Brian Schmidt
for Santa Clara Valley Water District Board
for Santa Clara Valley
District Water Board

Home Page

(Hi everyone - below is my website from the successful 2010 campaign. I'm starting to gear up for 2014, which will be my second and last run for the Water District seat, as I promised two terms max. I will be publishing updates, so check back soon! In the meantime, please visit my blog and Facebook page.)

Thank you!!

After all this time, it's hard to believe that we're here.  I'm so very glad to tell you that, barring some last minute strange returns, we've won, and due to your efforts I will be the District 7 Director for the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

So thank you all for voting, for helping, and for all that you did.  This was a group effort in the best sense of the word, with different people rising up at different times to seize the opportunity of pushing the campaign forward.  The fact that there are too many people to thank is the reason why we've won.

We've won despite our decision to severely limit the size and influence of individual campaign contributions, by voluntarily setting a maximum donation by individuals at $250. We won despite that, because of everyone's work on the ground, and we're now set to bring real campaign financing reform to the Water District in time for its next election.

We will be able to fix the District governance, and work to improve its mission.  There's so much I want to do, in addition to cleaning up mercury contamination, keeping development away from streams, and putting environmental restoration on an equal footing with the flood control and water supply.  I want to thank everyone who's helped and above all, everyone who voted to make this happen.  And I very much appreciate my opponent, Los Altos City Council Member Lou Becker, for his thoughtful and civil campaign.

Now the work begins. Onward!


Your water, your water supply, your watersheds, and your freedom from floodwaters - these issues are both technically complex and critically important.  Brian plans, with your help, to bring his experienced leadership and passion for the Bay Area to address these issues as a Santa Clara Valley Water District Board member.

As an environmental lawyer who has worked for years on water issues, Brian has the experience and commitment to address these challenges.  He served for six years on the Water District's Environmental Advisory Committee and the Performance Audit Committee. Brian knows the current issues, knows the current policies and knows where changes need to be made.  As the candidate for change, Brian makes the following promises:

  • I will strive for greater public transparency and public control
    With meaningful term limits, evening meetings, more citizen oversight, and campaign donation limits, I will re-inject democracy in our local government.

  • I will vigorously pursue programs to help clean mercury from our streams, reservoirs and fish, including state legislation
    Our County is the most mercury-contaminated in the state. Along with existing programs, we must promote a state-level mercury cleanup that could especially benefit our area.

  • I will labor to make the District the environmental champion for our watersheds
    The District should be just as concerned with watershed protection and restoration as with flooding and water supply, and I will make this under-emphasized goal receive the attention and support that the public expects.  From moving the San Francisquito Creek flood protection project along, to increasing water conservation, I will work for environmental and safety improvements.

Please see the Endorsement Page for a comprehensive list of endorsers that include among many others: San Jose/Silicon Valley Mercury News, Mountain View Voice, Santa Clara County Democratic Pary, Supervisor Liz Kniss, the majority of the County Board of Supervisors, the majority of City Council members in Mountain View and Los Altos Hills, and eight of nine City Council members in Palo Alto.

Brian is running for District 7 of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, representing Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, South Almaden, and unincorporated County areas extending to the County line.
Bienvenidos!  Nuestro video en español sobre la eleccion esta aqui.  ¡Gracias por su visita!
What Does the Water District Do?

The Santa Clara Valley Water District has three missions defined for it under state law:  flood control, water supply, and watershed stewardship (a watershed is all the area that drains into a single stream; stewardship focuses on protecting the water-related environment that ranges from preserving habitat near streams, to reducing water waste and decreasing the paving of our County and the resulting floods).

The Water District provides water as a wholesaler, while companies or cities provide retail water to customers (some cities get water separately from the Hetch-Hetchy system but use District water as a backup supply).  The District has tried to move to more natural-style flood control using natural flood plains, with some level of success.  The District has many programs for environmental protection, often quite good, but more could be done.  And we need to prevent wasted money on programs that don't advance the District's purpose.

The Water District's website is  The website includes information on financial and performance audits that District conducts on a regular basis.  The District conducts ongoing training and study sessions for both the public and its Directors, and issues informational bulletins regularly.  The District has an existing and comprehensive "Integrated Water Resources Plan" that summarizes the amount of water needed through 2040 and how water needs could be met.

If you have a question about the Water District, you can ask them the question, or you can ask us here and we'll do our best to help.
Voter response:  "I'm a Republican, and I'm supporting you"

Brian is a registered Democrat and endorsed by the County Democratic Party, while his opponent is a registered Republican and endorsed by the County Republicans.  Recently, a Republican voter who Brian had never met before told Brian why the campaign's hard work convinced him to support Brian in this non-partisan race.  Read the details at the campaign blog.
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