Lobbying and CUSD Land Grab


This email is an effort to inform you of special interest lobbying, and how CUSD schools are being closed to be sold to investors.

Lobbyist Registration


In the first half of 2021, the resident oriented City Council of Cupertino passed a lobbying ordinance asking entities who were receiving compensation to lobby with the city, to register with the city. Similar lobbying ordinances exist in many Bay Area jurisdictions including Santa Clara, San Jose and Palo Alto. At least ten entities who lobby in the city have voluntarily registered increasing the transparency and reducing conflict of interest.

Who Opposes Registering as Lobbyists?


You may have received inflammatory mailers from a self-styled coterie of ex-mayors, disparaging the council chosen by the voters in 2018. Not surprisingly, on Nextdoor, a leading member of the coterie cheered a lawsuit opposing the city’s requirement for paidlobbyists to register.


The lawsuit, which challenges the requirement register as a paid lobbyist based on theFirst Amendment, was filed one year after the ordinance came to force, just in time for the elections. Multiple people, who strongly advocate for the coterie’s agenda like school closure, have had a close association with the particular local chapter of the organization (LVW) which is opposing the transparency ordinance.

Special Interests Abusing Neighborly Trust

As residents of the same city, we tend to trust our fellow residents’ view more than an entity we are not familiar with. However, this trust can be misused by special interests, when the special-interests compensate certain residents to act as lobbyists for their interests.

The lobbying ordinance is designed to empower residents with the information to evaluate whose interests a particular person represents, and then make an informed decision. 

That the leading member of the coterie of ex-mayors is not interested in transparency speaks volumes of their approach.

Selling CUSD Land to Investors

Another pet project of the coterie of ex-mayors is shutting down school campuses, in the already overcrowded schools of CUSD. During the recent school closure drama, residents were informed that CUSD has no money to run the schools; a claim debunked by many parents and invalidated by the huge surplus CUSD currently has.

A CUSD parent discovered this email after a public record request, which clearly shows CUSD studying how attractive our closed school sites will be for real-estate investors!. 

It should be obvious by now that our school going children and families went through the dislocation during the pandemic, so that wealthy investors could grab more land to profit from. 


Note that this pattern of trying to sell the school land is not new; in 2017 CUSD, then led by another protege of the coterie of ex-mayors, tried to sell off the land for Luther School and Park in Santa Clara, to none other than the Vallco investor, Sand Hill Properties (SHP)


Progress after 2018 Elections

The resident focussed council first took charge after Nov 2018 elections, when the voters shunned the money power on display from special interests. Since then, the resident-focussed council has worked hard to fix financial loop-holes (Internal Audit, increase transparency (lobbying), ensure greater resident involvement (Engage Cupertino), and unblock sensible development.


Many of the development projects like Westport and Canyon Crossing, which were stuck in the pipeline with the previous council have been approved with a usage-mix which addresses long standing city needs like senior care, without adverse impact on traffic. 

The Vallco project is waiting for the cleanup of toxic waste which is being coordinated by the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health.

Please Make an Informed Choice

Please vote for Govind Tatachari, Liang Chao, and Steven Scharf for Cupertino City Council, and Darcy Paul, Satheesh Madhathil & Jerry Liu for CUSD Board. They will enhance the dignity and respect of our Council and School District, work to roll-back school closure, and ensure that the local agencies work for the betterment of the residents.

Please do NOT vote for the candidates backed by this coterie, who are also endorsed and supported by the three CUSD trustees who spear-headed the effort to close schools. These candidates, supportive of school closures, are JR Fruen, Sheila Mohan (City Council) and Ava Chiao (CUSD) are a risk to our home values and should be actively opposed. 

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