Special Local Election Edition
>>CORRECTED - replaced picture of Jeff Moe, candidate for FUHSD Board. <<

We hope you are staying healthy!

We know that a liveable Cupertino with high quality of life is important to you. A huge part of that is having safe and enjoyable walking and biking opportunities in our city. It's also clear in this time of COVID that more and more people are using our trails, sidewalks, and roads for exercise so the need for walking and biking infrastructure is greater than ever. When kids go back to school, they will again need ways to get to school easily and safely, without requiring their parents to be stuck in car traffic congestion around schools. Our elected officials can make these issues part of the process (or not) when planning for development, city projects, PE curriculum in schools and more. It's vital that we elect officials that do so.

We asked all the City Council, CUSD and FUHSD board candidates to complete a survey with detailed questions on walking and biking that our members wanted us to ask. All of them responded, and though WBC does not endorse any candidate, we do score their responses. Read on to see our analysis, our scoring rubric, and links to the complete, unedited responses from the candidates.

Let's elect candidates who share our values and will move Cupertino forward as a more liveable, walking and biking friendly city. Make your voice count and vote!
Two City Council candidates get all top "green" scores on our survey
Two candidates, JR Fruen and Steven Scharf, get top marks from Walk-Bike Cupertino for every answer that they gave to our survey, with one other candidate, Hung Wei, doing almost as well. Find the full unedited responses from each candidate here. 
City Council candidates, from left to right: JR Fruen, Steven Scharf, Hung Wei, Kitty Moore, and Charlene Lee.
JR Fruen, according to the Mercury News, is “an attorney, is co-founder of Cupertino for All, the nonprofit dedicated to making Cupertino more sustainable for future generations.” All of his answers were detailed and strongly supportive of pedestrian and bicycle improvements in our city, earning all green scores, which is our top mark. It was very noticeable that Mr. Fruen was thoughtful and complete in all his responses to the survey. In our experience, Mr. Fruen has been a solid supporter of pedestrian and walking projects for years, consistently emailing the city and speaking at council meetings in support. A great summary for Mr. Fruen on his support for walking and biking in Cupertino is his quote “When it comes to bike-ped policy, I literally walk the walk. “ Read more on JR Fruen...

Steven Scharf, an incumbent Councilmember and current Mayor, also received all top green scores from Walk-Bike Cupertino for his answers to our survey. Mr. Scharf is an embedded systems engineer, who is associated with Better Cupertino, an organization that advocates for “sensible growth”. His answers to each question were detailed, specific, and knowledgeable. As part of our scoring, we consider past public statements and actions by candidates in addition to their replies to the survey. Mr. Scharf has consistently spoken in favor and voted in favor of bicycle and pedestrian projects for the city during his time as a council member. We agree that Mr. Scharf has, as he states, “strongly supported the expansion of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in Cupertino.” Read more on Steven Scharf...
Hung Wei scored almost as well as Mr. Fruen and Mr. Scharf, receiving top marks in all but one category. Ms. Wei is a former FUHSD School Board Trustee, and states we need new councilmembers that can provide “experience, vision, and results.” Ms. Wei pledges, “I will support Walk and Bike Trails projects, separate bike lanes, and road diet projects in the City to support walking and biking to reduce local traffic, and to encourage healthy living styles. “ Ms. Wei further states, “Planning safe biking trails leading from residential neighborhoods to public transit stops and office locations will encourage people to bike to and from work/home daily thus reducing vehicle travel miles and GHG emissions.” ...read more about Hung Wei...
Kitty Moore, a civil engineer, is also associated with the Better Cupertino organization. She states, “Getting people to use bikes for transportation is a challenge due to safety concerns and distance of commutes. More well-placed trails and lanes can help this.” While she supports the Regnart Creek trail, she is not as vocal a supporter as candidates JR Fruen, Hung Wei, and Steven Scharf. Ms. Moore does not express support for the public process to create a new Bike/Ped Plan, preferring to leave what projects get built to the five-member City Council: “City Council can elect to move forward projects they wish to see…” read more about Kitty Moore...
We at Walk-Bike Cupertino are grateful to all the City Council candidates for considering these important issues and for letting their views be known to their voters. As a voter, please use this information to help make your decision for the best future councilmembers here in Cupertino.
How can we be sure the candidates are being truthful, and not just saying what we want to hear? 
We really can’t. Like much about campaigns, we can only go on what we are told, and hope it is truthful. Most of our local elected leaders do, in fact, follow through on what they say they will do. The benefit of this survey is that we get them to put their promises in writing so we can track that they follow through and let you know when they don’t.
How the questions were developed, who scored the responses, and more
How were the questions developed?
Before the surveys were sent to each candidate, questions were developed based on what Walk-Bike Cupertino members said they were interested in learning about the candidates’ views. The City Councilmember questions were more focused on Cupertino issues, and the School Boardmember questions were more focused on Safe Routes to School and having active kids while schools are doing distance learning.
None of the candidates had any input on the questions or topics we covered and none of the candidates saw the questions before we sent them out to all candidates. The CUSD Board candidate who is also a Walk Bike Cupertino Board member was specifically excluded from all communications on this survey and had no inside access to the questions or the answers.

