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August 16, 2016 — Special Municipal
Local

City of SunnyvaleCandidate for City Council, Seat 4

Photo of Stephen D. Williams

Stephen D. Williams

Entrepreneur, software developer
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Transport: Fragmented public transportation, lack of safe bike and pedestrian arteries, traffic congestion, parking and towing conflicts.
  • Livability: Available, stable, and affordable housing, availability of entry-level jobs, stable support of the at-risk, and community “vibrant spaces”.
  • Open responsive government: Achieve much more clarity and currency in the city plans, projects, decisions, rationale & reasoning, influences, and expected and actual outcomes. Organize and address questions, concerns, ideas, and opportunities in a m

Experience

Education

American University MS, Computer Science (2007)

Biography

 

I am an active innovator, grandfather, and technologist that lives to solve problems and make peoples’ lives better.  I have over 30 years of professional experience finding and acting on the best solutions to hard problems without being limited by tradition or peer pressure.  I am widely read, traveled, and curious, doing all of my own research.  I’m a life-long learner, also having a Masters of Computer Science from American University in DC.  I have been a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) since 2003, and a member of FBI’s Infragard.

 

As a founder, director, tech lead, consultant, and CTO to a wide range of companies and Federal agencies, I have broad and deep experience working on hard problems in important, challenging environments while managing all types of people.  Some examples include: connecting Bank of America to the Internet, creating Buddylist for AOL, completing GEICO’s first web quoting system, leading the US Treasury secure payment system, US DOJ PKI CA, DoD large project-in-trouble analysis team member for the Pentagon, running supercomputers at NASA Ames, and founder / CTO / lead at a number of startups.  These all involved quickly getting up to speed in complex contexts, technologies, and goals, finding innovative and effective solutions, and implementing solutions while often hiring and training a team.  As a member of city council, I will be more than a rubber stamp and I will dig much deeper than others to find and advocate for the right decisions.

 

I have several grandchildren, have volunteered at the VA, Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, and Big Brothers / Big Sisters, and I work on solutions to close the achievement, economic, and wellbeing gaps for the challenged groups in society.  I avidly run, bike, ebike, inline skate, hike, kayak on the Bay, frequently photographing wildlife, and I’m a private pilot and PADI dive certified.

 

https://innovatesunnyvale.org/sdw/resume.html

 

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of Cupertino/Sunnyvale (3)

Issues

What three issues are of greatest current importance for Sunnyvale, and what should be done to address those issues?

No answer provided.
Experience and Skills

What personal experience and skills would contribute most to making you an effective council member?

No answer provided.
How much money do you expect to spend on the 8/16/2016 Special Election, and how will you assure voters that campaign contributions will not influenceyour positions or decisions while serving as a council member?
Answer from Stephen D. Williams:

For the August election, I am using a modest amount of self-funding to get my message out via email.

I have decided not to solicit or take contributions from special interest groups for my campaign or candidacy.  There is an unfortunate feeling among too many in Sunnyvale that special interests have undue influence on councilmembers and others.  While I assume the utmost integrity of councilmembers and candidates, the best answer to this is complete avoidance of any hint of allegiance other than to the facts, thorough and unbiased analysis, equal hearing and deep understanding of points of view of stakeholders, and overall optimal choices on behalf of the residents of Sunnyvale.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Sunnyvale needs a leader who can identify and successfully advocate for innovative solutions to Sunnyvale’s unsolved chronic problems.  While Sunnyvale is well-run in many respects, certain gaps affecting underserved groups in the city lack effective advocacy, leading me to run.  These include: available, stable, and affordable housing, traffic congestion, lack of safe bike and pedestrian arteries, fragmented public transportation, parking and towing tension, availability of entry-level jobs, stable support of the at-risk, and lack of clarity and cohesive discussion in major city decisions.  These will increasingly affect a widening range of Sunnyvale residents.  Existing methods of addressing these seem to have been sometimes unimaginative, shortsighted, anemic, and subject to whoever is exerting the most influence leading up to a decision.

I have already advocated for rent control and/or other measures to avoid pricing people out or negatively affecting home values. I also have a plan for creating a nearby bicycle & pedestrian "highway" with access to neighborhoods, possibly including pedicab service to downtown and nearby stores. Also, this could include nearby guest and overflow parking with walking path / pedicab access. Additionally, to tie together our disjoint city, I have been advocating for a free bus rapid transit system, with a couple loops between Moffet, Tasman, 101 frontage, Downtown / Caltrain, city hall & library, and El Camino. This is specifically to minimize the corporate and other traffic while tying together VTA, Caltrain, city, and shopping for all residents.

 

I have decided not to solicit or take contributions from special interest groups for my campaign or candidacy.  There is an unfortunate feeling among too many in Sunnyvale that special interests have undue influence on councilmembers and others.  While I assume the utmost integrity of councilmembers and candidates, the best answer to this is complete avoidance of any hint of allegiance other than to the facts, thorough and unbiased analysis, equal hearing and deep understanding of points of view of stakeholders, and overall optimal choices on behalf of the residents of Sunnyvale.

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