Public Health & Safety

The health and safety of the people of Sunnyvale are the greatest assets we have. Investment in public health, including safe responses to the pandemic and post-pandemic reopening, preventive efforts in mental health, care for our children, recreation for Sunnyvale’s citizens, balancing our resources to broaden capabilities to respond to non-criminal events, and addressing  racial health disparities here will all improve public health and safety. Poverty, violence, and racism prevent some among us from leading healthy lives. Nancy will, as Mayor, provide stories and data about why and how our communities need to act.

As we reopen businesses and government services, we need to ensure that our economy starts back up without compromising safety. Essential workers continuing their jobs and other workers returning to offices, restaurants, and retail deserve to feel safe. Nancy will work to ensure that City workers, businesses, and residents are aware of and implement guidelines for avoiding the spread and contraction of COVID-19. OSHA recommends an emphasis on the need for wearing masks, social distancing, staggered work shifts, delivering services remotely, and other exposure-reducing measures.  Nancy will emphasize the need for these measures.

Nancy believes there are effective and humane alternatives to sending armed public safety officers to deal with non-criminal situations, such as homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness.  She wants Sunnyvale to look to best practices and lessons learned from other cities that have taken steps to reduce armed responses. 

“Many communities already rely on non-police intervention and violence prevention programs that we know to be both effective and less expensive than the police.”

Nancy champions preventative approaches to support mental wellness, especially strategies and efforts to prevent mental illness among youth. She sponsors a high school organization Sunnyvale Youth Public Policy Institute (YPPI), a youth-led group that develops events, sponsors meetings, and creates projects to educate students about mental health and how to maintain it. The students worked with local mental health care providers at Uplevel Works to develop the HAERT™ program, which provides a comprehensive curriculum that teaches high school students strategies and skills to use to cope with school and general life stress. 

Nancy’s goals for our City’s future include helping develop other progressive leaders with family-friendly perspectives, providing more options for at-risk youth through the Columbia Neighborhood Center, increasing vocational programs and other opportunities for career development, and increasing accessibility to daycare.

In 2011, as the up-and-coming president of the Rotary Club of Sunnyvale, Nancy worked with the non-profit and Sunnyvale School District club members to create Our Kids, Our Community, a program to provide lunches to students who receive free or reduced-cost lunches during the school year and who would otherwise go hungry in the summer. The resulting program avoids stigmatizing students by allowing students to enjoy food with their friends, regardless of need.

Nancy will work to promote the Developmental Assets Framework to empower our young people as part of our public safety model – by providing caring neighborhoods, a city that values youth, and adult role models, and by setting boundaries. We must aspire to surround every child in our city with a feeling of safety at home, school, and in the neighborhood.

Nancy provided leadership and guidance to the citizens group that got Measure C on the ballot, a gun safety measure in response to the Sandy Hook shooting. When the measure passed, the NRA challenged it and the 9th Circuit Court of appeals upheld it. Now other cities are considering similar measures.