MOUNTAIN VIEW — Margaret Abe-Koga, former Mountain View mayor and councilmember, is seeking to return to the City Council in the fall election.
“Born and raised on the Peninsula, I settled in Mountain View with my husband 18 years ago,” she said in a statement. “Throughout the years, this city has afforded us the opportunity to purchase our first home, raise two daughters, care for my aging parents, and build a sense of community around us.
“I’ve worked hard to give back to this community that has given me so much through my involvement with the schools as a parent, volunteer, and County School Board member, as a leader in my neighborhood association, as a board member on several non-profit and grassroots organizations, and as your city councilmember and mayor.
“It was an honor to serve as your councilmember and mayor from 2007-2015, where I worked hard and collaboratively with my colleagues and the community to keep the city financially strong and promote economic development. We developed a new blueprint for the city that could take us well into the 21st century and formulated innovative approaches to address our top challenges of housing, transportation and environmental sustainability.
“To preserve our high quality of life, we worked to ensure safe and strong neighborhoods, to provide top-notch city services, ample parks and open space. As mayor, I led this city out of the deep economic recession of 2008 with little effect on city services, and together with your involvement developed this city to be a prosperous and highly desirable place to live, work, learn, and play.
“Although we are now fortunate to be experiencing strong economic times, we still face many challenges ahead such as a strain on our city’s infrastructure including water, traffic congestion and safety, housing supply, and the growing affordability gap that impacts our socio-economic diversity, which makes Mountain View so unique and special.
“In such times, it’s important to lead with compassion and conviction, collaboration and consensus building. I’ve shown you I have these traits to lead and produce results. I would be honored to have your vote again on Nov. 8.”
Abe-Koga was born at Stanford Hospital and raised in San Mateo by immigrant parents from Japan. She attended public schools K-12, and went on to Harvard University for college, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in government in 1992.
After graduation, she joined Rep. Anna Eshoo’s district office staff, then went on to serve as associate director of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute (APALI) at De Anza College. Abe-Koga also owned and ran a small business – an indoor cycling fitness facility – before taking leave from the business to raise her children.
Her more recent work experience includes serving as foundation and corporate relations manager for Asian Americans for Community Involvement, the largest non-profit health and human services agency focused on the Asian community.
In 2015, she was district director for Assemblymember Evan Low of the 28th District, and she currently works for Synopsys Corporation as a government affairs manager.
Abe-Koga began her elected office service as trustee for Area 1 on the Santa Clara County Board of Education in 2002. She was then elected to the Mountain View City Council in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. She served as vice mayor in 2008, and as mayor in 2009, becoming the first Asian American female to serve in those capacities in the city’s history.
She represented Mountain View on regional bodies, including the Santa Clara County Cities Association, where she served as president and vice president; the Silicon Valley Regional Interoperability Agency; the Santa Clara County Emergency Operational Area Council; and the Santa Clara County Local Agency Formation Commission.
Abe-Koga served on the Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors and chaired the board in 2011. She led the agency to financial solvency through the economic downturn and worked to maintain and continue progress on capital projects like the BART extension, light-rail improvements and the Bus Rapid Transit system. She also served on the VTA’s Policy Advisory Committee and the Levi’s Stadium Transit Program Task Force.
In 2012, Abe-Koga was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to serve on the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, overseeing water quality issues in the Bay Area.
In addition to elected service, she has been active in the community, currently serving on the boards of CHAC (Community Health Awareness Council) in Mountain View, Charities Housing, a non-profit affordable housing developer, the League of Conservation Voters, and Carbon-Free Mountain View.
Her past service includes being a member of Mountain View’s Human Relations Commission and Environmental Planning Commission, a board member of the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley, vice chair of the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association, a board member of Avenidas Senior Services, a board member of the Mountain View Sister Cities Association, a board member of the Silicon Valley Japanese American Chamber of Commerce, president of the San Jose Taiko Board, and a board member of the San Mateo JACL.
For her hobbies, she teaches indoor cycling classes and enjoys running and biking. She also holds a third degree in kendo.