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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

City of Palo AltoCandidate for City Council

Photo of Greg Tanaka

Greg Tanaka

CEO and Founder of a Palo Alto small business focused on retail
13,445 votes (14.35%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Solve the traffic and parking challenges through collaborative solutions by working with other cities regionally and forming private/public partnerships
  • All are properly represented, including busy working professionals and local businesses: Participation in the City decision making process is impossible for most working professionals in Palo Alto. I want all to be represented.
  • Maintain economic vitality and fiscal strength so we can fund transportation solutions and public services



Profession:CEO and Founder of a Palo Alto small business focused on retail
Founder & CEO, Percolata (2012–current)
Complete Bio is here, (1994–current)
Planning and Transportation Commissioner, former Chair, Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commission — Appointed position (2010–current)
Commissioner, Palo Alto Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission — Appointed position (2010–2011)


UC Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (not availa)
Caltech Electrical Engineering (not availa)


The Tanaka family moved to California in 1880 which makes me a 4th generation Californian with both Japanese and Chinese heritage.  I’ve lived in the Bay Area since 1993, and moved to Palo Alto with my wife in 2004 when we purchased our home in the College Terrace neighborhood.  Today, our son attends Jordan Middle School, and our daughter Escondido Elementary where I served as PTA Treasurer.

I am proud to be both a Palo Alto resident and small business owner. After working in the tech sector for over 20 years, in 2012 I founded Percolata, a Palo Alto startup specializing in retail workforce optimization technology.  

My civic experience started before we moved to Palo Alto when I served as treasurer to our Homeowners’ Association in Mountain View.  Shortly after moving to Palo Alto, I was elected as President of the College Terrace Residents' Association for four terms. Under my leadership, the neighborhood was able to implement a traffic calming program and Residential Permit Parking program that has become popular with other neighborhoods in Palo Alto.

In 2010, I was appointed to the Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC).  One of my main focuses was to ensure the vibrancy of California Avenue to support local independent businesses.  I championed the streetscape project which widened the sidewalks, created more parking spaces and installed new street lights, gathering spots and a new fountain.  What started out as a contentious project between merchants has become a community jewel. 


2010 – present: Planning & Transportation Commissioner, (Chair 2015)

  • Championed California Avenue streetscape through contentious process into today’s success
  • Voted against the Maybell project because the community was not properly engaged
  • Denied the Lytton Gateway project (aka Survey Monkey building) based on too many traffic impacts on the Downtown North neighborhood
  • Supported the California Avenue and Fry’s focus plan with traffic and parking reduction strategies, disappointed the Council abandoned the project.
  • Strong advocate for maintaining historic VTA bus routes, electrifying Caltrain, expanding bike routes and shuttles, grade separation
  • Advocate for innovating housing options like micro unites, cooperative living complexes, etc.


2010-2012: Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission (IBRC)

  • Inspected all City owned property for current condition
  • Calculated repair costs
  • Prioritized needs and schedule
  • Worked closely with staff to finalize a community report into three categories:
  •    Catching up—urgent repairs like streets and parks that had an immediate impact to all community members
  •    Keeping up—scheduled capital improvement priority, 
  •    Moving ahead—considered unfunded improvements for community benefits


Former President, College Terrace Residents' Association

  • Implemented Residential Parking Permit Program, initially contentious but has become the new City template for other neighborhoods.
  • Championed a true neighborhood dialogue to move the RPP forward
  • Successfully brought the neighborhood together 
  • former Escondido Elementary PTA Treasurer


Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (8)

  • Peninsula Young Democrats
  • California Democratic Party
  • Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club
  • Silicon Valley Young Democrats
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Democratic Activist for Women Now (DAWN)
  • Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS
  • Evolve California

Elected Officials (20)

