Long the leader of development growth in the Tri-Valley, Dublin finds itself at yet another critical juncture with still more significant project proposals on the horizon – to be balanced alongside a range of other community objectives to enhance residents' quality of life and city government operations.
With those key deliberations to come over the next four years, voters this fall are deciding from among Vice Mayor Jean Josey and newcomers Lynna Do and Kashef Qaadri for two full terms on the Dublin City Council. The city is guaranteed to have at least one new person on the dais come December, as sitting Councilmember Shawn Kumagai is competing for State Assembly rather than running for a second term on the council.
As the evolution of Dublin continues, the City Council needs leadership voices of originality and perspective who bring policy proposals and project insights to help advance community priorities. Those candidates are incumbent Josey and challenger Qaadri.
Josey, who has demonstrated herself to be a thoughtful and effective elected official, is a no-brainer on this ballot. Her first term was marked by her focus on affordable housing, fiscal sustainability, environmental goals, encouraging Dublin's diversity and inclusivity, and supporting small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She seeks reelection with a platform centered around those goals and others, such as smart growth, public safety, parks, transportation solutions and unifying an at-times fractured Dublin community. At our candidate forum, Josey showed she has the depth of knowledge on the important issues in Dublin while remaining driven to engage with community stakeholders to achieve common solutions.
Of the two challengers for the other seat, Qaadri stands above in his campaign grounded in community involvement to improve Dublin in his top priority areas of inclusive housing, small business support and environmental sustainability. We're happy to see that Qaadri, who was unable to separate himself in a crowded field of council candidates two years ago, has returned with a more focused platform bolstered by new experience as an alternate member of the city's Planning Commission among other public service roles.
We were particularly struck by Qaadri's performance at our candidate forum, expressing a variety of well-reasoned ideas for approaching existing topics before the city as well as those issues at the heart of his campaign. Qaadri's perspective will be a welcome addition to the Dublin City Council.
The other candidate, Do, has past city service as a former planning commissioner and calls on some experience with policy creation in her campaign that has a central message of "community, compassion, change". She cites relevant priorities such as public safety, small businesses, inclusion, mental health and giving Dublin a true downtown, but we were disappointed to hear a lack of specificity and original ideas from her at our candidate forum. That's the level of depth and creativity we would have preferred to see from a newcomer.
We recommend Josey and Qaadri for the two at-large Dublin City Council positions.
We'd also like to offer a word of support for Mayor Melissa Hernandez, who is unopposed but still has to appear on the ballot. Having no challengers come forward seems to us to be a ringing endorsement of this incumbent from city political stakeholders and the community at large.
Hernandez was a well-informed and well-engaged mayor during her first term these past two years, and we have every reason to believe Dublin will see much of the same from Hernandez going forward. Her campaign priorities are on point with what matters most to many folks in Dublin, such as continued financial stability, attracting new businesses, delivering high-quality city services, advancing the Downtown Preferred Vision, reducing traffic and protecting open space.
Hernandez has earned another term as mayor of Dublin.