Midpeninsula Post

(Courtesy Justin Cohen)

Justin Cohen is running for Mountain View City Council.

Cohen, a 24-year-old Tesla engineer, is running a campaign centered around direct democracy. Cohen grew up in a New York City suburb and only moved to Mountain View in the summer of 2021. He’s also only ever viewed one council meeting via YouTube livestream. However, Cohen said he believes that his lack of political experience and status as a new resident gives him a fresh perspective.

Cohen’s approach is also somewhat unusual: He plans to post council items to an app — which he will make — prior to meetings, then vote according to residents’ responses. For residents who don’t speak English, Cohen said he’ll provide translations. 

“I don’t think it can be that complicated,” Cohen said of being a council member in an interview with the Mountain View Voice. “I’m not voicing what I believe, I’m just doing what this poll system tells me to do.”

That doesn’t mean that Cohen doesn’t have his own political beliefs, though.

When asked about the city’s oversized vehicle parking ban in an interview with the Mountain View Voice, Cohen said “it’s kinda gross” how there are “RVs everywhere” and recommended that the city help residents living in RVs to “figure out a new place to live.” He suggested a “happy medium” for housing: creating a low cost, lower unit solution, though he did not offer specifics.

Cohen did not respond to the Post’s requests for comment. He does not have a campaign website.

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