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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

City of Palo AltoCandidate for City Council

Photo of Liz Kniss

Liz Kniss

City Council Member, Palo Alto
16,844 votes (17.98%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Continue to champion our Transportation Management Agency (TMA), that serves as an official means for controlling traffic in and out of the city. I spearheaded the creation of TMA.Electrify Caltrain and identify funding for grade separation projects.
  • Housing: Near transit; Affordable; Diverse types for all generations.
  • Health and Safety: Implement our Parks and Open Space Master Plan; Drive projects that reduce traffic, create safe bike lanes and improve pedestrian safety; Support youth mental health initiatives including Project Safety Net.



Profession:City Council Member, Palo Alto
City Council Member, Palo Alto City Council — Elected position (2012–current)
Council Member, City of Palo Alto (2012–2016)
County Supervisor, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors — Elected position (2001–2012)
City Council Member (and Mayor), Palo Alto City Council — Elected position (2000–2000)
Member (President), Palo Alto School Board — Elected position (1985–1989)


Cal State MPA, Public Administration and Health Care Policy (current)

Community Activities

Chair-elect, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (2014–current)
President, Peninsula Division, League of California Cities (2012–current)
Member, VTA Policy Council (2014–current)


I am running for re-election to Palo Alto City Council to ensure that Palo Alto maintains the excellent quality of life that we all love and enjoy—the small town feeling and friendly neighborhoods, and at the same time, its vibrancy as an epicenter of new ideas and innovation. 

As your former Mayor, County Supervisor, and current Councilmember, I have a proven track record of making balanced decisions that benefit our city. In the last four years, I championed the Mitchell Park library completion, California Ave revitalization, downtown parking permits, voted to limit office development, reduce traffic and congestion, increase parking options, safe routes to school, and fiber to the home.

I understand our tough Bay Area issues—I am the only candidate that serves in leadership roles on 3 regional boards: League of California Cities, VTA Policy Council, and Bay Area Air Quality Management District where I represent and advocate for Palo Alto on issues of growth, lack of affordable and senior housing, and air quality issues.



Immediate re-election priorities are to: complete Comprehensive Plan, implement Parks Master Plan, expand parking initiatives to protect neighborhoods, further reduce traffic, finish City Bike Master Plan, Electrify CalTrain and fund grade separations.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (10)

  • Silicon Valley Young Democrats
  • Silicon Valley Realtors SILVAR LC
  • Sierra Club
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Peninsula Young Democrats
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Democratic Party
  • Democratic Activists for Women Now
  • Dean Democratic Club

Elected Officials (7)

  • U.S. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo
  • Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt
  • Senator Jerry Hill
  • Assemblyman Rich Gordon
  • Congresswoman Jackie Speier
  • Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County Supervisor
  • Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am a strong and proud Democrat. I advocate for an accessible, sustainable, and inclusive Palo Alto.

I am endorsed by a broad range of organizations and over 300 members of the community. I've received donations to my campaign from over 200 individuals, which represent a broad range of support. Endorsed by:

Democratic Party

Sierra Club

Democratic Activists for Women Now

Silicon Valley Realtors SILVAR LC

League of Conservation Voters

Planned Parenthood

Peninsula Young Democrats

Santa Clara Young Democrats


Dean Democratic Club

Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club

Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Senator Gerry Hill, Senator James Beall, Assemblyman Rich Gordon, Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt, Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, City Councilmembers Marc Berman and Cory Wolbach.


I support economic opportunity and security for those who work and/or live in Palo Alto, which includes raising the minimum wage, supporting working families, expanding access to affordable and senior housing, and increasing transportation options; building clean energy options, such as electrifying Caltrain; protecting open lands such as the Baylands; utilizing the abundant innovation that surrounds us to improve our environment, conserve resources and drive sustainable, responsible change; keeping small businesses in Palo Alto in order to create jobs for young people and those of diverse social and economic backgrounds.


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