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San Mateo, Santa Clara County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Yoriko Kishimoto

Candidate for
Member of the State Assembly; District 21; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate

California is home to 38 million innovators. We have every resource we need to lead the world again. The key is common sense, investment, and structural reforms.

We live in a democracy: it is in our power to change our direction.

My family emigrated to Ann Arbor from Japan in 1962; I began elementary school not knowing a word of English.

I came to California to earn my MBA at Stanford and discovered an entrepreneurial and visionary world. I jumped into this world and started a small business, consulting to technology entrepreneurs from California and Japan.

In 1988, I co-authored a book about America's future, The Third Century: America's Resurgence in the Asian Era. At the time, Japan was rising and Americans were doubting whether our democracy and market economy could stand up to this challenge. My response was a resounding YES. We laid out our vision that in the third century of our country, America would fulfill its mission as a world nation and derive its strengths from openness, diversity and competition instead of solidarity and planning. The book hit its mark: we received full-page reviews in New York Times Book Review, Fortune, etc. ( The Boston Globe called it "far and away the most important book of the 1988 campaign".

In the early 1990s, I put these written principles and vision into practice. As a young mother of two toddlers, I joined my neighbors and family to protest a potential increase in speed limit on my street. It was my first trip to City Hall.

My voice as an advocate and organizer led me into the 2001 Palo Alto City Council race as a grassroots candidate (and the first Asian!). My campaign funds came from individual residents and environmental groups. Four years later, I was re-elected as top vote getter. My platform - walkable communities, highest environmental standards, open government, and vibrant downtowns.

My call to action as Mayor of Palo Alto was to "build a green economy through innovation". My challenge to ourselves and our neighboring cities was to show that a vibrant and exciting innovation-based economy can exist, while preserving and restoring the natural environment within which we all live and work. No longer can we tolerate a perpetual 1-2% increase in traffic or greenhouse gas emissions every year, incremental as it may be.

This watershed moment in California's history gives me the opportunity to escalate my work to the state level on the green economy. Future policies need to be shaped, by restructuring the most fundamental basics of life, water, air, energy, food, waste, housing, and transportation.

As your Assembly representative, I will promote a vision to integrate economy, environment, and education through sustainability, excellence and innovation. I want to obtain the vision I laid out for California as a successful world nation: to educate the new young Californians who are failing to graduate from high school, let alone be ready to participate in the new knowledge-based jobs economy.

Finally, our governance system needs reforming. We must change the initiative process, the 2/3rd threshold, and other structures, which have led us to paralysis and dysfunctionality. We need to restore democracy by re-engaging all Californians to better understand our collective strengths and weaknesses.

I firmly believe our growing pains exist because we continue to be on the leading edge of this great experiment we call a democracy. We are idealists trying to combine a diverse population, a boom-and-bust innovation economy, and direct democracy. Common sense can move California out of this paralysis. I humbly ask for your support so I may represent you in the State Assembly: to lead us towards a brighter future.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: June 1, 2010 13:56
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