On Tuesday, 3/7/2023, the Cupertino City Council will consider the removal of second-term Planning Commissioner R “Ray” Wang.
In January 2023, the 2022-2024 majority Council (Mayor Hung Wei, Vice Mayor Sheila Mohan, Council Member JR Fruen) replaced 2 resident-focused planning commissioners when their terms ended, but 3 remaining resident-focused planning commissioners retain the majority, as all have years remaining on their current terms. Today’s majority Council was elected with help from deep pockets from real estate, construction, and trade union interests. And it seems the majority Council expects to control the Planning Commission majority. Initially, the majority Council sought to remove Planning Commissioner Steven Scharf with a recent rule change denying council members exiting office from serving on city commissions. When that strategy failed, it seems the majority Council set their sights on removing Planning Commissioner Ray Wang.
Ray Wang has been a champion of residents’ interests going back decades. His fellow planning commissioners have elected him Chair of the Planning Commission twice and Vice Chair once. Ray Wang has a history of standing with residents and standing up to development and financial interests. Here are a few examples:
- Almost twenty years ago Ray organized residents to challenge Redwood City’s use of secondary water (treated wastewater) in parks and residences. The challenge threatened the aggressive growth industry, who attempted to scare Ray by framing him with a complaint that was never proven. Ray suffered personally and professionally from the attacks, but he persevered and his effort to protect residents was successful. For more information, see The San Mateo Daily Journal, Recycled Water Use Not Mandatory
- When the 2018 Vallco project brought out-of-town and out-of-state union-hired agitators to harass the residents who were peacefully campaigning for a better Vallco project, Ray was a supportive presence and vocal supporter of the residents’ rights.
- Ray’s tenure on the Planning Commission saw the approval of two large projects that exemplify sensible growth in Cupertino. Westport Cupertino (previously The Oaks) and the new Marina project include only minimal office space and provide housing that is required by the State of California (HCD requires Cupertino to build 4,588 housing units in the next eight year cycle). After bargaining with developer, the final Westport projects size decreased about 1/3, more commercial spaces, senior housing and assisted living units were added to alleviate traffic and parking burden.
- Wang listened to residents who had concerns on 5G towers in neighborhood. He pushed for an action taken to create 5G tower architectural standards to protect our neighborhoods. He tried very hard to seek accountability of staff for dragging out a resolution.
Here’s How You Can Help!
- Send email to tell the Cupertino City Council that residents want sensible growth that is informed by public participation in democratic policy-setting processes or follow this one-click email template.
- Attend the Cupertino City Council meeting on Tuesday, 3/7/2023 and tell the Council that you support Planning Commissioner Wang when public comment is requested for Agenda Item #11. It’s a hybrid meeting starting at 6:45pm at the Community Hall (next to Cupertino Library). To join the online meeting, please register here.
Watch the 3/3/2023 informational interview with Ray Wang to learn more.