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.”
Achievement unlocked: Get called a fascist by a sitting public official!
Ray Wang, chair of Cupertino Planning Commission, says:
"Go to their free meeting and defend Cupertino and our way of life. Save the suburbs from an onslaught of anarchists and YIMBY Neoliberal fascists." pic.twitter.com/6O7v7qCQo8
— YIMBY Neoliberal 🥑🌐🏙️🇭🇰 (@YIMBYNeoliberal) June 22, 2019
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.”