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Editorial: Our election recommendations

Original post made on May 12, 2022

The Palo Alto Weekly editorial board offers its recommendations in the races for Congressional District 16 and Santa Clara County sheriff, district attorney and assessor, plus Measure A.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 12, 2022, 9:42 AM

Comments (33)

Posted by Palo Alto Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 12, 2022 at 11:11 am

Palo Alto Mom is a registered user.

Thank you to the Weekly for your endorsement of Ajwang Rading! He is a breath of fresh air that brings much-needed energy, new ideas, and a deep commitment and sense of urgency to issues of our climate crisis, affordable housing, healthcare reform, and social justice. His life/work experiences are invaluable and he has proven in this campaign that he connects with and motivates people of all ages and backgrounds. He has quite a following of first-time voting high school students in the district who have been door knocking and spreading the word about his candidacy at farmers markets. Anna has sat very comfortably in her seat for almost 3 decades now which is just too long for anyone, no matter how popular. I wholeheartedly agree with the Weekly, that it's time for her to "be creating opportunities and encouraging new candidates to follow in their footsteps and allow a new generation of leaders to represent us." And may I add, especially now that such an outstanding candidate like Ajwang is in the field!! #timeforchange


Posted by J Smith
a resident of Mountain View
on May 12, 2022 at 12:17 pm

J Smith is a registered user.

As a longtime Anna voter, I agree with this article. Her years of dedicated service have been a cornerstone to our community but it is time to share the wealth of knowledge and experience to tackle new issues.

When I first heard of Ajwang discussing the most important issues during the League of Woman Voters discussion I was deeply impressed and inspired. He gives me hope for the future of our country! I am looking forward to seeing more from him!


Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2022 at 12:19 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

Experience matters...a LOT in Washington. I met Mr. Rading, a smart, warm young man with healthy values and deep life experience that informs a compassionate nature. He graduated from law school a couple of years ago and lacks political experience. Mr. Rading, please start at a city, county or state level. Learn the ropes. Learn how to build coalitions. Build relationships. Learn the process. Without these skills, they will eat you alive in Washington. I see in you a man I could vote for once you have more experience.

Mr. Kumar, the tone of the campaign materials I have received from you has been hostile, disrespectful and dismissive of U.S. Rep Eshoo's long and distinguished service. Your claims are ripe with hyperbole. That is not what I expect from a congressional representative. Your campaign conduct should be representative of how you plan to conduct yourself in Washington. You also lack the kind of government leadership experience that matters in Washington. I am also curious about which analytics software company you serve as an executive. We need better regulation of big tech, and I would like to know who you serve in this arena. Your professional affiliation seems to have been wiped from your internet presence.

Rep. Eshoo, thank you for your service. I probably will vote for you again this one last time because I appreciate your experience and contributions. Please use this term to cultivate talented young people to replace you. It is time for that.


Posted by HopefulThinker
a resident of University South
on May 12, 2022 at 12:31 pm

HopefulThinker is a registered user.

My wife and I have supported Anna Eshoo for decades. We are very fond of her. However, about two months ago, we were out for a walk with our dog together, and we notice Ajwang canvassing door to door. We slowed to watch what Ajwang was doing at one particular door and to see if the person was receptive. After what felt like a 5-minute conversation that we could barely make out, Ajwang turns back toward the sidewalk and immediately approaches us, 'Hello, my name is Ajwang, and I'm running for Congress, what issues do you care most about?' At first, I was embarrassed that we were caught staring but I felt nothing but Clinton-esque empathy from this young man.

It's an understatement to say we were floored by his overall presentation and intellect. I tried to throw a curveball policy question but of course, Ajwang answered in extraordinary detail. When I asked him if he were a lefty or centrist, he gave the perfect response: "a pragmatist."

As we walked home, my wife, who I would consider a lifelong Eshoo acolyte, said something I never thought I would hear: "I love Anna but I think I'm going to vote for Ajwang."

As a Palo Alto native, Ajwang represents something we haven't felt in a very long time... hope.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2022 at 1:13 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

A person does not run for Congress that has never been in an election before or participated in city, state, or local processes. That is an overreach. A person has to get out there and prove themselves before they choose to run for a federal office. How nice he is, or has good talking points is fine. But not my choice for a federal office in DC. That is like stacking the deck with unknowns. Seems to be a problem in this year.

The former mayor of Menlo Park has a proven track record of moving his city along to accomplish the established goals of this state.


Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 12, 2022 at 1:20 pm

Palo Alto Native is a registered user.

I'm thrilled that PA Online endorses Mr. Rading. He is a formidable young man with great, compassion, energy, experience and intellect. His unique perspective on public policy will really help this district. BTW, he has stronger experience than most in federal politics, having worked as a legislative aide to Sen. Booker. He knows the ins and outs of debating, amending, and passing legislation perhaps better than anybody in this race.

Though Anna has been a faithful servant of our district, I have questions about her connections to Big Pharma and why drug prices here are so darn high. I think there is a correlation between the two. Also, her lack of urgency when it comes to climate changes and other pressing issues is a little unsettling. 30+ years is too much and undemocratic. It's due time for a change.


Posted by HopefulThinker
a resident of University South
on May 12, 2022 at 3:18 pm

HopefulThinker is a registered user.

Do you know what office Bill Clinton first ran for? At the age of 27, he ran for the House of Representatives in Arkansas. Even though he was unsuccessful, you what Bill Clinton then ran for? Arkansas' Attorney General! And he won! While I think most agree that its nice to have experience, to your statement:

"A person does not run for Congress that has never been in an election before or participated in city, state, or local processes. That is an overreach."

We should ask a former President what he thinks. I see Ajwang in that light, with similar expertise and impact at a similar age. He will likely accomplish big things for this District with his new thinking!


Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on May 12, 2022 at 5:51 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

I feel bad for the residents of SCC if "soft on crime" Rosen wins again. Crime rates rise with soft on crime prosecution. If you've ever wondered if that's part of the reason crime in Palo Alto has gotten worse, the answer is yes. Criminal justice reforms are creating a revolving door for repeat offenders. Most people are more concerned about the victims, and we refuse to coddle criminals.


Posted by SRB
a resident of Mountain View
on May 12, 2022 at 7:08 pm

SRB is a registered user.

100% agree with recommendation on the Water District's Measure A: a very easy NO.

And shame on our local rep -Gary Kremen- for putting that deceiving and self serving measure on the ballot .... -wasting over $3M in the process-.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2022 at 7:33 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

What we all have seen is what people say during an election is not necessarily what you get when they are in office. What in part is required is the vetting of the individuals. As noted above some claims by individuals as to experience cannot be proved by any actual documentation as to facts.

Note that Cory Booker - aka Spartacus - represents his senate area of New Jersey. He has been relatively quiet of late. Our Congressional District is very different and has a lot of complexities regarding Hi-Tech issues which are not relative to other state issues. We need congressional representation which directly affects what we are doing here in CA. This congressional district is about us and our issues. We need people who totally understand what this congressional district is dealing with and problems we are trying to solve.


Posted by KarlWolff
a resident of Portola Valley
on May 13, 2022 at 8:45 am

KarlWolff is a registered user.

Another Dem lawyer (that worked for Booker) is the last thing we need...


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2022 at 7:23 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

the person they are recommending - Mr. Rading is 30 years old. Given the history that was presented in the Voter's book by Mr. Rading I do not see any relevance to the very complicated Silicon Valley complications which are swirling in the news these days. This specific congressional district has problems which are unique to the state of CA and this congressional area. We need people who are grounded in the business and legal environment we live in - and are well known to us to solve the problems we are encountering here. We are here to protect our direct environment - not solve other state goals and aspirations.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2022 at 12:25 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Here is a recommendation for the City of Palo Alto. Have the Mayor position be voted on by the residents of the city.

We have a percentage of residents who want to capitalize on this cities name by feeding information out to the national press so we can say we - the city - thought the idea up. Always pushing to get notoriety. And most of the residents do not agree with these ideas and do not appreciate the grandstanding for political advancement.

Have the Mayor candidates state what their goals are which are measurable. We need to know up front what the goals are and what they plan on achieving. And if they start sliding sideways down a different path then they are out the door.

WE have too many different ideas of what the city is responsible for - some want a sociology class project here to show how woke they are. That is not running a city.
Time to have the residents decide who the mayor is from the candidates that want to run.


Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 16, 2022 at 5:39 pm

rsmithjr is a registered user.

I am 77 years old and still believe that experience means something. The House is enriched by having Anna Eshoo in it.


Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2022 at 1:01 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

I am grateful for Rep Eshoo's long and distinguished service, as well.


