Midpeninsula Post

Brian Hamachek

(Courtesy Brian Hamachek)

Brian Hamachek is running for the Palo Alto City Council.

Hamachek was born and raised in Palo Alto and currently works as a software engineer at HP. He co-founded and is the former CEO of Nearby, a social networking platform that became popular in India.

“I was born and raised in Palo Alto, I’ve lived here almost my entire life, and I think that that gives me a certain perspective that is pretty unique and valuable to the city council,” Hamachek said. “For me, this is home.”

Housing

Hamachek said he wants to limit dense developments in single-family neighborhoods and he would “defer to local residents” on issues regarding housing and the creation of new neighborhoods.

The council approved a safe parking program allowing people to park their cars and spend the night in First Congregational Church’s parking lot — a controversial decision amongst residents. Hamachek said that while he thought the program had merit, as a councilmember, he probably would have voted against it.

“I think that in general, decisions like [the safe parking program] should come down to the people that it’s going to impact the most,” Hamachek said. “Without knowing exactly what the breakdown is of the local neighbors being for or against that, I think that they’re almost universally opposed to it.”

City services

Hamachek said he supports increased police transparency, for example, through radio decryption.

“Decrypting the police radio might seem like a small thing, but it’s an indication of a broader change [of how the police] are viewing interacting with the public,” Hamachek said in a forum hosted by the Palo Alto Daily Post.

Hamachek is also the only candidate that listed Palo Alto’s municipal fiber network — which is a city project in its planning stages that would provide residents with high speed internet connection — as a priority.

“We’re at the heart of Silicon Valley and it just makes sense for us to be at the forefront of these kinds of technologies,” Hamachek said. “I think that the existing providers are not going to be able to provide as good of a service … I think that there’s definitely a lot of demand for [the fiber network].”

Community inclusivity

Hamachek said he wants to prioritize supporting local businesses, especially after the pandemic. 

In an effort to help local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the council voted to close California Ave. to cars until December 2023. If elected, Hamachek said he would explore similar  opportunities. 

“I think we should evaluate doing similar things in downtown Palo Alto,” Hamachek said. “I know that Menlo Park has had a lot of success with street closures, and … by making it a more inviting place, it’s going to bring more business, more people are going to come out just to be there.”

To learn more about Hamachek, visit his website here.

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