  • Please see website for complete list of over 300 leaders, community members and friends:
  • Mila Zelkha, Public Art Commission
  • Congresswoman Anna Eshoo
  • State Senator Jerry Hill
  • State Assembly Rich Gordon
  • State Assembly Evan Low
  • Santa Clara Supervisor Joe Simitian
  • Palo Alto Vice Mayor Greg Scharff
  • Palo Alto City Council Marc Berman
  • Palo Alto City Council Cory Wolbach
  • Allen Varner
  • Trustee Bruce Swenson, Foothill-De Anza Community College
  • Grace Mah, Santa Clara County School Board
  • Trustee Ken Dauber, PAUSD
  • Trustee Heidi Emberling, PAUSD
  • Trustee Terry Godfrey, PAUSD
  • Trustee Camille Townsend, PAUSD
  • Mountain View Council Chris Clark, former Mayor
  • Cupertino Council Gilbert Wong, former Mayor
  • Trustee Betsy Bechtel, Foothill-De Anza Community College, former Palo Alto Mayor

Individuals (321)

  • Cathy Kroymann, former President PAUSD School Board
  • Susie Richardson, former President PAUSD School Board
  • Margaret Abe-Koga, former Mountain View Mayor
  • Lanie Wheeler, former Palo Alto Mayor
  • Dena Mossar, former Palo Alto Mayor
  • Sid Espinosa, former Palo Alto Mayor
  • John Barton, former Palo Alto Council, former PAUSD President
  • Vic Ojakian, former Palo Alto Mayor
  • Nancy Shepherd, former Palo Alto Mayor
  • Peter Drekmeier, former Palo Alto Mayor
  • Leland Levy, former Palo Alto Mayor
  • Gail Price, former Palo Alto City Council, former PAUSD School Board
  • Bern Beecham, former Palo Alto Mayor
  • Asher Waldfogel, Planning & Transportation Commission, former Utility Advisory Board
  • Samina F. Sundas, Commissioner, Human Relations Commission Santa Clara County
  • Steve Levy, Citizens Advisory Committee, former IBRC
  • Samir Tuma, former Planning & Transportation Commission
  • Przemek Gardias, Planning & Transportation Commission
  • Mike Alcheck, Planning & Transportation Commission
  • Mehdi Alhassani, Human Relations Commission
  • Mark Nadim, Citizens Advisory Committee
  • Mark Michael, former Planning & Transportation Commission
  • Mark Harris, former IBRC
  • Lon Hatamiya, former Secretrary of Commerce, State of California
  • Lee Lippert, former Planning & Transportation Commission, former Architectural Review Board
  • Kate Downing, former Planning & Transportation Commission
  • Heather Young, former Architectural Reveiw Board
  • Eric Rosenblum, Planning & Transportation Commission
  • David Bower, Historical Resources Board, former IBRC member
  • Bob Stillerman, former IBRC
  • Bob Moss, Library Advisory Board
  • Alex Panelli, former Planning & Transporation, IBRC and Park & Recrecation Commissions
  • AC Johnston, Unitity Advisory Board
  • Susan Rosenberg, co-founder Canopy
  • Richard Stolee, former President College Terrace Residents' Assoc.
  • Stephanie Martinson, founder Racing Hearts
  • Louise Furutsuki, Midtown Residents Association
  • Andrea Fleming, School volunteer
  • Claude Ezran, former Palo Alto Human Relations Commission
  • Penny Ellson, Safe Routes to School Advocate
  • Kathy Durham, former President College Terrace Residents' Assoc.
  • Gina Dalma, Education Advocate
