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Letter 1

Dear friends and neighbors,

After 27 years as a resident of Atherton, I have made the surprising decision to run for Atherton City Council this Nov 3rd. I hope you will vote for me and support me in my first run for office. Please see my video (click here)  and my website (click here).

Why am I running?
Last year I joined the Atherton Environmental Programs committee. Through that work, I became aware that there was so much more Atherton could do to address the environmental issues we all face right now. Over the past few weeks, hundreds of fires in California have incinerated more than 1.6 million acres of our valuable forests. Smoke has blanketed our region for weeks resulting in unhealthy air quality.  I believe Atherton needs to be actively involved in addressing the immediate environmental issues that are affecting us all. Wildfire and smoke hazards will continue to be an increasing challenge that we must address.

Earlier this year members of the Atherton City Council proposed that Atherton detach from the Menlo Park Fire District. I strongly oppose withdrawing from the fire district because we need our first-class fire district now more than ever. By participating in a fire district that includes Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, and parts of unincorporated San Mateo, we are able to pool our tax dollars to have one of the best fire departments in the nation. Withdrawing from the fire district will not serve to lower Atherton taxes, but it will serve to diminish Atherton’s fire services and those of the surrounding communities. Fire and smoke do not recognize city borders! 

My priorities for the Council are to meet the demands of this unusual time:
●      Address air quality and other environmental issues with action and public education
●      Support our schools and community with timely pandemic information and cooperation
●      Prioritize communication to and involvement of Atherton’s residents.
●      Actively support emergency preparedness through ADAPT.
●      Work cooperatively with the Menlo Park Fire District and our city partners.
●      Manage the town’s resources in a careful, fiscally conservative manner.
●      Maintain Atherton’s close, cooperative relationship with its police force.
●      Build consensus on the Council and always respect different opinions.

Most importantly, I will fight to keep Atherton safe, quiet, and healthy. I value privacy and hope to maintain the serenity and safety of our community. I have had a long career as an academic, entrepreneur, board member, startup mentor, and mother. Like many residents, I appreciate the special place that we live in and felt motivated to find a way to give back to my community. I am eager to hear your opinions so I can better represent your interests so please reach out to register for a virtual get-together or host a yard sign (click here).

We are all in this together!


Dr. Diana Hawkins Manuelian for Atherton City Council
Link Atherton living article
Link to Almanac News

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