Dublin Human Services Commissioner Shawn Costello is taking another shot at leadership, competing in the City Council election on Nov. 3, just two years after a 15th consecutive attempt.
"If I was to be elected, I would have regular office hours like all of the other people that work there," Costello told the Weekly. "Other people, they don't really have to be there, they can just show up at the meetings. But me, I want to be there at City Hall to help people, like a hands-on kind of person."
Often referred to as a perennial candidate, Costello last campaigned for City Council in 2018, finishing fifth out of five candidates in that election. He also ran for mayor in 2008, among his other campaign history that stretches back more than 30 years.
Costello is also a disabled rights advocate with a long history of activism on behalf of disabled and low-income Dublin residents, including planning for the future all-abilities playground at Dublin Sports Ground.
Costello, who has cerebral palsy and cannot walk anymore, said, "People with disabilities have all kinds of things like autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy like myself, and they're so overwhelmed by candidates or by other people that want to exploit their disability against them."
"I want to show that they can go toe to toe with these people as well as I can. This is my 16th election, and so this is like old habit to me. But other people who are brand new to it might feel overwhelmed by it, and I want to show them that it's not really that bad," he added.
A resident of the city for 30 years, Costello said, "The biggest thing that we have is our growth. We're just growing too much, and even all of the people living here want it to stop or slow down.
Costello continued, "We've been constantly building for the past 20 years and it's not stopped, and we need to have at least 5 years where there's nothing going on, for us to catch up to where we are to know if we need to build more or not."
Also a member on the Wheels Bus advisory boards and Paratransit Advisory Planning Committee, Costello said, "A lot of our bus services have diminished; when it was the (Route) 10 bus and it was going all the way to Stoneridge Mall, they cut it in half and it made it into the 30 and the R30."
"It used to go all the way to Stoneridge; I want to see more buses out there," he added.
Costello is also on the Regional Center for the East Bay Consumer Advocate Committee, and has been nominated in the past for Citizen of the Year. He also spent seven years as a student tutor at Chabot College, where he also ran a computer lab, and was on the radio for eight years
Zone 7 Water Agency Director Michelle Smith McDonald, who nominated Costello for the award, called him "one of Dublin's most treasured residents, an activist, an advocate and someone who has been committed to make Dublin a better, more inclusive place for 34 years."
Costello has no campaign website and has exactly three campaign signs: "I'm also trying to prove to the other candidates that they don't have to plaster the whole city with signs to get elected," he said. "I have one sign out there on the street, the other signs that I have around my neck and the back of my wheelchair--that's all that I have."
Eight other candidates are vying in the Nov. 3 general election for two at-large seats on the City Council: Samir Qureshi, Dawn Plants, Sherry Hu, Sri Muppidi, Razi Hasni, Lucrecia Deleon, Mike McCorriston, and Kashef Qaadri.