Ed Lauing is running for the Palo Alto City Council.
Lauing is an executive recruiter through Equity Search Partners, a firm that helps companies recruit personnel. Lauing has served as the chair of the planning and parks and recreation commissions and co-chair of the Housing Element Working Group. He’s also been president of Palo Alto Babe Ruth Regional Baseball, manager of Palo Alto Little League, board member and finance chair of the Urban Ministry of Palo Alto, board member and vice president of the Congregation Beth Am executive committee and is on various Rotary Club Committees.
“I think the citizens will benefit from the way I approach problems with people [and how I can] leverage my experience to work through these [problems],” Lauing said. “I’m gonna put the time into [city council] to get it done.”
As a planning commissioner, Lauing supported the development of Wilton Court, a 59-unit complex for low-income residents and residents with disabilities. Lauing said he believes that providing affordable housing is the key to creating more economic and ethnic diversity in Palo Alto. To achieve that, Lauing said he believes that the council might need to pursue public-private partnerships.
“You know, it’s always hard to go to the voters and say, ‘Guess what, we have another task for you,’” Lauing said. “But if [residents] really want to step up to what I think is a moral imperative of having lower income people in our town, which translates to ethnic and economic diversity, then I appreciate that they have their heart there, not just their pocketbook on the issue.”
Lauing said he supports the prioritization of funding for essential workers like police officers and firefighters and said he disagrees with previous budget cuts during the pandemic.
“Why would you cut the staff in police and fire who are the people that take care of you [and] keep you safe?” Lauing said. “There was all this uproar about ‘We’re cutting libraries too much.’ We’ve got five libraries, if we only have three for a while, that’s probably okay.”
Lauing said he also wants to see an increase in the diversity of police officers to create a more effective police force.
“The force itself has to change,” Lauing said in a forum hosted by Palo Alto Daily Post. “That’s diversity of gender, which would really help in police, as well as diversity of ethnicity.”
As a parks commissioner, Lauing supported habitat and ecosystem preservation by protecting trees, planting native plant species and transforming the old Palo Alto dump into Byxbee Park.
Lauing wants the city to require new buildings to be all-electric, expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure and make the electrification process easier for residents. However, Lauing said the council should move with caution and give residents and the city’s infrastructure time to accommodate the changes.
“We’re definitely not ready to be turning off the gas right now,” Lauing said. “We have to plan that out to a reasonable timeframe and not have that be a threat angled ahead of our citizens.”
Lauing said he wants Palo Alto to be a diverse and unified community. He supports community events, like block parties, to increase ties between residents and said that lots of issues surrounding diversity come down to housing. By increasing affordable housing, Lauing said that Palo Alto’s economic and ethnic diversity could increase.
To learn more about Lauing, visit his website here.