Humorous politicos—it’s a trend whose latest player is the mayor of Cupertino, Steven Scharf. During his State of the City address on January 30, Scharf performed about blocking neighboring communities from entering his fiefdom.
“You have heard about the wall along our southern border,” said Scharf, referring to President Donald Trump’s agenda to build a wall along the entirety of the country’s border. “This is the wall around Cupertino. We have a big problem with all these Teslas coming through our city from Saratoga and other people from other cities, so we came up with this proposal.”
Scharf’s comedy came with a Power Point slide presentation.
“San Jose will be mainly paying for it, so it’s not coming out of our own taxes,” the lawmaker continued. “Saratoga will give a little bit too, since they are a big contributor to our traffic issue.”
Cupertino has often complained of traffic woes that could, one argument goes, be tamed by more housing—more people living in Cupertino would mean fewer passing through. But as Bay Area residents slog through a debilitating housing crisis, Cupertino has done little to help alleviate the problem. In fact, the city of approximately 60,000, which houses the world’s most lucrative company, tried to preserve a dead mall in lieu of building homes.
Housing advocates and critics of the Silicon Valley town lambasted Scharf’s performance.
Later, he makes another joke about sending a woman to the ER after she asks him what's happening with that abandoned mall site that he opposes more housing on. A Bay Area public elected official making jokes about beating women: https://t.co/9nUcDlKSgh https://t.co/RmO8roOWot— Kim-Mai Cutler (@kimmaicutler) February 6, 2019
Congrats to Cupertino Mayor Steven Scharf for out-Trumping Trump on the night of the SOTU by declaring that Cupertino will build a wall and make San José pay for it. We are not amused. https://t.co/u68Pdp7GD9 via @Emily_DeRuy pic.twitter.com/Rfgwbs6Q0r— Lân Diệp (@LTDiep) February 6, 2019
His "iTown" slide and "we can't force a worker to live where we tell them to" is just the *italian finger kiss* to this exercise in actively not getting the point.— Ben Munson (@archaica) February 5, 2019
Of course he did. The surrounding cities are already paying for Cupertino's thoughtless, selfish, and irresponsible land use policies. Why should this be any different?— Jim Griffith (@JimGriffith_SV) February 5, 2019
“They haven’t permitted a single permit for affordable housing in over three years,” Matt Regan, senior vice president of housing policy at Bay Area Council, told the Guardian. “They essentially already have built a wall around their city by making it so unaffordable to live in and refusing to build more housing,”
Curbed reached out to Scarf for comment on Friday. He has yet to respond.
The Cupertino mayor’s State of the City can been viewed in its entirety here.