Midpeninsula Post

(Courtesy Vicki Veenker)

Veenker has worked as a patent lawyer and is currently the head of her own law practice. She has served on the board of directors of WIREforWomen and the advisory board of FundHer and was the president of the board of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. Veenker also launched Sibling Cities U.S.A. and helped facilitate Palo Alto’s sibling city project with Bloomington, Indiana.

“I care deeply about this city that has given so much to me, and to my daughters,” Veenker said. “I believe I have a good set of skills to apply to the problems that the city faces today.”

Housing

Veenker said she wants to make Palo Alto an inclusive city and has conducted community outreach at her church to help support the unhoused. She said she wants to prioritize affordable housing and is a proponent of denser developments closer to downtown and higher transit areas.

To fund affordable housing options, Veenker wants the city to reach out to other entities, like Santa Clara County or private companies like Meta or Google.

“I think [working with outside entities] makes [projects] stronger because it develops relationships and partnerships that are important for the success of the project,” Veenker said. “And, that can lead to other projects down the road.”

City services

Palo Alto libraries are no longer open on Sundays due to funding issues. Veenker wants to change this and supports increasing funding to libraries where “communities gather regardless of income.”

“Sundays are a day when families get together,” Veenker said. “So that’s why I called it out specifically because you can go to both Rinconada and Mitchell [library] on Saturday, but you can’t go to either one of them on Sunday, and just doesn’t make sense. I want more hours, and I want coordinated hours, it may take a while [and] we may have to be a little patient until we get back to pre-pandemic seven days a week.”

Environment

Veenker supports electrification and said she wants residents to move away from gas as quickly as possible. To do this, Veenker suggests offering incentives and aid, especially for lower-income families.

Veenker acknowledged the need for future funding and says she may look to outside help.

“There are private entities that support this and can partner with us,” Veenker said. “And we’re going to need to look to all of those resources because it’s not just that we need to do it — we need to do it quickly … But [electrification has] just got to be a top priority.”

Community inclusivity

As a proponent for revitalizing Palo Alto’s libraries, Veenker said she hopes increased library hours and funding would help reunite residents after isolation during the pandemic. Veenker also supports investment into parks and other spaces where residents can meet.

To learn more about Veenker, visit her website here.

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