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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

Town of Los Altos HillsCandidate for City Council

Photo of Michelle Wu

Michelle Wu

Executive Vice President
2,057 votes (20.87%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protect and preserve town's rural ambiance as stated in the town's founding document called Green Sheets
  • Ensure safe neighborhoods, noice reduction, natrual disaster preparation
  • Infrastructural improvement such as building process , road maintenance, internet, underground utility



Profession:Executive VP, Entrepresure
Executive VP, Sales & Marketing, Voicent Communications (2005–current)
Board of Director, Center for Aspiring Programmer, a 501(3)c to help underprivilieged youth learn programming — Appointed position (2013–current)
Member, Los Altos Hills Traffic Safety Committee — Appointed position (2014–2015)
Project Manager and Unix developer for Sun's Solaris Unix Operating System, SunMicrosystem (aquired by Oracle) (1997–2001)
Trusted Unix Operating System Developer and Project lead, Hewlett-Packard (1992–1997)


Michigan State University Master of Science (M.S.), Computer Science Department, focusing on artificial intelligence, data processing and image recognition (1986)
Sichuan University, Chengdu, China Master of Science (M.S.), Electrical Engineering focusing on stochastic signal & data processing (1984)
Sichuan University, Chengdu, China Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Electrical Engineering focusing on circuit design, assembly languages (1980)

Community Activities

A long time member of Friends of the Hills 2000., Hills2000 (2000–current)
Los Altos Hills CERT Member. A Certified CPR., Los Altos Hills Fire Department (2014–current)
Participated many town events including Pathway Run, Town Picnic, HoeDown, Los Altos Hills Park And Recreation (1998–current)
Initiated underground utility in my neighborhood, Esperanza neighbourhood (2013–2013)
Participated in many Town council member election campaign committee , Los Altos Hills city council campaign committee (2000–2010)



I am a Silicon Valley high-tech veteran. Having two master’s degrees and a bachelor degree in computer engineering, I worked at Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystem. In 2003, I co-founded Voicent, a communication software company. We have more than 10,000 customers worldwide and was featured on New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and many national media. My extensive business execution and customer handling experience help me to understand complex issues and to make the right strategic decision. I am devoted, thorough and open minded. I strive for creative and sustainable solutions that shall benefit all parties including everyone like you.


I have been a town resident for 20 years since 1997. I am passionate about our town. The year after we moved here, the town hosted our first town picnic with only 300 attendees. During the past 19 years, I volunteered for every single picnic and watched it grow to 3000 attendees. I am happy to see our community coming together. My husband and I raised two children attended Palo Alto schools. Transitioning from a newcomer to a long time resident, I understand both sides’ needs. Throughout the years, I have participated in many community initiatives and services and town council elections. I am a CERT member and I was on the Traffic Safety Committee. It was the serenity of the hills, the walking trails, the rural ambiance that made us love this town for the past 20 years, and perhaps for the next 20 years to come.


When our town was founded 60 years ago, most homes were built in modest ranch style on great amounts of open space. Today, the fast-paced economic growth has attracted bigger and sophisticated home constructions to our town. The new home constructions are stretched to the maximum of MFA with tall fences and gates. When our town tells them they can build 4000 square feet homes, they build right up to 4000 square feet with an attic, a basement, and a sub-basement. The new residents’ lifestyle have drastically changed from the time the town was founded. We need to recognize this reality and to make sure the rural character of our town does not get eroded.


There are multiple issues inspired me to run for the city council including public safety, airplane noise reduction, infrastructure improvement such as pathways, traffic congestion, technology update. But my top priority is to protect and preserve the rural atmosphere of our town. I believe all our town residents share this common goal. We should prevent overdevelopment and reduce the frustration between the builders and the town government. We should help to seamlessly integrate a unified and friendly neighbourhood.


If I am elected, I will actively handle current issues and new issues when they arise. I would like to engaging town government and proactively handle contentious and complex issues. I will promote technology infrastructure to improve our home lives as well as town government process.


Our town’s building process has not changed in the last 25 years. The current process is just not effective. If i am elected, I would like to help to modernize our planning and building process. This may take a long time. But I will start from the basic. The first thing can be done is to use digital signatures to reduce paperwork and streamline application process. We then offer an interactive, step by step online walkthrough to educate builders what can or can not be built according to the general guideline, and to make constructive suggestions to the builders. I called this pre-build education process. With this proactive approach, many costly construction mistakes can be prevented.


The last but not least, I want to have a vision for the future of our town. I hope 60 years later, Los Altos Hills still prides itself with beautiful country settings and be a model town for the neighbouring communities.

I ask for your vote and look forward to serving you.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Los Altos Town Crier Newspaper Editorial, Issued on September 21, 2016

Organizations (2)

  • Los Altos Hills Pathway Committee Chair, Ann Duwe
  • Los Altos Hills Park & Recreation Committee member, Scott Vaderlip

Elected Officials (2)

  • Mayor of Los Altos Hills, John Harpootlian
  • Los Altos Hills Honorable Ginger Summit, Councilmember

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

What's rural?


Los Altos Hills prides itself as rural or semi rural living environment. And I have the experience of living in a real rural environment in my childhood.

Speaking of living in a rural environment, I felt like it was mean to be for all human to live. I was born in a harsh Northern China near Siberia. My parents sent me to grandma’s house when I was a baby. The place was rural, very rural, nothing but rural. It was a small rural town that had no electricity, no sewage, no treated water and it is in 1960’s. We drank from the river, washed our cloth by the river. It felt like I had lived in an outhouse next to a pigsty for 7 years. I had not seen a light bulb. I didn’t talk at all. Maybe muttered a few words calling Grandma. Grandpa raised me like a pet chicken, except I couldn’t lay eggs. Grandma used the long piece of cloth to bandage my feet, so I would have  a small feet like other ancient Chinese women in history.

And here I am, running for Los Altos Hills City Council so I can protect and preserve the semi rural charactor of my town. It's in my blood. :)

What differentiate me and other candidates?


I am Devoted, Open-minded, Thorough. In another words, I am the D O T conneting the lines. 

I am 20 year residents of town. I enthusiastically volunteer, and helped with many city council member to get elected in the past. I know how the town works.


I have 25 years of software industry experience from a Unix Operating System developer to a Startup Entrepreneur to Business Executive. I can improve planning and building process by using up to date online tools and technology such as digital signature.


I am highly effective and get things done.  I believe in proactive, all-win, prioritizing, transparent communication, result-oriented and synergy building.

I speak Chinese and I understand Asian culture. My Chinese name is 明霞. I am a natural liaison between 30% Asian population in town to our town government and community services.

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