Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Response to Questionnaire from City Council Candidate Ed Hernandez

Last month, I sent the four candidates for San Leandro City Council a questionnaire asking for their positions on local issues and information on their background.  Only Ed Hernandez responded.  He is running for City Council District 2, the seat currently held by Ursula Reed who terms out this this.  Bryan Azevdo, also running for City Council District 2, informed me that he would not be responding.  Likewise, Benny Lee and Pete Ballew, who are running unopposed for other district seats have not responded.

Below are Ed's responses. You can learn more about him at

Policy Questions
1. What is the most pressing issue facing San Leandro and how would you
address it?

The most pressing issue facing San Leandro, and the entire Bay Area is a
lack of housing for all income levels. To address the housing needs of San
Leandro we must ensure that any development at BART, in our Downtown,
and along our transit corridors are mixed-use developments.

Additionally, it’s important to have a dialogue on the affordable housing set- side
for new development, and expanding the first time homebuyers
program while ensuring renters have a say in the process as well.

2. What are three other significant issues facing San Leandro and how would
you address each one?

My core vision for San Leandro, and its residents, is a thriving city full of
opportunity. I want long-term fiscal stability so we can fully fund public
safety, safeguard our neighborhoods and reduce emergency response
times, improve our schools, enhance retail and housing options throughout
our neighborhoods, revitalize Bayfair, repair our streets, fix potholes and
reduce traffic and enhance safety-net programs.

For the past five years, I have been active member of the Planning
Commission with various projects for housing and jobs (the Village
Marketplace, San Leandro Tech Campus, Marina Redevelopment, Marea Alta
and the Bayfair Specific Plan). In addition, I have been an active participant
in the General Plan Update to include sustainability elements such as ‘street
diets,’ increasing modes of transportation such as walkability, nonmotorized
vehicles, Transit Oriented Development and leveraging the 2013
Next Generation Workplace study to humanize the Industrial Area in San
Leandro (less trucks, storage of stuff).

I have served for five years on the Planning Commission, and currently
serve as Chair. I’ve been an integral part of the progress San Leandro has
made recently through the years of planning. I bring the professional
experience, skills and education to serve on Council while we implement
our long range plans for the City. I want to ensure we work together to seize
opportunities and tackle our challenges while we shape San Leandro’s

3. How do you intend to gather community input and involve the community in
making decisions on significant matters?

It is important for the community to be involved in the public process. We
can increase participation by holding additional community meetings,
optimizing our social media presence and reaching out where people
congregate. As opposed to waiting for constituents to come to us we need
to go to them.

4. Over the preceding 12 months, how many City Council meetings and/or work
sessions have you attended?

I have attended a majority of the City Council meetings, at least 2/3 of the
meetings and work sessions in the past 12 months, and every Planning
Commission meeting.

5. The San Leandro school district has placed a $104 million construction bond
on the November ballot to fund a wide range of modernization and renovation
needs at school sites. Do you support or oppose the bond measure?

I support the Measure J1 to invest our school’s necessary improvement and
infrastructure to ensure the environment where our students learn is a safe
and productive environment.

6. The City of San Leandro has placed three taxes measures that will allocate
funds to the City’s general fund to be spent, if adopted, as determined by the City
Council in its budgeting process. Do you support or oppose these tax
measures? How best should the City spend the revenues the new taxes will
generate should they be adopted by the voters?

I support Measures MM, OO and PP. The best investment we can make with
the revenue from these measures is to first fund critical public safety
services, fix our streets, repair the potholes and fund safety-net programs.

7. Do you support the City’s business development objective of transforming
San Leandro a new center of innovation in the San Francisco Bay Area? If yes,
how would you advance this objective while ensuring our City maintains the
unique qualities of its residential neighborhoods?

Absolutely! Through collaborative efforts with staff, elected officials, and
the business community, we can enhance our ecosystem to attract high paying
jobs of advanced manufacturing and technology oriented
businesses like Type A 3D Printing into San Leandro.

