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    Meet Election Candidates: Nick Pilch for Albany City Council

    Nick Pilch, one of the six candidates for Albany City Council, rides his bike around town. He is also using facebook.com, a popular social networking website, to advocate his campaign ideas and seek supporters. Pilch calls himself a “green” candidate, and promises to pursue a series of environmental-friendly policies once elected to the Council.

    Read a message from Pilch:

    “Hello, Albany.

    I’m happy to have the chance to say a few words about myself on Albany today.

    A bit about my background: I work as a software engineer. I am married and have a 9-year old son who attends Marin Elementary. My wife works as a school psychologist for the State Department of Education. I am an environmentalist and Sierra Club Outings Leader. Other interests include music and photography.

    I am currently chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission. Under my leadership of the Commission, we completed the renovation of our 3 major parks, we formed the Tree Task Force, and we gave input to the redesign of the Ohlone Greenway landscaping and paths for the BART seismic retrofit project. Note that, with the completion of Ocean View park, the city has its first community garden.

    Previous to my service on the Parks and Recreation Commission, I served on the Traffic and Safety Commission. I was appointed to this Commission in recognition of my work on bicycle and pedestrian advocacy.

    I co-founded the citizens group Albany Strollers and Rollers in 2004 because I saw the need to make sure the city took seriously its Bicycle Master Plan and began making steps to implement it. Additionally, most capital projects have a “human-scale transit” component, and we found that it’s easy for planners to get the design wrong if there are no bicycle and pedestrian advocates involved in the process. Case in point – we did not have enough people to watch the process of the redesign of our parks, and you’ll notice the unfortunate lack of bicycle racks in the park renovations.

    However, we have been following and been a big part of a number of other city projects and other events in Albany. We set up a booth at Bike to Work Day, and we park bicycles at the Solano Stroll and parked them at Dinner with Albany. We work with the city, writing letters, doing advocacy, and working with other groups to bring almost a million dollars of grant money Albany to fund paths and safety improvements, such as the Ohlone Greenway lighting project.

    I’m really proud of what this group can do, Not only do we bring our vision to people, we work directly with them and with the city to make it happen. And our vision reduces carbon emissions and helps the city reach it’s Climate Action Plan goals.

    If I’m elected, I will make certain that our Bicycle Master Plan is updated and implemented and that all the paint and sign only improvements called out in that document are implemented within a year.

    Additionally, I will work to bring the non-profit City CarShare to downtown Albany. Much of a car’s environmental impact comes from the manufacture of the vehicle. By sharing cars, we greatly reduce the need to manufacture so many cars and we get cars off our streets. We can thus return land to the community that can be converted back to green space.

    Some say we are the greenest in California. We have strong environmental values. People in Albany want their city council candidates to have those values as well.

    I am endorsed by the Green Party, who recognized my environmental and social values. I am an independent candidate. Environmentalists owe it to ourselves and the rest of the planet, to work with everyone and work with all groups. In that vein, I support our waterfront planning process as a way to make sure that everyone gets to have a say in what the waterfront might look like. We need to bring everyone back to the table in Albany for a civil discussion of what we all care about. I believe that we agree on more than we disagree.

    I can be counted as someone who will work for all sustainability goals, environmental, fiscal, and social.

    I will work towards hiring a full-time economic development director so that our income can be more robust and we don’t have to go to the voters with economically unjust bond measures every time the city needs money for a project.

    I will protect and improve our open spaces, including the waterfront. No malls at the waterfront will happen during my watch, if I’m elected.

    People of Albany, support a green candidate, and support someone who thinks for himself and listens to you. Learn more about me at my website. I would be honored to serve as your city councilmember.”

    Click to watch a video message from Pilch:

    He could be reached by phone    510-525-3405    or Email: nickpilch4albany@gmail.com

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