Cupertino Planning Official Faces Backlash for Calling Pro-Growth Activists ‘Neoliberal Fascists’

Cupertino’s Planning Commission chair is getting slammed for trolling YIMBYs on Nextdoor and making not-so-veiled threats about trying to get them fired.

City officials distanced themselves from Ray Wang’s comments about pro-housing activist Richard Mehlinger, saying he was speaking in his capacity as an individual and not on behalf of the Planning Commission.

Considering how other prominent Cupertino officials have publicly downplayed the housing crisis and quipped about building a wall to keep people out, it certainly reflects poorly on a city already branded as a NIMBY stronghold.

Unsurprisingly, this all started on the NIMBY cesspool that is Nextdoor.

Wang, part of slow-growth group Better Cupertino, posted a message urging folks to attend a pro-growth event to stick it to Vallco developers Sand Hill Property Company and “save the suburbs from an onslaught of anarchists and YIMBY neoliberal fascists.”

A YIMBYite published a screenshot of the post on Twitter, where it caught the attention of Mehlinger, a Dropbox software engineer, who called Wang’s diatribe an “unhinged rant.” Back on Nextdoor, Wang responded indirectly, saying “we’ll have to talk to Richard’s employer, Dropbox.”

Wang then doubled down. “Next time you get harassed by a YIMBY, track down their employer and send their HR, legal and CEO a letter outlining their YIMBY stance, and all their tweets, their digital and social comms to show their lack of civility,” he said.

That didn’t sit well with Mehlinger, who showed up to last week’s Planning Commission meeting to give Wang a piece of his mind.

“I am not afraid of your threats,” he said, “but there are many, many people in this valley who would be on the street if they lost their next paycheck. The precarity of their situation is due to the racist, classist and exclusionary policies that you and your allies at Better Cupertino consistently defend and attempt to further.”

Now the Merc is demanding that Wang at least apologize. “If he can’t see the need,” the editorial board wrote, “he should resign from the commission.”

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10 Comments

  1. There was a time when civilized society settled these issue’s with a proper dual. Today we resort to all manner of tattling, bullyragging, and skullduggery.

  2. This speaking as a member of the public dodge is really a way to insult the public. Brian Doyle, the City Attorney in Santa Clara does it all the time. Both Doyle and this planning commissioner are COWARDS. Public forums are for members of the public not for morons like Wang and Doyle to inflame the discussion and scurry back under the rocks they inhabit.

  3. WOW – Cupertino is a dumpster fire at this point. San Jose should just incorporate them and call it a day.

  4. This is the first I has seen this. But, actually, Ray Wang is correct. The YIMBY movement really is in the neoliberal tradition of holding private interests higher than community or public interests, and is propaganda so the wealthy can take their profits from the commoditization of land and housing. Fascism is the combination of corporations and the state, so that the government can carry out corporate interests. Pretty clear that the public officials approving these projects are doing so at the behest of the backroom deals with developers. SJI did some good articles related to this showing the cozy relationship between the ex-cupertino city council and the developer, and firing of the City attorney.

    So describing it as “YIMBY neoliberal fascists” is factually correct.

    Sort of ironic that a ‘pro-growth’ software engineer from the west valley is up there giving a speech. Kind of like the CEO of Wells Fargo giving a speech advocating for banking reform.

    • Fly didn’t make the accusation. Notice how that comment you’re referring to is in “” quotes.

  5. Those crooks from Sand Hill bribed Council officials to get their development project passed for Vallco. How much more one percent can you get? Seems like these yimby’s don’t even care that these corrupt one percenters can shove their development plan through against the desires of the people to have more commercial rather than housing. Keep in mind that Sand Hill did NOT allow other people to bid on building a hotel there. They just approved a hotel owned by the owner of Sand Hill, which is Peter Pau. Cupertino also does NOT have a downtown. How come neighboring areas like Palo Alto and Sunnyvale can all have a downtown area, but Cupertino cannot? This is just totally ridiculous…

  6. https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&t=01h02m17s&v=UR6Zy89j_Q4

    Nice, after his sexist rant and criticism of the Planning Commission’s only female Commissioner he is back to insult and demand the resignation of yet another planning commissioner. At this rate, he’ll be back three more times to demand the resignation of all remaining commissioners. To his credit, there wasn’t as much shouting, but if you watch the video you’ll see that another public comment criticizes / threatens the work place of another commissioner.

    Of course, it’s never sexism when the unnecessarily harsh criticisms leveled against the only woman on the Cupertino Council or the only Planning Commissioner is singles out and vilified because they’re on the side of the people and not that of powerful developers, unions, and Big Tech.

    If you’d like a taste of real intimidation and coercion, visit bittercupertino.wordpress.com

    I’ve seen many so called YIMBYs come down from San Francisco to berate one of the nation’s most diverse cities (they can’t call us racists but have moved onto the talking point of age diversity) and everyone living in it. It’s getting old. New Urbanism, neoliberalism, and pro-developer corporate welfare is not going to work out. The AstroTurf YIMBY movement is insincere and backed by powerful corporations. Money in politics is real, but unfortunately for YIMBYs this is still a democracy

    • Totally agree that YIMBYs have been coopted to intimidate Cupertino into allowing Sand Hill Property Company to build more OFFICES at Vallco!! It works against their claimed interests for affordable housing.

      If Cupertino has “been branded as a NIMBY stronghold”, it is the result of an long running and well funded campaign by Sand Hill. The Mercury News is in the pocket of Sand Hill as demonstrated in their editorial outrage at Wang, but not at former Mayor Barry Chang who collected large donations from Sand Hill and South Bay Construction immediately after firing the city attorney who disagreed with Sand Hill. The Mercury News also ran a “columnist” Jean Bedord whose columns critiqued Vallco and Council candidates, without acknowledging that Bedord is an active media consultant and campaign supporter of Sand Hill.

      If having the Mercury News as an extension of the Sand Hill PR department isn’t enough, a fake news site called “Cupertino Today” was created at the start of the new Vallco SB35 strategy roll out. Cupertino Today runs pro-Sand Hill pieces mixed with press releases to make it look like a real news site and maybe catch a few readers. Sand Hill’s Vallco site references Vallco stories on the Cupertino Today fake news site. The self identified “publisher” Phil Siegel of the Cupertino Today fake news site just happens to be a San Francisco based public relations consultant. It is a sophisticated fake news site operation, where the fake news blog has been able to get listed on the Google News Index despite not meeting google’s required standards for transparency.

  7. Disagree Wang is correct. Attempting to silence someone by threatening to embarrass them to their employer is lower than a snake’s belly. Any claim by a city official that they are wearing a private citizen hat when making public comments are disingenuous and wholly unbelievable. Wang should resign.

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