24 October 2014 – Kristin Duriseti, an alumnae of Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bellevue, WA (class of 1987), is running for Menlo Park City Council in the election next week on November 4. A sixteen-year resident of Menlo Park, Kristin hopes to bring her background in economics and climate policy to guide Menlo Park towards a truly sustainable future that promotes economic vitality as well as environmental sensibility.
As a Menlo Park Environmental Quality Commissioner for six years, Kristin has worked to develop the city’s Climate Action Plan and greenhouse gas emission targets, which were adopted by the city council, and has advocated strongly for a proactive Water Demand Management Plan, elimination of the use of pesticides on city property, especially in park areas near children, flood protection of San Francisquito Creek that is both more effective and preserves the fragile ecosystem, and support for businesses to implement “green” practices and upgrades that save money and natural resources.
On the controversial local ballot initiative regarding two proposed development projects along El Camino Real, Measure M, Kristin believes that it is more important to ask what the candidates will do after the election to fulfill the vision of the Menlo Park residents to create a more vibrant downtown. Irrespective of the outcome of the vote on Measure M, Kristin has stated that she would support increasing public open space in the development projects and a more balanced jobs-to-housing ratio. Regarding the particular mix of office space proposed by the measure, Kristin believes that this is an important opportunity to hear from the voters. In addition, Kristin proposes to address traffic concerns directly through negotiated traffic demand management programs that have been quite successful in neighboring communities and Stanford.
Perhaps the most significant issue facing the next Menlo Park council will be the General Plan Update, which will establish a city-wide transportation plan and new zoning regulations in the Belle Haven neighborhood (between 101 and the Bay). As an appointed member of the General Plan Advisory Committee, Kristin is working with residents and commercial property owners to achieve the shared vision for a walkable, livable, and sustainable community. Kristin will bring a holistic approach to ensure that commercial land-use, housing, and transportation are meaningfully integrated, and that the community, economy, and environment are protected and enhanced.
When asked why she is seeking office, Kristin credits in part her Sacred Heart education to inspire women to be responsible, creative, and compassionate global citizens and contribute meaningfully to their communities on a local, national, and international level. In fact, the plaque in our main building that displays the five core values reminded Kristin of this deep connection and commitment when she was bringing her son to camp at SHS over the past summer. The value most meaningful to Kristin is “a social awareness that impels to action.” Having spent the last two years as a Chapter Scientist for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Kristin decided to turn her attention to effecting change at the local level.
Kristin graduated from Forest Ridge in 1987 and attended Stanford, where she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science. After receiving a Master’s degree in Economics and a Doctorate in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Kristin and her husband, Ram, moved to Menlo Park, where they have raised their two sons, Amal (age 17) and Kiran (age 9). Kristin currently works for the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, where she manages the academic journal, Climatic Change. On most days, she rides with her son on their yellow, tandem bike down Valparaiso on the way to and from school at Encinal. Look for her and wave hello!
Please learn more about Kristin Duriseti at her website, http://www.KristinForMenloPark.com