One of the experiences that would heavily inform my work as Councilmember is my work in the private sector, collaborating with high-tech Fortune 500 companies to implement complex technology roll-outs. These efforts gave me firsthand knowledge on how the idealism and innovation of our technology sector is all-too-often crushed under the weight of government bureaucracy.
Yet for many residents, it’s difficult to understand the disconnect. Campbell is located in the heart of Silicon Valley — the technology capital of the world. Many residents work in high-tech companies. I’ve met personally with many who have shared their frustrations. Why do we lack access to true high-speed internet? Why is cell service so spotty in Downtown Campbell?
Answering these questions is crucial to serving the needs of our community and to attracting the high-tech talent that Campbell needs to grow. In the past, successive new City Councils have consistently identified attracting high-tech companies as key to unlocking our City’s growth, but it’s still failed to materialize.
That’s why it’s important to have a Councilmember with prior experience with highly technical yet necessary technological improvements in Bay Area municipalities. I’ve seen it work before, not only in my own experience, but through my friends in the private and nonprofit sectors who have merged the promise of technology with the potential of a truly open and accessible democracy. Under my leadership, I’ll work relentlessly to make Campbell a center for innovation in the Bay Area.
5G is the key to unlocking a new world of truly high-speed internet and cell service, with download and upload speeds at magnitudes of scale greater than anything currently available. The shift to 5G is crucial to unleashing our potential to compete in today’s global information economy. However, because of our small size, Campbell is at risk of getting left out.
As the only City leader with experience implementing 5G coverage in municipalities, I’ll use my private sector background to position Campbell to leapfrog other communities as a 5G city.
I know from my private sector experience that free wi-fi is difficult to implement, but not impossible. I’ll draw upon that experience to explore the possibility of innovative arrangements, such as opening City networks to the public by leveraging new technology with improved bandwidth capabilities — forever ending the scourge of spotty coverage and painfully slow data speeds in downtown Campbell.
I will draw on my work with the best and the brightest from academia and the private sector to design and implement an annual Digital Innovation Fellowship.
Funding for the program will come from outside sources such as nonprofit partners. Fellows will work each year to make Campbell the most innovative City in America.
We don’t need to reinvent the wheel: many nonprofit groups, such as the national organization Code for America, are already in our backyard, bringing private sector experience and talent to support the needs of local democratic institutions.
Yet, many of these organizations have previously overlooked Campbell and the dynamic impact their work could have on a small City like ours. I will use my own network to change that, forming innovative partnerships to build new tools to serve our community at no cost to our City budget.
In a post-pandemic world, I will ensure the City has access to secure and accessible digital systems to allow for City business and public accountability, as well as avenues for community engagement.
It is critical that the public is able to comment and actively participate in Council meetings, regardless of whether they are held in-person or online.
Campbell Congresswoman Anna Eshoo has proposed common-sense legislation that would allow cities to pair the construction of infrastructure necessary for high-speed upgrades with other critical needs — in other words, to only “dig once.”
The proposed legislation, if implemented, would save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. As Councilmember, I plan to advocate for this bill as well as other common-sense technology legislation.
As a small city, Campbell is surrounded on all sides by other small communities, unincorporated areas managed by Santa Clara County, and the City of San Jose. Local residents know we can drive across the street from our neighborhood and suddenly cross into another municipality, though you would never guess it from any natural landmarks. This presents a challenge when constructing new infrastructure, such as what is needed to upgrade our wireless capabilities.
I plan to explore instating partnerships with our neighboring local governments for a business-friendly environment, making it easier for technology companies to build. This would be especially transformative with the implementation of Rep. Eshoo’s “Dig Once” legislation (see above).