.”
 
Road safety
 
Following the death of a Graham Middle School student on March 17, the  council took up a resolution to approve the installation of buffered bike lanes on El Camino. There was no cost to the city. Enander voted against the resolution, citing that El Camino would remain dangerous for cyclists. 
 
Enander also emphasizes the importance of personal accountability.
 
“I live near Los Altos High School … it scares me how many kids aren’t wearing helmets,” Enander said. “Aside from stopping at corners and looking out for cars, [helmets] are your first line of defense. I don’t know what anybody can do to make kids wear their helmets.”
 
When asked about funding for bike lanes, Enander referred to the city’s Complete Streets Master Plan. However, the plan includes a recommendation for a bike lane along El Camino, which Enander voted against.
 
To learn more about Enander, visit her website here.

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