Why I Don't Accept Endorsements From City Council Members

Los Altos City Council candidate Jan Pepper says she's been fortunate to receive broad support from various organizations, but she did not seek endorsements or financial support.


The following is an opinion written by Los Altos City Council candidate Jan Pepper.

By Jan Pepper

As a candidate for Los Altos City Council, I have chosen not to seek or accept endorsements or financial support from anyone on the current City Council. I am also not accepting endorsements or financial support from any business interests that may come before the City Council in the future.

I chose to run for council as an independent candidate because one of my top goals for our city government is to improve transparency and fairness. 

I am not running with any slate of candidates for the Los Altos City Council. I pride myself on the ability to work well with many people and to build bridges between people with different views.  Because of this, I have been fortunate to receive broad support across the city. Various organizations and individuals have included me in the groups of candidates they support for City Council. This support has taken the form of mailers and flyers independently funded and produced by individuals and organizations that reflect their varied views about me and my fellow candidates.

My campaign slogan is “Listening and Acting with Respect and Integrity.”  I will continue to adhere to the highest ethical standards throughout this campaign and if I am elected, will carry that through as a councilmember, representing ALL of the residents of Los Altos.  


Jan Pepper

Candidate for Los Altos City Council

Oct. 16, 2012 

W Nobuyuki October 17, 2012 at 07:21 PM
There's a fascinating article featuring Mayor Val Carpenter on the front page of today's Daily Post 10/17/2012, entitled "Mayor accused over signs", written by Kristen Peters.
David Casas October 17, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I applaud Jan on both her stance, and her independence. She is honest, ethical, and has a clear understanding of the many complex issues facing the city. Jan is not beholden to special interest, or a small group of advocates, and will truly represent the entire community. For the next four years, I have every expectation that she will serve the residents of Los Altos honorably.
Joyce Rogers October 17, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Smart move. So far, two city council candidates (plus one canvasser for you, Ms. Pepper) have been to my door; one lost my vote based on the endorsement of a specific councilmember listed in the candidate's literature. In response to my reaction, s/he said (paraphrased), "Well, I'm not (Councilmember X) -- and you take endorsements where you can get them." Bad answer. Like it or not, an endorsement implies reciprocity -- and for a candidate to accept an endorsement and then distance him/herself from it following a negative reaction from a voter strikes me as disingenuous at best. To be honest, Ms. Pepper, I haven't decided who, if anyone, will get my vote(s) for city council. Your affiliation with the Boy Scouts (listed in your own literature) gives me pause. I'm gay -- and the BSA is thoroughly and reprehensibly anti-gay (and anti-freedom of religion). Just as I would never vote for anyone who had donated thousands of dollars to pass Proposition 8, it is very difficult for me to see voting for someone who supports the Boy Scouts. (The point will seem trivial and irrelevant to many, but it's important to me. Before the Pride Proclamation debacle of 2006, I never thought LGBT issues would matter on the local level; now I know better.) In the end, it's not just endorsements that matter. It might be wise to avoid listing group affiliations as well, and concentrate solely on the specific solutions one brings to the table.
Nicole October 17, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Wow! Take that Mayor Val Carpenter. Endorsement rejected. You know you have stepped “over the line” when the candidate you’re endorsing rejects it! Mayor Carpenter likes using the title, “Mayor”. She uses it when she endorses candidates. She creates the image that the office of Mayor is either “officially or unofficially” endorsing her candidates. She uses it when she tries to influence Safeway to remove posters for candidates she doesn’t support (See today’s Daily Post). She uses it to influence or to intimidate. If her behavior is not illegal, it should be. It is unethical. Obviously, there is no need for Citizen Val Carpenter to identify herself as Mayor Val Carpenter unless she is trying to exert influence. The only thing she isn’t doing is using the seal and stationary of the City of Los Altos – now, we all know that is illegal! Jan Peppers needs to take one step further and condemn Val Carpenter’s behavior concerning the Safeway debacle. Step up. Show some leadership. And, the other “Mayor Val Carpenter” candidates need to voice their opinions as well. Megan Satterlee did comment to the Daily Post. She said, “Carpenter did not abuse her power and considered the email simply an inquiry about corporate policy”. Really? Are you kidding? That is something for voters to ponder. And, from Jon Baer, so far, we get silence. Is that leadership and openness OR complicity with the Mayor? That’s what Los Altos has to decide.
