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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

City of SaratogaCandidate for City Council

Photo of Dede Smullen

Dede Smullen

Chairperson, Planning Commission
6,075 votes (27.28%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Work collaboratively to solve traffic and transportation issues that impact all Saratoga residents, young and old. For more information see
  • Preserve the small town charm central to Saratoga's Identity. For more information see
  • Promote a vibrant business community. For more information see



University of California, Davis Bachelors of Science, Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning (1988)


Dede Smullen is an urban and environmental planner in the San Francisco Bay Area with a passion for making the world a better place. She is currently Chairman of the City of Saratoga Planning Commission in Santa Clara County and a candidate for Saratoga City Council.


She received her B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from U.C. Davis. She has twelve years of diverse planning experience working in dense urban centers, historical areas, new suburban subdivisions and rural communities and 18 additional years working as a community volunteer and Planning Commissioner.  She has experience with CEQA and NEPA compliance, architectural design review, historic preservation, planned community developments, housing policy, transportation planning, flood-management, agriculture policy and land use policy. Major employers and clients have included: the Cities of San Francisco, Petaluma, Emeryville, Vallejo, and Alameda; the Counties of San Mateo and Santa Clara, Caltrans and ABAG.


Significant transferable professional skills include:

Project Management

Public Involvement

Consensus Building

Volunteer Management

Inter-Jurisdictional Cooperation

Grant Writing

Large Event Planning

Technical Writing

Fund Raising


Dede lives in Saratoga CA with her husband Roger and her three children Eliot (18), Gabby (16) and Thomas (13).  In her free time she likes to travel and show her children the world, hike, camp, canoe, and ski.  She has competed in triathlons and enjoys road biking, swimming and volleyball.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Planning Commissioner Leonard Almalech
  • Planning Commissioner Sunil Ahuja
  • Planning Commissioner Wendy Chang

Organizations (2)

  • Sierra Club
  • Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, LC

Elected Officials (1)

  • Vice Mayor Emily Low

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

My platform might include several things but my priorities are simple.  Public Safety the future of our Village, and Traffic. 

 1st Public Safety.  Saratoga still is a very safe place to raise our children and grow old but this is not something we can take for granted.  We must re-claim our status in the top tier of California’s safest Cities.  The wheels are in motion to achieve this, but when elected I will make sure that focus remains on this endeavor. 

 2nd is the Village.  The number one thing people want talk to me about when they find out I am on the Planning Commission or running for City Council is the Saratoga Village.  The rest of the valley is booming, and Saratoga needs to ride this wave.  I am currently heading up the Village Visioning Process as Chair of the Planning Commission.  What I envision for our city is a village, much like it is today physically, but full of families, life and commerce.   We need to recognize the needs of our families and the changes in how people do their shopping to adapt and thrive in the 21st Century. New businesses need to be met with “How can we make your idea work in our community” when they come into City Hall. We need to partner with our property owners and those business owners who are willing to invest their money and time into our village.

A third issue that affects Saratoga is Traffic – We are cursed by our own success. But we are not just a free-way on-ramp; Or a pass through on the way to work; we are a community of neighborhoods, each unique and important to the fabric of the City of Saratoga.  I will use my extensive professional experience working on large transportation projects throughout the Bay Area to fight for and protect the interests of the neighborhoods and citizens of Saratoga when it comes to the Highway 85 project and other large projects in surrounding communities that put traffic on our roads and impact our community.  

Saratoga has changed a great deal From the Valley of Hearts Delight to Silicon Valley but our essential values of community and our small town charm have remained the same.  But community takes work and we have many new challenges to deal with. We need to recognize the value of our civic, religious and social organizations and work with them to build community.  We must, step up our outreach efforts to young and old and all corners of our city. We need to increase the number of special events like the city-wide block parties and events and programs that bring generations together, our seniors with our students, our newcomers with our old-timers.  My mom used to bring a pie to new people when they moved into our neighborhood and I have continued that tradition in all the neighborhoods I have lived in.   We need to start bringing pies,  to start connecting with our new neighbors.

We must tackle the challenges that face our community together we must Build our Community Together.



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