  • Bryna Chang, former Hoover Site Council member
  • Todd Burke, President Palo Alto Central HOA
  • Brent Barker, former President, College Terrace Residents' Assoc,
  • Wen-Jun Shen
  • Peter Stern
  • Nandini Ramamurthi
  • Elaine Uang, Citizens Advisory Committee
  • Diane Morin, former Human Relations Commission
  • Dan Garber, Co-Chair, Citizens Advisory Committee, former P&T Commission
  • Amy Sung, Citizens Advisory Committee
  • Marc Zucker
  • David E. Zink-Brody
  • David Yu
  • Nicole Young
  • Isabelleniu Yaozon
  • Steven Woodward
  • Kimberly Wong
  • Joe Wong
  • Ken Wong
  • Marie Wolbach
  • Helen Wilson
  • Sharon Willis
  • Bruce Whitson
  • Bob Wenzlau
  • Steven Weinstein
  • Holly Ward
  • Qiang Wang
  • Maiying Wang
  • Caren Wang
  • Emily Wang
  • Eugene Walter
  • June Vilen
  • Frank Viggiano
  • Ryan Vertelney
  • Elizabeth Varner
  • Judith van Raalteh
  • Lisa Van Dusen
  • David Trounce
  • Cindy Traum
  • Bert Torres
  • Lucy Tompkin
  • Douglas Thomas
  • Sven Thesen
  • Stanley Terry
  • Zima Teicher
  • Claire Taylor
  • Robert Taylor
  • Jon Tani
  • Joan Tambussi
  • Ron Tambussi
  • Yoichiro Taku
  • Michelle Sykes
  • Barbara Swenson
  • Manjiri Subhash
  • Tawtry Subhash
  • Hang Su
  • Jasper Strong
  • Laura Stell
  • Barbara Spreng
  • Julie Spickler
  • Karen Soundararajan
  • Vijayaraghavan Soundararajan
  • Alexandra Sockell
  • Jonathan Sockell
  • Christopher Snow
  • Linda Smith
  • Daniel W. Smith
  • Roger Smith
  • Thomas Smestad
  • Sandra Slater
  • Sofia Sinianskaia
  • Amitabh Sinha
  • Anoop Sinha
  • Dai Sieh
  • John Sheretz
  • Bhag Shah
  • Bura Shah
  • Mainak Sen
  • John Schwan
  • Paul Schneider
  • Leena Sansguiri
  • Cynthia Samos
  • Patricia Sakuma
  • Paul Sakuma
  • Jessica Roth
  • Robert Roth
  • Thomas Rota
  • Steven Ross
  • Jeff Rosner
  • Ronda Rosner
  • Mischa Rosenberg
  • Diane Rolfe
  • Joe Rolfe
  • Jaime Rodriguez
  • Sarah Roberts
  • Ruslan Rin
  • Samantha Richardson
  • Yasmin Reyes
  • Bill Reller
  • Lauren Reifsnyder
  • David Rees
  • Seelam "Sea" Reddy
  • Trudy Myrrh Reagan
  • Gloria Reade
  • Sudhir Rao
  • Steve Raney
  • Vishnanath Raman
  • Andrew Radin
  • Philip Race
  • David Presotto
  • Constantin Popa
  • Britta Pomrantz
  • Hudi Podolsky
  • Jeremy Platt
  • John Peterson
  • Wendy Parry
  • Guy Parmeter
  • Deepa Paranjpe
  • Michelle Pang
  • Jane Oyvova
  • Michelle Olmstead
  • Michele Ogata
  • Brian O'Leary
  • Eric Nordman
  • Robert Neff
  • Max Nazarov
  • Nikki Narang
  • Mridula Nahadevan
  • Isabel Murray
  • David Morris
  • Oxana Morozov
  • Jeralyn Moran
  • Marilyn Mora
  • Susan Monk
  • Inder Monga
  • Michael Molinet
  • Edwin Mok
  • Marc Miller
  • Michele Miller
  • Joyce Mclaughlin
  • Geri Mcgilvray
  • Shannon Mcentee
  • Carolyn McDaniel
  • Patricia May
  • Jeffrey Marks
  • Joann Mandinach
  • Lisa Malkki
  • Michael Lyon
  • Libby Lungren
  • Grace Liu
  • Elaine Linski
  • Preston Li
  • Meng Li
  • Yang Li
  • Steve Lewis
  • Susie Levine
  • Aileen Lee
  • Joe Lee
  • Nicole Lee
  • Vivienne Lee
  • Jeffrey Langston
  • Elliott Krause
  • Elizabeth Kochler
  • Elizabeth King-Eden
