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Of the 11 candidates in the March 5 primary for Congress, Joe Simitian has more achievements and experience than anyone else in the race.
The top two vote-getters in the primary will go on to the general election in November and replace Anna Eshoo, who has represented Palo Alto and the Mid-Peninsula since the 1990s.
His priorities line up with those of the district: reversing climate change, protecting reproductive rights and tackling the housing crisis.
But unlike the other candidates who also claim those are their priorities, Simitian has a track record of getting things done.
In 2017, he led an effort to save the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park at 3980 El Camino Real from being replaced with new condos.
He’s championed teacher housing at 231 Grant Ave. and special needs housing at 525 Charleston Road, both in Palo Alto.
He’s also got a long list of accomplishments in the category of health care. To combat the high price of prescriptions, he led the effort to establish a county pharmacy and a program to ensure people get insulin, EpiPens and inhalers.
He was the driving force to add a wing for adolescent psychiatric treatment at Valley Medical Center and a drop-in store-front location for youths seeking help called Allcove. With his persistence against the sluggish county bureaucracy, Allcove opened in 2021 at 2741 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto.
Simitian wrote the state bill that created transitional kindergarten — the first new grade level in California since 1891.
Public service has been Simitian’s life: He graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1970. He earned his bachelor of arts cum laude in political science at Colorado College. He received a master’s of arts in international policy studies from Stanford, a master’s in city and regional planning from UC-Berkeley, and a law degree from UC-Berkeley.
He was on the Palo Alto school board from 1983 to 1991 before being elected to city council. He then went on to the Board of Supervisors, the Assembly and the state Senate before returning to the Board of Supervisors in 2016.
The problem with most of the candidates is that they have little or no experience bringing people together to solve problems. They talk about how they’ll get things done in Washington, but they have no achievements they can point to.
Simitian is easily the most qualified of the candidates in the House primary and deserves your vote on March 5.