Jan Pepper October 18, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Dear Joyce, Thank you so much for speaking up. Another Los Altos resident also asked me about the boy scout association, so I appreciate you giving me a chance to explain this to you as well. I volunteered for Troop 37 in Los Altos, of which my son was a member. Troop 37 does not agree with nor abide by the national boy scout policy prohibiting gays; if it did, then neither my son nor I would have been associated with the troop. I am hopeful that the national boy scout organization will reverse their position, as I believe it is wrong. My son was in boy scouts to develop a love for the outdoors and gain leadership skills. I am a proponent of equal rights for all people. I oppose Proposition 8 and support same-sex marriage. I think each person should be able to marry whomever they want. I have many gay friends as well as gay family members, as most people do. I recall there was an instance in Los Altos a few years ago when the city council voted to ban the Gay Pride Day parade as requested by the students of Los Altos High. If I am successful on getting onto the Los Altos City Council, I would proudly support having a Gay Pride Day parade and encourage the city to lead by example in supporting equal rights for all. I hope this helps you understand my views on this issue. If you have further questions, please let me know. Jan Pepper
Jan Pepper October 18, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Dear Nicole, You asked me to step up and show some leadership regarding Val Carpenter’s behavior. I want to go on record that I do not condone such actions by an elected official in this campaign or in the civic affairs of Los Altos. I also communicated this to the Daily Post and it is the last line in their article. I want to set the record straight that I am running as an independent candidate. I have said from the very beginning of my campaign that I will not seek or accept endorsements or financial support from anyone on the current City Council. I am also not accepting endorsements or financial support from any business interests (such as property developers) that may be coming before the City Council in the future. And as I have said, I will continue to adhere to the highest ethical standards throughout this campaign and if I am elected, will carry that through as a councilmember, representing ALL of the residents of Los Altos. The focus of my campaign has been to encourage an open dialogue among all the people in Los Altos on the issues we face. Please see my positions on the important issues at: www.pepperforcouncil.com/positions/ And thank you for expressing your opinion. That’s how I learn what’s important – when people speak up and I have the opportunity to listen.
marlis mcallister October 18, 2012 at 03:15 PM
I want to second Jan's comments about Troop 37. My son was a member of that troop from the time he was in 5th grade until he earned his Eagle rank just short of his 18th birthday. During that time, I was involved heavily as a volunteer with the troop. Based on my experience, I can say with certainty that Troop 37 does not support the national Boy Scout policy regarding gays. I voted against Proposition 8, am in favor of gay marriage and support gay rights. I would encourage anyone who lives in the Los Altos area and has a young son to join Troop 37. I am quite sure it had a significant influence on the terrific, caring and gay rights supporting young man my son has become. Marlis McAllister
marlis mcallister October 18, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Hear hear! You have made many of the same points I made in a letter to the editor I have submitted to the Town Crier. I hope the residents of Los Altos take note of the improprieties and act accordingly.
Nicole October 18, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Jan, You had me at "I do not condone such actions by an elected official". Thank you for responding and showing leadership. You get my vote. The silence from Mr. Baer and Ms. Satterlee is curious. I guess they think Ms.Carpenter's tactics are appropriate. I think voters should take note.
marlis mcallister October 18, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Nicole, Megan Satterlee responded to Val's email without objecting at all to her tactics, which, as far as I am concerned, constitutes an approval. She tried to put her own spin on Val's actions, but, to my mind, she did not succeed in the least.


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