Public Safety and Community Services

I've spearheaded the restoration of essential police, fire, library, and community services. Innovative policing reforms, strategic investments, and support for youth and senior programs are enhancing public safety, addressing community needs, and tackling crime in our city.

Public Safety 

When I returned to the council in 2021, I spearheaded initiatives to restore police and fire services that were wrongly cut during the COVID-19 pandemic. And in 2022, I led the adoption of a modest tax on large businesses to ensure that they pay their fair share of the city's public safety, affordable housing, and transportation needs. ​ 

“Pat is our strongest supporter of public safety. He has led the charge in returning our police and fire staffing to their former levels while strengthening police transparency, accountability, and oversight. We need his leadership.”

-Roger Smith, President, Palo Alto Police Foundation 

I also worked with our police chief to prove that strong public safety can go hand in hand with progressive policing. Our Police Department has adopted leading reforms to ensure greater transparency, accountability, and oversight. Meanwhile, our new Public Safety Building will be completed this summer and we will soon begin reconstructing our fire station near Mitchell Park, strengthening the city's emergency response capabilities and improving overall public safety infrastructure. 

However, increases in burglaries, safety in our downtowns, and speeding on our roads is unacceptable. I will continue to support our strong collaboration with other police departments to solve crimes and to complete the full restoration of our Police, Fire, and Emergency services to historic levels. 

Community Services

We must continue to address the needs of our most vulnerable residents. I’ve led funding youth mental health programs, such as Youth Community Services, Project Safety Net, the Teen Center, and youth library, arts, and recreation programs. And, I’ve championed programs for our seniors including Avenidas, La Comida, and Palo Alto Link. I will continue to address the needs of our unhoused, disabled people, and disadvantaged members of our community. 

I’ve been an advocate of Palo Alto’s ongoing efforts to embrace diversity and create an inclusive community for all its residents including our Chinese New Year Celebrations, Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, Pride Month, and Earth Day.

Our retail areas are vital to our residents Today, we face the challenge of how to retain thriving retail areas in an era of fewer workers in their offices and more shopping online. Our retail areas need near-term and long-term investments to make them attractive places to visit and shop. The implementation of council directives for improving our downtowns has been too slow, and our permitting processes are too cumbersome and complicated for businesses and homeowners alike.  

I will continue my pragmatic approach of using resources efficiently, ensuring our immediate community needs are met together with our long-term goals.