8. How would you ensure San Leandro is a sustainable city and safeguards its
environment, open spaces/parks, and natural resources?

To be sustainable, we must work together to identify the current needs and
uses of the community, ensure balance within the environment, provide the
open areas to enjoy nature and ensure we protect our vital and natural
resources. Through public input, investments in sustainability from
government, local businesses and our community, we can work together to
ensure we leave San Leandro a better place than we found it.

9. Do you support or oppose limitations on annual increases that landlord can
impose on San Leandro residential tenants? Please explain your position.

It is important to balance the needs of the community and those of the
residents, owners and renters, to maintain the sense of character in our
community. The recent efforts to mitigate the exorbitant increases in rent is
a good step, however the need (and focus) to provide additional housing for
the current and future population of San Leandro is vital to providing the
necessary shelter for those most likely to be impacted by changes to their
living standards and costs associated with those needs.

10. How would you keep San Leandro safe?

We must fully fund public safety give our first responder the training and
tools they need, enhance safety-net programs and engage our youth in
appealing programs in their neighborhoods.

11. How would you work to promote diversity and tolerance and combat racism
and discrimination in San Leandro?

I recently attended the Unity in the Community meeting where I suggested
we form a Diversity and Inclusion Commission that could be a sustained
effort supported by the city to erase racism in the City of San Leandro.
Through this and possibly a Chief Diversity Officer, we could attract a
diverse workforce at City Hall that could outreach to all community
members and build trust/rapport with our local leaders.

Personal Background
1. Are you retired or working? If working, what is present occupation and
employer? If retired, what was your last occupation and employer?

I am a Real Estate Operations Manager for Robert Half International for the
past year where I support the existing needs of the business as well as
support the adoption of technology to improve the work/life balance of their
employees while minimizing the footprint of the real estate portfolio.

I have their full support of my efforts to be a candidate and hopefully a
member of the City Council.

2. What skills and life experiences do you possess that make you uniquely
qualified to serve on the City Council?

I have served for five years on the Planning Commission, and currently serve
as its Chair. I’ve been an instrumental part of the remarkable progress San
Leandro has made recently in the recent years. I bring the professional
experience, skills and education to serve on Council while we implement
these years of planning for the community. I want to ensure we work together
to seize opportunities and tackle our challenges while we shape San
Leandro’s future.

3. Do you have a degree from a college or university? If yes, please state the
degree(s), year of graduation, and educational institution from which you obtained
the degree(s).

I received an MS, Organizations Development from University of San
Francisco in 2012, an MBA, Strategic Management from Cal State East Bay
in 2001 and a BS, Financial Management from Cal State Long Beach in 1999.

4. Please list any elected offices you have held or City of San Leandro Boards or
Commissions on which you have served.

I am in my fifth year on San Leandro’s Planning Commission, a Commission
I currently Chair.

5. Please list any community, faith based, labor, business, or nonprofit service
organizations of which you are a member and any leadership positions within
these organizations that you have held.

I am the Dad’s Club Treasurer at my daughters’ school, previous Pastoral
Council Secretary at Assumption Catholic Church, and a member of the San
Leandro Democratic Club.

6. Please list any advocacy, professional or issue-based organizations of which
you are a member and any leadership positions within these organizations that
you have held.

Until deciding to run for City Council I served on the San Leandro Chamber
Board of Directors. I am a President Emeritus of the National Society of
Hispanic MBA’s (now Prospanica) and a member of the Urban Land

7.    Have you ever been arrested as an adult (21 and older)?  If yes, please
 describe the circumstances of the arrest(s) and outcome of the legal proceedings.


8. Have you ever been accused of or investigated for defrauding others, financial
misconduct, conflict of interest, taking bribes and/or accepting illegal gifts? If yes,
please explain the allegations made and outcome of the investigation or


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