What do the scores mean?
The scores are specific to each question. In general:
  • Green indicates full support and providing specific details
  • Yellow indicates unfamiliarity, vague or lukewarm support
  • Red indicates lack of support or outright opposition

The full rubric provides details on the scoring criteria for each... Read more in the FAQ.
Several School Board Candidates show good biking and walking support
Every CUSD and FUHSD School Board candidate answered our survey on walking and biking. The survey focused on getting students safely to school and encouraging healthy exercise for them. The results of the survey were generally positive, though it’s clear that there is still work to be done to make Safe Routes and walking and biking a higher priority in the district. We encourage all the candidates to continue to look for ways to make these important issues a bigger priority in the district work.
CUSD Candidates
Cupertino Union School District comprises the elementary and middle schools in our community. Sylvia Leong and Wil Fluewelling get top marks, scoring green for all questions but one. Sudha Kasamsetty’s score is close behind, with all green except for two questions.
CUSD Board candidates, from left to right: Will Fluewelling, Sylvia Leong, Sudha Kasamsetty, Phyllis Vogel
Wil Fluewelling* earned top scores on all the questions though detailed, thoughtful and knowledgeable answers. He has also clearly shown his dedication to improved walking and biking for our students through his previous actions in his advocacy for Safe Routes to school (SR2S) as a Parent Champion and for city infrastructure project. Some of his ideas include “Continue to push the efforts at school sites using great programs like Walk/Bike Wednesdays via city programs. Continue the bike trainings and helmet fittings at the schools via city programs. Advocate for reducing vehicular traffic around school sites, especially during morning and afternoon commutes.” Keeping kids healthy is a top priority for Mr. Fluewelling: “Yes, the safety of our children is our a top priority, but not just physical safety. We have to stay vigilant with the long term effects of social isolation.” Read more about Will Fluewelling...
*read disclosure here on this candidate
Sylvia Leong gave specific and positive answers to the survey questions. This, combined with her past actions, place Ms. Leong, an incumbent boardmember running for reelection, at the top of our rankings. Ms. Leong is a former Safe Routes parent from Meyerholz Elementary and Miller Middle Schools. She ran a walking school bus every Wednesday for four years and actively participated in Walk Audit work. Ms. Leong had thoughtful and detailed plans on how to increase exercise and safety for students, including a four-part plan to increase the number of students walking and biking to school. Student exercise, safety and active commuting have been a longtime concern for her. “I have promoted walking and biking to school for many years when my own children were in elementary school, and I remain committed to promoting walking and biking for our students.” Read more about Sylvia Leong...
Sudha Kasamsetty gets the next best score, with green for all questions except for two. She states that she is a strong believer in SR2S, though she doesn't yet have a track record of support to point at. She says “I have extreme confidence in the thought process that Safe Routes to School Team puts into their proposals. I will fully support and will continue to bridge the gap with proper communication and educating the community on the importance of such projects." Ms. Kasamsetty, who is also associated with the Better Cupertino organization, further states that she “absolutely agrees” that ... read more about Sudha Kasamsetty...
Phyllis Vogel, an incumbent boardmember running for reelection, has worked on student safety during her time on the CUSD board. “During 2017 and 2018, I was a member of committees…the purpose of those committees was to discuss safety procedures for students waking and biking to school..". She further states "I believe the major responsibility for biking and walking routes lies with the cities." read more about Phyllis Vogel...
FUHSD Candidates
Fremont Union High School District comprises our high schools in our community. Both Jeff Moe and Roy Rocklin are incumbents running for re-election board positions unopposed. We appreciate that they still took time to fill out our survey and continue their concern for these issues, though they will naturally win their elections.
Roy Rocklin, a strong supporter of biking and walking for many years, scored all top marks but one. Mr. Rocklin has been active with SR2S, helped with the Homestead Road Corridor improvements, has advocated personally for improved walking and biking infrastructure in Cupertino and has helped with bike rodeos. His detailed ideas to increase bike riding to school are, “Support improved bicycle lane markings and dividers, support building more Class I bike/pedestrian paths, encourage more frequent communications to parents and students promoting bicycle ridership.”

Jeff Moe also supports SR2S, noting, “Traffic congestion around schools is a concern for the entire community and Safe Routes to School is an excellent solution to that problem.” He further states, “I consider myself to be a big supporter of the development of bicycle and pedestrian paths.”
We at Walk-Bike Cupertino are grateful to all the School Board candidates for considering these important issues and for letting their views be known to their voters. As a voter, please use this information to help make your decision for the best future School Boardmembers for our city.
Ballots are expected to be mailed the first week of October.

They can be returned by mail or in a ballot drop boxes. Check your registration, mailing address for your ballot, drop box locations, and more at CA.gov by clicking here.
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We'd love to hear YOUR voice!

Do you know a great walk, ride, run or hike? Want to share an issue about walking, biking, city planning, or interesting idea?

Walk-Bike Cupertino would love to spotlight it in our newsletter and on our website! Articles should be 500 words or less, and should include a picture (at least 3 pictures for hikes). All submissions are subject to approval & editing, and can be used by Walk-Bike Cupertino in future publications. Contact us here.
Happy Walking and Biking,

Your friends at Walk-Bike Cupertino

Find much more, including maps, safety data, and information on all the city projects at: walkbikecupertino.org