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

City of Mountain View

Margaret Abe-Koga

http://reelectmak2020.com

Championing the voices of children and families has been a cornerstone of my elected office work. As a mother and first Asian Pacific American female to serve on the Mountain View City Council, I strive to ensure that everyone, regardless of background, has equal opportunity and the resources needed to succeed..

  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?

    Recovering from the pandemic and promoting economic development so people can go back to work and provide for their families.and cities can continue to provide supportive city programs and services
    Combatting climate change
    Youth Mental Health

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

    Getting us through this pandemic and weathering the imposed recession will be the single most important priority for our City. We will need to focus on economic development, understanding that businesses are a big part of the economic engine of a city to be able to provide programs and services. We were able to balance our budget without cuts this year, but depending on the length of the pandemic, we may need to look at tightening our belts down the road. I will look at our city budget through an equity lens, working to ensure that we continue to assist those in most need, and that we are equitable in service delivery amongst our diverse population.

  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?

    One of my motivations for running for the City Council back in 2006, was a decision on the City building childcare facility that would provide for low-income families. At that time, the project was in jeopardy, and when I looked at the Council, I realized there was no-one on the council with young children in our schools. Thus, I have made children and families a priority and have championed quality child care options, including the City built facility. Over my tenure, I advocated for streamlining our regulations to make it easier for childcare facilities to locate and operate, and am exploring potential partnerships with non-profits to provide more affordable childcare/preschool.

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

    The City's childcare facility operator is LearningLinks, an inclusive preschool program. We are increasing affordable housing developments that include units for the disabled. We have also approved the Magical Bridge All-inclusive Playground project to be built at our Rengstorff Park.. I have enthusiastically supported all of these initiatives and will continue to look for opportunities to implement programs and infrastructure inclusive of children/individuals with special needs or disabilities.

  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?

    As a woman of color, equity and inclusion have been foremost priorities in my work. I have also been a strong advocate for strengthening partnerships with our school districts to provide opportunities for all children. I championed the building of a teen center, strengthening after school programs, providing financial aid for lower-income families to subscribe to our recreation programs, and offering library programs and multi-languages. In the General Plan Update I helped initiate in 2008, I secured funding to include a health element to encourage access to healthy food as well as enhanced walkability and bikeability throughout the City equitably. I will continue these efforts.