  • John Kim
  • Robert Killion
  • Abraham Khalil
  • Brooke Kember
  • Kent Keirsey
  • Richard Karp
  • Padma Kotha
  • Pasha Kamarei
  • James Kafka
  • Chrystal Kafka
  • Jeff Justice
  • Aswin Jittipun
  • Linda Jensen
  • Eric Jensen
  • Barbara Jackson
  • Robert Jackson
  • Avo Izmirlian
  • Annette Isaacson
  • Henry Hwong
  • Leannah Hunt
  • Yifei Charles Huang
  • Jane Huang
  • Shirley Huang
  • Irene Hsu-Dresden
  • Janis Hom
  • James Holsworth
  • Bruce Hodge
  • Daniel Ho
  • Nicole Hitchcock
  • David Hirsch
  • Poornima Hiremath
  • Barb Hing
  • Ken Hines
  • Angelina Herceg
  • Eric Heaton
  • Michael Havem
  • Enzo Haussecker
  • Joanne Hart
  • Kyle Harrison
  • Ward Hanson
  • Brent Han
  • Kris Hamamoto
  • Erik Gutfeldt
  • Barbara Gross
  • Firth Griffith
  • Ben Greenstein
  • Susan Graf
  • Jayesh Govindarajan
  • Zinaida Good
  • Paul Goldstein
  • Jon Goldman
  • Deborah Goldeen
  • Esther Golan
  • Lila Golan
  • Alan Gladman
  • Jan Gerritsen
  • Jean Garrett
  • Charlotte Fu
  • Virginia Fruchterman
  • Frederick Fischer
  • Simon Firth
  • Linda Feeney
  • Lincoln Evans-Beauchamp
  • Erika Enos
  • Sunny Dykwel
  • Tao Du
  • Graham Dresden
  • Steve Downing
  • Vincent Derilo
  • Geri Derby
  • Joseph Deisher
  • Casey Davis
  • William Conlon
  • Christine Clark
  • Jessica Clark
  • Richard Ciapponi
  • Brian Chu
  • George Chino
  • Yian Cheng
  • Wenlin Chen
  • Kailane Chang
  • Carlos Chang
  • Lorrie Castellano
  • Tony Carrasco
  • Roger Carpenter
  • Linda Campbell
  • Fernando Cabildo
  • Owen Byrd
  • Gabriela Buendia
  • Neilson Buchanan
  • Jonathan Brown
  • Michael Brown
  • Harry Braun
  • Lloyd (Jay) Bosley
  • Lennea Borg
  • Alison Bloch
  • Barbara Best
  • Michael Berry
  • Kiran Bellubbi
  • Aditi Bellary
  • Warren Belfer
  • Michael Bechler
  • Richard "Bear" Bauman
  • Matthew Barber
  • Dbantjan Banerjee
  • Priyadarshini Balakrishnan
  • Jason Baker
  • Seunghwa Baek
  • Ajay Arora
  • Alex Antebi
  • Melissa Anderson
  • Bret Andersen
  • Mason Aiu
  • Alisa Ambrosio

Videos (5)

— October 18, 2016 Jeff Justice, Campaign Treasurer

Palo Alto School Board member, Camille Townsend, has worked with Greg Tanaka on many occasions.  In this video, she explains why he would make a good choice for city council.

— October 18, 2016 Jeff Justice, Campaign Treasurer

California Assemblyman Rich Gordon has worked with Greg Tanaka many times.  He explain why Greg is a good choice for Palo Alto city council

— October 18, 2016 Jeff Justice, Treasurer for Tanaka Campaign

Three-time Palo Alto mayor, Larry Klein, has worked with Greg Tanaka many times.  He explains why Greg is a good choice for Palo Alto city council

Palo Alto city councilmember, Greg Scharff, has worked with Greg Tanaka many times.  He explains why Greg is a good choice for city council.

— October 31, 2016 Tanaka Campaign, Ray Lin

Greg Tanaka for Palo Alto City Council is the most endorsed candidate with over 350 endorsements from leaders and community members like you. Hear from Greg on how he wants to make City Hall work for you.

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