Meet the Cupertino City Council candidates


Elia Chen

Story reported on by Elia Chen and Claire Lu

On Nov. 4, Cupertino residents will be asked to vote for candidates to fill three open board member positions on the City Council. Two candidates, Mark Santoro and Barry Chang, are running for re-election. Here is an overview of the candidates’ policies and backgrounds.

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The owner of Better Home & Loan, a small real estate company, Barry Chang has served on the Cupertino City Council for five years. He first served on the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees, became Cupertino Public Safety Commissioner, and is currently a member of  City Council.

As a council member, Chang will advocate for finishing the Bay Area Rapid Transit lines and building a Light Rail System in the middle of Highway 85. His policies will focus on the environment and public health, which include calling for an Environmental Impact Report on Highway 85.

Key Issues:

As a council member, Chang will advocate for finishing the Bay Area Rapid Transit lines and building a Light Rail System in the middle of Highway 85. His policies will focus on the environment and public health, which include calling for an Environmental Impact Report on Highway 85.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Don Sun”]

Don Sun is the CEO of Sierra Tea and has served on Cupertino’s Planning Commission since 2011. He is also involved with the Cupertino Rotary Club and the Cupertino Historical Society and has served as the Executive Director for the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Bay Area Chapter.

As a Planning Commissioner, he handled business and residential cases and worked with Apple to devise solutions to traffic issues stemming from its Campus 2 project.

Key Issues:

Sun has focused on environmental policy, suggesting that Cupertino add eco-friendly bike lanes and implement more sustainable environmental policy. He also plans to push for a Steve Jobs statue in Memorial Park and has already started a petition. Additionally, he plans to help students and adults find jobs, and to make schools a bigger consideration in real estate development.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Andy Huang”]

Huang led a high-tech start-up to a $100 million dollar Initial Public Offering and a subsequent $400 million dollar merger, then served as a vice president at a 2 billion dollar public multinational corporation. In memory of his parents, colleagues and friends who have died of cancer, Huang has donated most of his life savings to charity and research. He has attained the “Gold level” for the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his local service efforts in the Cupertino community and Santa Clara County.

He is currently the Chair of the Public Safety Commission, and he has helped expand the Cupertino Alert Program and Walk, Bike and Carpool Program.

Key Issues:

Huang’s main areas of focus are improving traffic flow and road infrastructure throughout Cupertino, increasing public safety resources and keeping neighborhoods clean and healthy. Additionally, Huang aspires to support schools by retaining the most competent teachers and keeping the library open every day, ensuring an eco-friendly environment and encouraging disaster preparedness

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Michael Hunsweck”]

Hunsweck is a Senior Process Engineer in the silicon chip industry. He recently obtained a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Hunsweck has encouraged lower tax rates and has pushed for the private sector to have more power, rather than the government.

Key Issues:

Hunsweck has argued passionately against the SCA 5 proposition, which he believes was correctly dubbed as the “Skin Color Act”. Hunsweck believes that the academic success of California’s Asian minority is an achievement worth celebrating and should not be something punishable.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Savita Vaidhyanathan”]

Vaidhyanathan has been a math teacher, a banker, a nonprofit impact analyst and a coordinator at the Center to Develop Women Entrepreneurs. She has also been the President of the Rotary Club of Cupertino, a De Anza College commissioner and a West Valley Community Services board member.

Key Issues:

Vaidhyanathan plans to push for better environmental policy and to encourage city growth without increasing traffic. Furthermore, she hopes to support senior citizens with housing and transportation and students by improving the quality of schools and encouraging them to engage in the community.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Robert McCoy”]

McCoy is a Public Safety Commissioner and a Community Emergency Response Team member. He is also a stay-at-home father with two young children.

He introduced the Pulsepoint app to  residents of Cupertino. The app allows those who know CPR to help another person who is suffering cardiac arrest nearby.

Key Issues:

McCoy’s focus as a potential council member is on public and environmental safety, housing, transportation and education. He promises to be transparent and accessible in collecting all the facts before making a decision.

[/accordion] [accordion title=”Mark Santoro”]

A former mayor of Cupertino, Santoro previously held the position of CEO at Micro Magic, Inc. Currently, he is a senior member at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Key Issues:

To make sure that he accurately represents the people’s interests, Santoro refuses to accept endorsements from contractors or large companies. If (re?)elected, he promises to slow condominium developments, extend library hours, address traffic congestions around local schools and repair Cupertino roads.


[/accordion] [accordion title=”Darcy Paul”]

Paul is an attorney who owns his own law firm called Paul Law Group. He is the chair of the Cupertino Parks and Recreation Commission, and a board member of the Cupertino Historical Society.

Key Issues:

If elected, Paul hopes to improve the parks in Cupertino, and  wants to add park space to Rancho Rinconada. He also plans to help residents receive the training they need to start or run a small business. Additionally, he wants to focus on city growth and try to improve communication with residents on this issue.
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