Newly-appointed Menlo Park Planning Commission member Peipei Pollmann is doubly surprised. “I was surprised at how many people  applied for the vacant position – and surprised that I got selected!”
Peipei, the mother of a four-month old who’s lived in Menlo Park for two years, explained her interest in the Planning Commission: “It matches my background, and my husband and I both believe if you live somewhere, you should contribute to that community.”
She became familiar with housing and transportation issues shortly after graduating from Berkeley with a degree in architecture, working for both the California League of Conservation Voters and the East Bay Housing Organizations before becoming an aide to Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “The whole focus of my work during my tenure with the Congresswoman was on constituents’ issues,” she says. (Currently she’s on maternity leave from Google.)
When we spoke, Peipei had attended two meetings and was struck with how thoughtful the comments from the public were. “I think residents here really value the democratic way of looking at things,” she says. She will serve out the term left vacant when Kirsten Keith was elected to the City Council.
“At Google, I don’t do housing or planning, so preparing for the meetings was really enjoyable,” she adds. “Plus it’s the one night my husband watches the baby – it’s my date night with myself!”
Peipei is very enthusiastic about Menlo and in particular, the Willows neighborhood where she lives with husband and daughter. “When we were looking for a place to live closer to our work, we wanted a balance of small town and big city and Menlo seemed to fit the bill. And we really fell in love with the Willows. We came and just walked around. You could just feel the warmth – what a great place to raise a family! Lots of people want to live here – we’re lucky.”