As we near the election, Pleasanton Action Network has conducted many meetings with our city council candidates. This is our final report on Zarina Kiziloglu. To see our report card, please visit @pleasantonactionnetwork on Instagram.
When she was 11, Zarina Kiziloglu and her family came to the US from Afghanistan as refugees in 1981. She then was forced to take a job at just 13 years old after a tragedy occurred in her family. Despite the cultural and linguistic barriers she faced, she became the first person in her family to attend a 4 year university, that being UC Santa Barbara. After researching at both UC Santa Barbara and UCLA, Zarina spent 12 years in the real estate business. But she found her true calling in volunteering with the International Rescue Committee in Oakland and MCC in East Bay. 3 years ago, she was nominated to Pleasanton’s Housing Commission by Mayor Thorne and is now running for City Council.
Out of all the city council candidates, Zarina has by far the most in-depth plan for addressing affordable housing in Pleasanton, and we highly recommend that you check out her website for more information. Here is a summarized version of her plan:
Zarina also does not support many of the council’s current policies on affordable housing, such as in-lieu fees, and would not support luxury, commercial, or industrial development in East Pleasanton until there is enough affordable housing. She believes that affordable housing must be the priority, as in the previous RHNA cycle from 2014 to 2022, Pleasanton has up to this point, only allowed a mere 304 out of the required 1210 affordable housing units to be built. In contrast, that same period of time saw 1187 market rate homes to be built in Pleasanton. With the next RHNA cycle coming soon, a continued failure to meet these numbers may lead to state fines and other penalties.
Like others, Zarina believes that zoning the land in East Pleasanton would be the best way to fulfill our RHNA numbers. She would partner with private and non-profit organizations to help fund and support the implementation of these numbers.
(Unlike other candidates), she would work to make sure that Pleasanton’s affordable housing plan complies with the California Department of Housing and Community Development to prevent any litigation from arising.
In general, Zarina would prioritize keeping affordable housing and parking for those homes near transit such as BART and ACE. She supports reducing barriers to affordable housing, such as permit processes and fees and gives preference to developments with anywhere from 10 to 20% affordable housing.
Zarina has plans for broad economic relief, including supporting small business grants and loans. She also believes that Pleasanton has had insufficient response to COVID and thinks that we should align Pleasanton’s goals with state/national progress. Most importantly, Zarina recgonizes the intersectionality of the oppression of COVID.
Zarina does not support defunding the police but does believe it needs to be reformed in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. She does support replacing School Resource Officers at PUSD schools with more mental health professionals. In general, she believes that either the police must be better trained or they should be replaced with trained social workers.
In her experience, Zarina has found that the repeated interactions the Muslim community has had with the PPD on creating understanding and cultural sensitivity have not been enough. Thus, she supports having all officers take ethnic studies classes and have all new members at least have a college degree.
Alameda County Democratic Party
Former City Council Member Becky Dennis