To say resident Shawn White is passionate about Redwood City would be an understatement. Before the city council appointed him to the Planning Commission Monday night, he was already serving on the Parks & Recreation commission since 2004, the Pride and Beautification Committee since 2002, Redwood City International, and was a founding member of the Parks & Arts Foundation.
A life-long resident of Redwood City, White said he’s seen the transformative progress the city has made and wants to continue this momentum.
“Redwood City has so much untapped potential,” he said. “If done right, we can really create a city that brings businesses here and keeps people here to live, work and play.”
The council ultimately chose White and Craig Robinson, a member of the Housing & Human Concerns Committee, but ultimately chose White 4-2.
“It’s amazing when you get people so dedicated to the city,” said Councilmember Barbara Pierce. “We’re so fortunate to have such quality candidates.”
White has grand aspirations for the city. Just as Portland, Oregon, has been featured and praised for its Renaissance of its city and embrace of its natural resources, White similarly wants to see Redwood City in headlines.
“I want people to say ‘Look what Redwood City did. Look how they’re flourishing. That’s my dream,” he said.
He’s been observing what the Planning Commission has currently been doing, with the various housing projects like the and the . He said change in the city is accelerating for the better and he wants to be an active participant in this momentum.
And to get there, his priority is on the neighbor. He said what’s important to the residents is what should be the city’s priorities, whether these requests come from developers, city staff or trade union members.
“I want a community that is not afraid to say hi to their neighbor,” he said.
A Tech Guy, Not the Snowboarder
White had attended schools, and , and ultimately graduated from .
He intended to be a minister, but always had an affinity for technology, he said.
While a student in college, he worked full-time at Keynote and was hired in 1996, where is now the Vice President of Operations and Technology. He manages 60 to 70 employees worldwide and is responsible for $18 million budget for the organization.
Though the 500-employee company is based in San Mateo, White doesn’t plan to move anywhere soon. He purchased a home seven years ago where he lives with his wife and daughter.
“I don’t have any intention of leaving here ever,” he said. “I brought my wife here from East Bay, and my daughter will grow up here.”
As a passionate resident and a company Vice President where he has had to work on numerous contentious issues, White said he could bring this moderator approach to his role as Planning Commissioner.
“I want to look for win-win-win solutions for our community,” he said. “Redwood City can be a true model.”
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