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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

City of Mountain ViewCandidate for City Council

Photo of Thida Cornes

Thida Cornes

Community Volunteer
9,751 votes (12.42%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Reduce traffic-build a 21st century transportation system, expand bike lanes, trails, and pedestrian safety,
  • Increase housing options for all to preserve the character and diversity of Mountain View
  • Advance environmental sustainability. Expand parks, open space and protect our natural resources. Promote environmental initiatives such as green buildings, recycled water and Community Choice Energy.



Profession:Community Volunteer
Commissioner, Parks & Recreation Commission — Appointed position (2009–current)
Member, Measure G Oversight Committee — Appointed position (2013–2016)
Member, Measure C Oversight Committee — Appointed position (2013–2016)
Member, Mountain View Whisman School District Facilities Committee — Appointed position (2015–2016)
Member, Mountain View Whisman School Boundary Advisory Committee — Appointed position (2015–2016)


Emerge California Certificate, Premiere training for Democratic women who want to run for office. (2015)
UC Berkeley, Haas MBA (2001)
Bryn Mawr BA, Politiical Science (1990)

Community Activities

Co-founder, Great Streets Mountain View (2013–current)
Vice-President, Stevenson PTO (2014–2015)
Member, Stevenson Site Council (2012–2014)
Board Member, Canine Companions for Independence (2010–2013)
Vice-President, Castro PTA (2011–2012)



Thida rhymes with leader. She is named after her mom who is Burmese. Thida means ‘water’ or ‘Daughter of the Furrows’. Thida was born with a non-progressive physical disability called dystonia. She has lived in California most of her life, with a few years spent back east at Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in Political Science, and literally put her college on the Internet. She moved to Mountain View in 1999. She worked full-time at a technology startup and studied for her MBA at UC Berkeley. She graduated while pregnant with her first child.


Thida’s advocacy work with the city began when her son raced up the stairs of a newly redesigned play structure and he fell ten feet through a gap. He was unhurt, but Thida contacted city staff and worked with them to fix the play structure. She was appointed to the Parks and Recreation Commission in 2009.  She helped create and open two new neighborhood parks, two trail extensions, and design a new baseball field and playground. Her background in management at technology startups proved useful in coming up with innovative use of space and bringing diverse people together. She worked on the new 777 Rengstorff Park as a strong proponent of natural space, bees and alternative models to single plot gardens. As a mom, Thida feels it’s very important for all children to experience nature and have outdoor space to play. Thida balances the need for housing with the need for open space.

She also co-founded Great Streets Mountain View, a 501(c)3 non-profit that ran a campaign that persuaded City Council to fund a Complete Streets study for California Ave, Escuela and the six lane portion of Shoreline. This is the first major traffic calming project since the 1990’s and the first in a high density neighborhood with low-income people. Thida advocates for city-wide bike and pedestrian infrastructure that is accessible for all, including children, seniors, and the disabled.


She also served on the board of Canine Companions for Independence where she receives her service dogs and cofounded an online forum for graduates of the program. If elected to City Council, she would work with the city to improve its online outreach.

Thida volunteers with her children’s school PTA and was elected by parents to her school’s Site Council where she identified issues and developed an action plan to mitigate barriers to enrollment and participation by low-income families. She then joined the District Facilities Committee (DFC) and the Boundary Advisory Task Force (BATF) that oversee spending of the Measure G $198 million bond.  She led the effort to add permanent classrooms for special education at little additional cost to taxpayers. She continues to advocate for creative solutions that meet as many stakeholder needs as possible while staying within budget.


Thida is pronounced Th as in thin, i as in Rita, and da as in panda. Cornes is pronounced corn like the vegetable with an s at the end.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters
  • The Daily Post
  • Mike Kasperzak, Mountain View City Council member and former Mayor

Organizations (11)

  • The Daily Post
  • Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters
  • Santa Clara Democratic Party
  • Mountain View Chamber of Commerce
  • Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® LC
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte
  • South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council
  • DAWN (Democratic Activists for Women Now)
  • Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club
  • Peninsula Young Democrats
  • Dean Club of Silicon Valley

Elected Officials (15)

  • Jose Gutierrez, Mountain View Whisman School District (MVWSD) Trustee
  • Tom Means, Mountain View City Council member and Mayor (former)
  • Sanjay Dave, Mountain View Los Altos High School Trustee
  • Mike Kasperzak, Mountain View City Council member and former Mayor
  • Fiona Walter, Mountain View Los Altos High School (MVLA) Trustee & former MVWSD Trustee
  • Jim Thurber, Los Altos Mayor and City Council Member (former)
  • Steve Olson, MVWSD Trustee (former)
  • Juan Aranda, MVWSD Trustee (former)
  • Barbara Keegan, Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors
  • Heidi Emberling, President, Palo Alto School District Board
  • Jodi Muirhead, Santa Clara Unified School District Board
  • Brian Schmidt, Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors (former)
  • Ann Schneider, Millbrae City Council member
  • Davina Hurt, Belmont City Council member
  • Kirsten Keith, Mayor Pro Tem, Menlo Park City Council

Individuals (25)

  • Katherine Naegele, Parks and Recreation Commissioner and former Chair
  • Jonathan Herbach, Chair, Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Pamela Baird, Environmental Planning Commission
  • John Scarboro, Vice Chair, Environmental Planning Commission
  • Helen Wolter, Parks and Recreation Commissioner and Chair (former)
  • Ed Mussman, Parks and Recreation Commissioner (former)
  • Carol Moholt, Environmental Planning Commissioner (former)
  • Bruce England, Bike and Pedestrian Committee and former Chair
  • Aila Malik, Vice Chair, Human Relations Commission
  • Jim Neal, Human Relations Commissioner
  • Theron Tock, Vice Chair, Bike and Pedestrian Committee
  • Marc Roddin, Bike and Pedestrian Committee and former Chair
  • K Shankari, Chair, Bike and Pedestrian Committee
  • Josette Langevine, Human Relations Commissioner & former BPAC
  • Jamil Shaikh, Chair, Downtown Committee and former Human Relations Commissioner
  • Allie Nelson, CEO, Chamber of Commerce (former)
  • Cliff Chambers, Mobility Transportation Planner
  • Carol Olson, CEO, Chamber of Commerce (former)
  • Pat Spragge, Bike and Pedestrian Committee (former)
  • Jesse Cupp, Chair, Visual Arts Committee
  • Betsy Collard, Chair, Human Relations Commission (former)
  • Barry Burr aka Barry Beams, Bike and Pedestrian Committee (former)
  • Merry Yen, Downtown Committee
  • Jeral Poskey, Transportation Planning, Google
  • Katie Ferrick, Chamber of Commerce Board Member, LinkedIn

Videos (1)

— September 30, 2016 KMTV

A three minute video where Thida introduces herself and describes her priorities if elected.

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