City Council Endorsements

With election season quickly approaching, candidates for City Council are in an uproar to gather votes by November 8th. We at Anthro decided to give our two cents on some of the candidates and whether or not they are qualified to fill one of three open spots.



Yes – Lisa Forsell

Lisa Forsell’s reputation exudes her great communication, teamwork and the willingness to be open minded and find common ground. Her extensive knowledge advising the Utilities Advisory Committee (UAC) and an active member of the PTA Executive Boards for elementary schools, give her an edge over her competitors.  

On Forsell’s campaign website, she said that to nourish healthy minds, sustainability and quality of life is a must. Her ideals are backed up by strong players on the Council, with endorsements from former mayors Betsy Betchtel, Greg Scharff and Larry Klein, Mayor Pat Burt, and vice board president Jennifer DiBrienza, because her plans will help guide the City into the future. 

By implementing a strong connection between the council and schools, younger generations can better reach those at the top of the system and it would encourage a betterment of student education.

Having a MBA and MS in Environment and Resources at Stanford showcase Forsell’s strong background in sustainability where she can bring up the issue of climate change. Her critical thinking will help lower the City’s carbon footprint. She also wants to enforce action towards public transportation that has since been shut down because of COVID. 

Lisa Forsells passion to make Palo Alto more environmentally friendly and improve education would be a great addition to the Council. 


Yes – Julie Lycoth-Haims 

When she was younger, Lycoth-Haims was an activist, marching against national injustices waving placards in the air.

Now, an author and lawyer, Lycoth-Haims’ vision can lead Palo Alto into an era of togetherness. Her clear communication and outlook give her the opportunity to speak up about the experiences of marginalized groups and impact the system. 

Throughout her career, Haims has been part of several non-profit organizations and boards. By helping support their goals, she has gained the capability to solve problems with effectiveness and drive.

Graduating from Stanford, Harvard Law and California College of the Arts has privileged her by receiving a higher education that she now wants to apply to a position in the Council.

Haims campaign is centered around human rights and belonging. Following the overturn of Roe vs. Wade by the Supreme Court left doubt in the minds of Americans and her campaign website that all places should provide reproductive health care. Yet, her overarching goal is that everyone — no matter the labels, should have equal opportunity. Her intersectionality as a Black, biracial, bisexual and loving mother will play a big role in her decisions on the council and lead to a more open community. 


Yes – Ed Lauing

From the first kid in his family attending college to raising a family in Palo Alto, Lauing has proven to be a hard-worker and strong community member. Yet, in a race where every individual is impressive, he needs more to stand out. What truly makes Lauing a stunning candidate… is experience and commitment.

Lauing currently serves as chair of Palo Alto’s Planning and Transportation Commission and co-chair of the Housing Element Working Group with additional past involvement and leadership. In these positions, he has pushed for active change in housing, parks and recreation, and public safety while in these roles. 

As a Palo Alto resident for over 34 years, Lauing has not only participated in a variety of public office positions but also knows Palo Alto’s strengths and areas of improvement. He continues to focus on housing and public safety as main issues in his campaign. He also prioritizes neighborhoods and climate change. According to his campaign site, from environmental and tree preservation through updated municipal codes to a “master plan” initiative for consulting with and maintaining neighborhoods, we can see that Lauing is not just promising but following through.

With all of his accomplishments, it is clear to see why Lauing has been endorsed by state senators such as Josh Becker, Pat Burt,Palo Alto’s mayor, and two-thirds of the council members who’s seats he is running for. 


No – Alex Comsa

An honored real estate professional and small business owner, Comsa has a foot in the door when it comes to the impact on housing and markets. He has lived in the area for over a decade and raised a family within the Palo Alto Unified School District. However, he falls short when it comes to experience. 

Comsa has never held public office and has limited practice in policy and public interest. According to Merriam-Webster, City Council is defined as “the legislative body of a city” which controls the laws that will be put into place. Although he is an active member of the community, coaching kids soccer for the American Youth Soccer Organization, it is vital that someone with law-making ability has some sort of experience in acting on various topics, criticism, and reflecting the values of the community. 

Some may argue that as a real estate professional, he has knowledge in the housing industry that many other candidates can not offer. Although true, it also provides a conflict of interest that is not balanced with other rounding parts of his campaign.

On his website, he lists similar priorities but provides vague approaches compared to his competitors. For example, he writes that he will improve the revenue budget by using dormant assets with productive projects that benefit our city,” and that, “he will work with the other city council members to generate additional revenue for years to comebut doesn’t specify which assets, which projects they would be used for, or other aspects that would provide depth to his record. Additionally, as of September, when clicking the endorsements tab you will be met with the words “endorsements to be announced in August.” 

Comsa is ambitious and entrepreneurial, terms that suit the average Palo Alto resident. He is a promising candidate in terms of background but ultimately needs more experience and activity in his campaign.