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on May 17, 2022 at 5:46 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

We don't need any more idealistic "self-called progressives" in Congress. They're just as dangerous as the MAGA morons --- only for the future of the US economy and not the US Rule of Law and our Constitutional liberties. And both threaten the 1st Amendment out of idealism and gross ignorance. Me, I'm a fierce Moderate Independent who wants "steady as she goes" and not "throw the baby out with the bathwater out of sheer stupidity". And I'm exercising my 1st Amendment right to free political speech here. Too sad and frightening so many people at both extremes would try to shut me up.


Posted by John Mark Agosta
a resident of College Terrace
on May 18, 2022 at 1:13 pm

John Mark Agosta is a registered user.

Why the article discounts Greg Tanaka's campaign entirely raises some questions. I admire the field of well qualified candidates--there's clearly a wide range of choices available. However a combination of experience as an elected official and in high tech, and familiarity with Silicon Valley's uniqueness should be what we look for in our representative. I'll leave it to you to review the candidates, but as a financially astute moderate, with a dedication to the electorate Greg deserves serious consideration.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 18, 2022 at 6:18 pm

Annette is a registered user.

I agree that Greg Tanaka is financially astute. Residents can rely on him to push back against unnecessary spending. But he is not persuasive. If a candidate who has served in elected office doesn't have a strong track record of being able to put forth a motion and get his/her colleagues to vote for that motion, does it make sense to promote that person to higher office? Congress is obviously a much bigger arena than a 7-person city council. I am more than a little surprised that Mr. Tanaka thinks he is prepared to make that leap.


Posted by Carlos
a resident of Green Acres
on May 19, 2022 at 4:14 pm

Carlos is a registered user.

Still learning and figuring out who will get my vote, but one priority we should all address is the escalating wave of violence and crime we have seen lately. Given how easy it is for those who get caught to be released and offend again, I'll be voting for a new district attorney, and I'll support whoever has a hardline proposal to lock up all these offenders and provide a safer environment for law-abiding residents.


Posted by caseyc
a resident of Downtown North
on May 20, 2022 at 4:17 pm

caseyc is a registered user.

I know he hasn’t run for office before, but I like Mr Rading because he puts dealing with the climate crisis at the top of his list. I don’t see that same prioritization by the other contenders. We are on the brink of environmental disaster, and Rading knows it and positions the issue where it belongs.


Posted by jguislin
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 23, 2022 at 10:33 am

jguislin is a registered user.

The only reason you site for wanting to replace Anna Eshoo and Larry Stone is their age - that is age discrimination as clear as can be. There may be other reasons for wanting someone to replace them, but you do not offer any. Your rationale is a not-so-subtle bias that permeates our society. Disappointing reasoning from a (mostly) respectable source!


Posted by cheese guy
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 24, 2022 at 6:00 am

cheese guy is a registered user.

I completely agree with jguislin's comment above. This article and endorsement absolutely reeks of agism, noting the age of the Anna A and suggesting that it's time for her to do something different. Please, give me someone with accumulated wisdom and existing relationships in Congress over someone who has never been elected to public office.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 24, 2022 at 9:27 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Yup re ageism. And it ignores the seniority required for committee assignments and leadership. You'd think maturity would matter to PAO after its endorsement of Adrian Fine whose temper tantrums were legendary.


Posted by Nonsense
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 25, 2022 at 12:47 pm

Nonsense is a registered user.

Who cares if Anna is older than Biden. Even if she was 100, I would still vote for her.

What I don't like is that Ajwang lived here less than a couple of years. How can he possibly understand our issues and represent us properly?

[Portion removed. Political signs are exempt from sign ordinances that prohibit signs on public property. Only regulations requiring their removal after an election are allowable under both the law and court decisions.]


Posted by Michelle Preacher
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 30, 2022 at 12:52 pm

Michelle Preacher is a registered user.

@Nonesnse - Where are you getting your information that Ajwang has lived here for a couple of years? This is categorically false. I noticed a Greg Tanaka google ad stating the same, which I think is the first attack ad of the race.

Yesterday, I recently attended a meet and greet of Ajwang's and he knows more about the area than myself living here for decades. We do realize that the new District goes from South San Jose to Pacifica, including Palo Alto? So before we drop the whistles that a young, black candidate doesn't "understand" the issues of the area, one should first meet him. I was an avid Anna Eshoo supporter and absolutely detest the "progressives" in Congress -- that is not Ajwang -- he is pragmatic and center-left. These attempts to frame him one thing or another another speaks to his momentum.


