They are ransacking malls
Have you seen the recent deterioration of law and order here in Silicon Valley? Smash-and-grab criminals were ransacking malls all over the Bay Area last week. This is not the state I arrived into from Michigan 21 years ago. Car break-ins and burglaries have gone up significantly over the last decade, and thieves are brazenly stealing catalytic converters from our cars. We are in Hotel California!
Some of the attitude is wrong: The reason why our Law & Order problem festers. During my two terms on the city council, I heard many reasons for inaction. Such as – “Rishi, you don't need to have Neighborhood Safety meetings.” Another said, “Talk of rising burglary and crime is scaring the children.” Or sometimes - “Rishi, this crime talk will drop the price of real estate in Saratoga.” But that didn’t stop us. We focused effort and dropped burglaries - the largest year to year drop in city history.
How did we do it? Coverage in the Mercury News (2017)
Letter published in the Mercury News - and another
A Neighborhood Safety Watch leader’s perspective on the impact on Saratoga
Call to action: You should review and download the Top 25 Safety Tips for your city along with the Preventing Identity Theft doc from here. During my evening "meet the neighbors" walk, I see many pitch dark homes that are an open invitation for perps to break in. Please take proactive steps to protect your home and property by reviewing the doc - especially when you are planning an extended vacation.
Why is Rishi running? My run has been about fixing the tough challenges of the valley such, as housing, traffic, California fires, water infrastructure, climate, crime, citizen privacy-monetization, and the tech exodus. For decades, nothing has been done by our elected leaders.
Check out Rep. Eshoo's 44-year report card here.
Lately, I find a family or two in every neighborhood I visit, either packing up to leave or planning their move out of the state. California today has super high taxes, yet our public K-12 schools ranked 47th in the nation and qualify of life declines every year. We face recurring challenges of drought, fires, rising crime, rising traffic woes - without a clear vision in place. The legislature’s response: push high-density housing down our throats by preempting local laws, unpopular with 70% of California residents.
How are our politicians handling this brewing crisis? It isn’t hard to grade the aging group of congressional politicians, the class of 2022: many are retiring in droves because the world has become too complex for them….Do not miss the report card mentioned above.
During my years on the city council, I have wanted to grapple with the toughest Saratoga challenges and explore options to alleviate Saratoga's pain.
- Saratoga water priced like high octane gasoline? To address super high water bills in Saratoga, I launched a collaborative protest campaign directed to influence CPUC. CPUC responded; water rate increase proposals were rejected. http://rishikumar.com/water
- Crime belongs…elsewhere: To address rising crime (59 burglaries in 2012, 130 burglaries in 2016) I rolled up my sleeves and helped neighbors launch many new Neighborhood Safety Watch (NSW) Programs. True, the NSW framework has existed for decades but it was in a comatose state. We provided them a playbook to protect the ingress and ingress points of neighborhoods with surveillance cameras. http://tinyurl.com/top25safetytips
- Gaining 50 lbs : How about encouraging neighborhood block parties allowing neighbors to Connect, Communicate and Collaborate. http://www.rishikumar.com/party There are so many block parties happening all over Saratoga. I believe I have gained 50 lbs after attending so many - please keep the invitations coming.
As captain of the Glen Brae Neighborhood Safety Watch program I have been amazed to see the amount of caring and effort Councilman Kumar devotes to his role as City Councilman. He is directly involved on a street by street basis throughout Saratoga to advance neighborhood security, community cohesion, traffic issues and water rates. He is not the typical anonymous city official who only comes out at election time. He is there each and every day working for this community. We are privileged to have such a worthy official working for us. Please join me when I vote to reelect this outstanding candidate to our City Council. George Mednick’s quote from 2018
-What do Saratogans want? I purposefully focused my efforts with a citizen-centric vision, responsiveness and results-driven behavior to impact Saratoga’s toughest challenge. The best way to be effective on the job is to know what your customer wants
A pragmatic politician: From reducing burglaries - the biggest drop in city history -, to challenging the powerful and cash-rich San Jose Water Company and pushing back ill-conceived high-density housing without an urban plan, I have always believed in diligent engagement with our most demanding challenges. And yes - I support the voters of Minneapolis who rejected the ballot measure to replace the police.
We will discuss this report card and many other topics at my final town hall meeting of the year on Sunday, December 12 at 2:30pm.
Cannot make it? Take the survey please.
RSVP to join my monthly town hall meeting to discuss this along with other state, local and national issues.
Support my grassroots run with a campaign contribution or request a campaign lawn sign.
From a resident who experienced a break-in: Residential burglary in the Platinum Triangle area of Saratoga (2018)
I am writing to all the Saratoga City Council members about the rising crime in our neighborhood.
Our home was broken into earlier in the week and it has left us quite upset. One's home is their "sanctum sanctorum" and we feel violated. We hear more and more neighbors complain about crime and feel that the city council needs to take action.
We build our two beautiful homes in Saratoga over 20 years ago and have raised our two sons in these very homes.
We have felt safe so far, but not any longer. I now have to spend over $400K to further protect our homes with the latest equipment and personnel.
I sincerely hope that this email is not just deleted or ignored, but is a call to action to our elected officials to take the safety of our folks seriously.
Only one who has had their lives shattered knows that pain. I do not wish this to happen to anyone, so please take this call to action seriously.
We the residents of Saratoga want to see some concrete (not just feel good) steps towards safety.