Three consider running for city council – Palo Alto Daily Post

This story first appeared in Monday morning’s Daily Post. If you want local news first, pick up the Post in the morning at 1,000 locations in the Central Peninsula.

BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Editor

An activist, real estate agent and Apple designer filed their paperwork to run for Palo Alto City Council in November.

The candidates would join Ed Lauing, a planning commissioner backed by the council’s slow-growing majority, in a race for three open seats. Two incumbents have term limits and a third has said she will not run again.

None of the potential candidates were ready to formally announce their candidacies or explain their positions last week, but they had information available online.

Julie Lythcott-Haims, 54, was a practicing attorney and freshman dean at Stanford. Now, she’s an author and speaker who lectures on parenting and being black, according to her website.

Lythcott-Haims has written three non-fiction books, including the best-selling, “How to Raise an Adult,” which discusses how helicopter parenting harms children. Her second book, “Real American: A Memoir,” details her life “growing up black and biracial in white spaces,” and her third book is a guide for young adults.

Lythcott-Haims has given TED talks and spoken at local high school graduations. She could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Alex Comsa, 49, is a realtor for Coldwell Banker. He oversees a team called the “Comsa Group” that specializes in luxury homes in Silicon Valley, according to his LinkedIn.

Comsa said on Friday that he still wonders if he has time for a campaign. He said he was going to Argentina for a few weeks to visit his son and would decide to run when he got back.

Lisa Forssell, 51, has served on the Public Utilities Advisory Board since 2016. She has twice been appointed to the board by city council to advise on power, gas and water projects.

Forssell works as a producer in Apple’s design studio, and she was previously a technical director at Pixar Animation Studios, according to her biography on the city’s website.

Forssell earned two degrees from Stanford in 2015, and his master’s project was a study of the effects of electric vehicle charging on the power grid — a topic the Public Utilities Advisory Board is currently working on.

Forssell said in an email Friday that she was having conversations with neighbors and city leaders, exploring a potential run. She said she would make a decision in the coming weeks.

The balance of the council could tip during the elections. Currently, there is a 5-2 split between the council’s slow-growing residential majority and the pro-development side of Councilor Alison Cormack and Councilor Greg Tanaka. Cormack is no longer running, while councilors Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth can’t run due to term limits, leaving the Residentials with three incumbents.

The Post will ask candidates about their positions when they announce their campaigns.

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