Santa Clara County Voter's Guide On Children's Issues

City of Mountain View

Leonard "Lenny" Siegel

We should continue to treasure our cultural and socioeconomic diversity. We must provide opportunities for low-income families to live near their workplaces and good schools, and we must fight federal policies designed to break up and punish immigrant families.

  1. Taking into consideration the profound impact of COVID-19 and the expanded movement for racial justice and equity, what do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?

    1. COVID-19 has exacerbated the displacement of low-income families, particularly households of color. Mountain View should adopt strong anti-displacement policies, building upon Measure V rent control, and provide assistance - hopefully with additional funding from state and federal governments - to make it possible for families that self-evicted to move back to the citycity and live near where the parents work.
    2. Despite our strong school system, many indigenous, black, brown, and other immigrant children are left behind. We should strengthen early childhood education and provide both city and school programs designed to overcome inequity in educational results.
    3. COVID-19 has bared the inequities in our private health care system. Until we have a single-payer system that guarantees everyone proper health care, we should expand outreach and services to underserved populations. It should be made clearer that seeking services will not lead to deportation

  2. How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?

    The city budget category that most relates to my three priorities is housing. Mountain View should continue to allocate money and use public land to keep building subsidized housing, but we should recognize that many city programs, such as recreation and the library, can also help address historic inequities.

  3. What steps will you take to address the high cost and lack of availability of quality child care and preschool programs in our communities, especially for low-income children and English language learners?

    Mountain View currently provides a pre-school program designed to serve low-income and English language learners. Working with churches and non-governmental organizations, we need to explore the impediments to families taking part in this program. If that increases demand, we should increase funding.

  4. What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?

    I support the creation of a Magical Bridge playground in Mountain View as well as recreational programs that mainstream, when appropriate, children with special needs. Bringing children with disabilities into recreational and educational programs that serve the general population helps overcome discriminatory attitudes, increasing the opportunities for such children to become independent adults.

  5. Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the "opportunity gap" that low-income children and children of color experience, including lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors and enrichment activities. If elected, what steps will you take to address this issue?

    The city should continue to work with the County, our schools, and non-profit organizations to provide such assistance. Instead of forcing out housing-challenged families, such as vehicle residents, we should provide services at sanctioned encampments and neighborhood facilities. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, this includes digital connectivity. While some services should be subsidized, all some families need is access. That is, they are willing to pay reasonable amounts. Furthermore, educational programs that serve adults, such as the English-language and other training at the Day Workers Center, help immigrant adults help their children.