After four years on the dais, Dublin City Councilman Arun Goel is looking to be promoted as the city's next mayor, running for the open seat against the vice mayor and a political newcomer in the Nov. 3 general election.
Following a mayoral run that fell short in 2018, Goel told the Weekly in a recent interview, "There were many within the community who wanted me to step up my partnership in a more visible role with the community, as I have heard them wanting to pause market rate housing to focus on community needs."
Goel said his track record would "reflect my commitment to them in the actions and direction, I have tried to lead the city," and his experience will "help the city recover from COVID-19, making tough decisions, if necessary."
Housing, traffic, schools and economic development make up the pillars of Goel's campaign platform. Reducing and pausing the "aggressive growth" of market rate housing is a priority for Goel, who wants more affordable housing to retain and attract teachers for the school district and workers for local stores.
"The city needs to take a major pause on “market” rate housing, while focusing on affordable and senior housing, while adjusting our approach to address the imbalance in the housing-to-jobs ratios," Goel said.
Noting that Dublin "is a residential hub for the Silicon Valley and beyond, without a focused local economy agenda," Goel called for bringing more jobs and employment opportunities to the city.
"It’s good for the economy and great for the citizens of Dublin, with a second benefit of helping increase spending within the city limits and supporting our local businesses while reducing greenhouse gas emissions," he added.
For existing small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic, Goel said the city needs to do more to help them "thrive and recover" and engage with owners to identify their challenges and create solutions.
"The micro-loan and temporary use permit for outdoor dining is only the tip of the iceberg," Goel said. "We need to identify concepts. For instance, like a tax offset or delay will help, relief on rents for renters, identify solutions for landlords of business complexes, incentivize consumers through a local Dublin shop first pass, create advertising and awareness for all businesses."
Goel added, "Today we have 2,300 businesses, but many residents are unaware of this fact and thus don’t support them as a result."
A self-proclaimed "fan of events and community engagement," Goel called his social nature "a result of having been a DJ/event planner as my first business to put me through college."
Born in Hayward, Goel has lived in Alameda County his entire life and called Dublin home for his family for more than 17 years. The married father of three daughters was introduced to public service after being appointed to the Dublin Planning Commission in 2012; Goel won his current seat on the council four years later.
Goel attended San Jose State University, where he earned both bachelor and master degrees in civil engineering. His professional background and experience includes more than 25 years in capital infrastructure delivery, working in both public and private sectors.
The Dublin mayoral election is Nov. 3, with Vice Mayor Melissa Hernandez and business owner Regina Pangelinan also campaigning to succeed Mayor David Haubert, who is running for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors this fall.
To learn more about Goel's campaign, visit arunformayor.com.