Posted by Anonymous complaint?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2022 at 11:57 am

Anonymous complaint? is a registered user.

@Preacher I just checked out Ajwang's ballotpedia. He graduated UCLA in June 2020 so it looks like he has been here less than two years. I don't mind that he is young, but I do wish he lived in the Bay Area longer.

The only attacks ads I've seen is Ajwang's against Eshoo and Kumar. I have seen Tanaka's Youtube ads but I haven't seen anything mentioning Ajwang.

To all candidates: Campaign on your strengths and stop the negative ads!


Posted by Duveneck neighbor
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 2, 2022 at 10:58 am

Duveneck neighbor is a registered user.

I have been unable to vote for Representative Eshoo since her disastrous support for the war in Iraq -- the consequences of which resonate negatively to this day, and overwhelm her other contributions.

Therefore, I'm glad to read the Weekly's recommendation of Mr Ajwang.


Posted by LindaPA
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 2, 2022 at 3:53 pm

LindaPA is a registered user.

I'm excited to vote for Anna again. She is such a strong, principled voice for her constituents. She has the experience, the knowledge, and the relationships in Congress to keep getting things done for us. I hope Ajwang considers running for local office if he doesn't win this seat. I remember when folks commented that Vicki Veenker should have run for local office rather than going straight to the State Assembly race; I haven't heard anyone say that about Ajwang, though Congress is an even higher office. Local politics matters - please get involved at the local level! And go Anna!!


Posted by PA Community Advocate
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2022 at 9:36 pm

PA Community Advocate is a registered user.

Term limits please. Career politicians need to go.


Posted by Dubious
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 3, 2022 at 3:05 pm

Dubious is a registered user.

I am dubious about Ajwang Rading. I appreciate that we may want to turn over the representation in our district to a younger representative, but I see signs that Mr. Rajwang is not experienced enough to represent our district.

He touts his general legal practice as extremely broad and sophisticated. But he is only 2 years out of law school, and I suspect that he is currently on a leave of absence for the election (this is an assumption, and I could be wrong). Associates typically start at law firms in about Aug/Sept. after graduating, and assuming that he's been on leave for a couple of months, he's likely worked at the firm for 18 months. That is an extremely junior law firm associate. He is inevitably stretching significantly when he describes his experience. I get it that politicians do this, but I think we as voters all need to pay particular attention to his exaggerations.

He claims to have significant experience in emerging technologies (while also being very experienced on climate, social justice, etc. . . . so much expertise in so little time), and he uses this background to advocate for crypto technologies. He writes he "firmly believes the next chapter of the internet will be formed through decentralization, cryptography and blockchain technology." I fear he's jumping on a trendy Silicon Valley theme that is not well thought through. I don't want a politician, especially someone without actual expertise, who "firmly" believes that a speculative technology is going to be the next thing. It might, and it might not, and there are a lot of good reasons for it not to be the future of the internet and commerce. Just this week, a group of technologists wrote to congress to urge caution on crypto: Web Link


Posted by Scotty
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 3, 2022 at 4:30 pm

Scotty is a registered user.

I think of Anna every time a commercial airliner flies over my house. Needless to say, I think of her often.


Posted by community member
a resident of University South
on Jun 3, 2022 at 4:31 pm

community member is a registered user.

Several very expensive ads for Tanaka have come in the mail.
He is not endorsed by any local organization. Or any known individual.

Also,he does not speak clearly and I can't understand him when
watching Council meetings. He mumbles and goes on at length.
I switch channels when he goes on and on.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 3, 2022 at 5:58 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Every person who enters congress will require a background check and security clearances. What is required - where did you go to high school and college, when did you graduate? Law school? Date you eneterd law school, date you graduated. Pass the Bar? When and what state. Look at anyone's wikipedia page - extreme amount of information regarding background and current status. Checking google do not see the basic information on Mr. Rading. This is his "maiden voyage" into politics and has not covered the basic information that validates him. That is the starting point. Speeches provided by special intersts are just that - speeches. As a junior he will have to learn first.

We are not doing smoke and mirrors here. already been there and done that. Plenty of time for him to fill the blanks with actual performance on a job with a government entity.

Anna appears very with it in her ads and is doing a very good job.
Do not get the comment above about the airlines. SJX and SFO are major rmployers in the bay area - they feed the business and tourist business which this area desperately needs to survive. They feed the hotel industry and special events industry.


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