Doria Summa is running for the Palo Alto City Council.
Summa currently serves as the vice chair of Palo Alto’s Planning Commission and the president of the College Terrace Residents’ association. She has also served on a wide variety of local committees, boards and associations in the past, including the College Terrace’s Traffic Calming committee, Residential Parking Permit committee and Palo Alto’s North Ventura Area planning committee.
“I’ve worked for over 15 years on city committees and commissions and whatnot,” Summa said. “I have a great interest in serving the community by helping the community in this capacity [as a city councilmember] because it’s something I think I can do.”
Like Lauing, Summa supports the prioritization of affordable housing and was in favor of the Wilton Court development in January 2019. Summa said she believes that densifying Palo Alto may be necessary to meet the state’s mandate of 6,086 housing units by 2031, though she has resisted housing developments in the past and spoken out against giving developers less strict zoning requirements.
Summa said she wants the council to plan developments thoroughly so that the new units are fully integrated into Palo Alto.
“I don’t want to just put people in a house, I want people to be part of a community,” Summa said. “So as we densify and grow, I think we have to keep in mind how we can do that best and still provide the things that make Palo Alto seem like Palo Alto: education, parks, open space.”
Summa said that she wants to use the projected money from Measure K to increase police staffing. In addition to that, she said she believes other funding methods or budgeting may be needed to support the department fully.
“The temporary funding we have maybe will partially be addressed by the business tax, but not completely,” Summa said. “So, we have to really look to budgeting and how we’re going to spend our money and where our priorities are.”
Summa said she supports Palo Alto’s electrification and climate goals but has voiced concern about moving too fast. She emphasized the need to create an infrastructure capable of supporting Palo Alto’s growing power grid.
“We have to [electrify] in a manner that we are sure our local infrastructure and state infrastructure can handle [electrification],” Summa said.
Summa also said she wants to prioritize the protection of parks and other green spaces in Palo Alto.
Summa wants to support helping small businesses in downtown areas through increased parking availability and more thorough city zoning.
“Where we meet to do business together is where we come together a lot as public,” Summa said. “I think our downtown areas are priceless places for us to meet and be together as a people.”
To learn more about Summa, visit her website here.