Former teacher wants to tackle the housing crisis and climate change
Four years ago, I had just finished grad school at Stanford, and my wife Deeksha and I were looking for a place to put down roots. We were attracted to Burlingame for its convenient location, proximity to public transit, and a sense of community that we felt we could invest in for the long term. Since then, we’ve also grown to love the walkable downtown, tremendous amenities, and historical charm that makes this such a special place. However, I’m worried that two major threats -- the housing crisis and climate change -- are poised to undermine the Burlingame we all know and love. I want to prevent that.

I’m a former 5th grade math teacher, and I have spent most of the last decade helping teachers around the Bay Area and around the country leverage technology and data to improve student learning. But over the last few years, I’ve watched the quality of life deteriorate on the Peninsula: traffic is getting worse and worse, wildfires make it dangerous to go outside with alarming frequency, and more and more young people who grew up here look at the cost of housing and either move back in with their parents or head to a more affordable part of the country.

Seeing this happen, I couldn’t stand by and do nothing. Despite a very successful career in education technology, I left my full-time job and devoted myself to understanding the intersection of the housing crisis and climate change. After talking to dozens of experts, reading thousands of pages, and getting involved with a variety of community groups, it became clear that there are solutions that not just reverse these alarming trends but actually make the quality of life in Burlingame better. Doing so will require us to think creatively and embrace thoughtful change, but we can leverage the very best ideas from cities around the world to create a city that is more walkable, more resilient, and more sustainable -- all while helping young people and families thrive.

I’m running for City Council to tackle these problems head-on, and I ask for both your support and your ideas. Together, we can preserve Burlingame as a city that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy too.
Mike Dunham for Burlingame City Council (CA)
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