About Svayambh Palo Alto or New Residentialist Platform

This blog is the campaign headquarters for Mark Weiss for Palo Alto City Council 2012. Initially it started as merely a device for deciding whether to run or not.

Perhaps the blog can be a place where Palo Alto voters can join the team and express their support for this platform, which I also call “New Residentialist Platform (NRP)”.

I am not planning on courting power or asking for endorsements otherwise but I would love it if people I respect and admire offer to put their names on my campaign and platform. I am thinking of Emerson’s ideal of success being when you win the respect of intelligent people.

I am not planning to accept campaign donations either. Perhaps people can donate to a local non-profit, for example Abilities United of Palo Alto, in lieu.

(NOTE: My girlfriend Terry Acebo Davis, a former two-term Palo Alto Public Arts Commissioner, donated on her own volition the creation and production of about 200 handbills and 100 small campaign buttons. I have accepted this in-kind contribution, although I refrained, as a matter of principle, from telling her that she had spelled incorrectly the name of the billionaire developer whose office towers proposal I was criticizing in my platform. Later I let slip that she also mis-typed “oligarchical” my term for when government is by the few not by us all. –The orange cards have it correctly; the green cards have the errors. As of November 3, I still have not spent dollar one on my campaign, nor accepted any cash contributions. I filed Form 470 with the city and county, meaning that I have no campaign committee and do not accept contributions. If I change my mind and end up spending money, I can amend my forms, as I understand it)

I would welcome nearly any suggestion of in kind involvement or an event concert or party that would gather like minded people in these times, during the campaign period.

I am working on a benefit event that loosely falls within the campaign period, but would not seek to manipulate the event to call attention to my campaign.

I have a blog called “Plastic Alto” that covers the arts but also has featured my thoughts on local policy (under the tag “Plato’s Republic”). I will try to keep a wall between “Plastic Alto” and this site “Svayambh-PA”.

Call me at (650) 305-XXXX  or write me at earwopa@yahoo.com or feel free to comment on this site.

I am a Gunn graduate (class of 1982– we are having our 30th reunion Aug. 4) and have an a.b. degree from Dartmouth College, class of 1986 (and went to my 25th reunion last summer).

I have a vague notion that I am influenced by both Eugene McCarthy and Paul McCarthy.

Also, I read that Ai Weiwei’s blog is a “social sculpture” and wonder how to run a political campaign as “a social sculpture.”

Palo Alto council (and, for that matter, its commissions) need true residentialist voices and that need, that vacuum, is what draws me into the discussion.

I also said to Council during the Planning Commission interviews –though I was not seated — that we should start planning our Palo Alto Sesquicentennial, our 15oth anniversary, for 2042.

Here is the initial four paragraphs from the period between pulling papers and deciding to run:

On July 16, I met with Palo Alto City Clerk Donna Grider (and her assistant Clerk Ronna Gonsalves) to “pull papers” for the upcoming Palo Alto City Council campaign. If I turn in 25 signatures on the nomination forms by Aug. 10, I will be on the ballot. There are four seats open, and at least one incumbant, Sid Espinosa has announced that he will not seek re-election.

Donna Grider said that if indeed Sid does not run she may hold open the nomination period a few more days. But she cautioned that it is possible for him to change his mind and submit the forms and the first deadline will hold.

If I collect 100 or more valid signatures of nomination, I will be refunded the $25 fee to file.

This blog “Svayambh-PA” chronicles my thought processes as I consider running for Palo Alto City Council. If I run for City Council, I will probably have a blog about the campaign and my ideas on local self-governance.

 edit to add, three years later: not sure how much credit I can take, or satisfaction I can feel that in 2014 two other candidates calling themselves “residentialists” got elected ahead of me. Meanwhile, although nobody asks about such, here is the Anish Kapoor sculpture from which my campaign concept and this blog get it’s name:anish

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