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Guest Column: District 4 Council Member Michael Smith to resign

I’ve come to the decision that getting closer to family and moving back to the Northeast is what I must do at this time. 
Michael-Smith-Head-shot
Council Member Michael Smith resigns. His last council meeting is on July 25.

Dear Editor & RWC Pulse Readers,

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce my resignation from the Redwood City Council effective August 1st 2022. For some time, I have been navigating and managing some difficult family issues back in my hometown. I will avoid sharing many details, but suffice it to say these issues hit at the core of my heart, and have reached new levels of urgency.  And so, I’ve come to the decision that getting closer to family and moving back to the Northeast is what I must do at this time. 

Living and working in Redwood City has been life changing for me. From my first moment here, I have experienced nothing but hospitality, love and God’s grace. I can recall my first meal at Timber and Salt downtown eight years ago like it was yesterday. I remember walking through Courthouse Square, by the memorial to Dona Maria Soledad Ortega de Arguello and past Sequoia High School. I remember being so instantly curious about Redwood City’s history and its place in our world’s community. 

In 2018, I applied and was appointed to the Planning Commission with a mission to elevate the voices and the issues of residents throughout Redwood City. I look back with immense pride on this work with my Planning Commission colleagues, getting innovative policies passed. In addition to approving hundreds of affordable housing units during my time on the Commission, we worked to liberalize standards for the construction of ADUs, fought for richer community benefits related to commercial development and rezoned hundreds of acres of valuable Redwood City real estate to accommodate more housing. Being a part of those change efforts was deeply rewarding. But there was more to be done. 

To effect even greater change in our community, I set my aim on our City’s Council. My time as a City Council Member has been nothing short of incredible. Working alongside individuals who value democracy and community-based civic processes as much as I do has been such an inspiration. We all come to this work with a focus on improving lives; the lives of those around us and the lives of those to come. We each survive on the idea — the promise — that we can indeed build a more perfect union. Committing to this work each and every day would be impossible if you didn’t. 

This spirit of hope and perseverance grounds how I am thinking about this wonderful community’s future. We are at a time in Redwood City’s history where our collective progress is inextricably tied to embracing and elevating the voices of our most marginalized community members. I have intimately witnessed over the past eight years the truth of this statement – so quickly can these community members be drowned out by monied well-connected interests. It’s with this in mind that I encourage those of you who have a connection to our community to raise your voice in ensuring the people of Redwood City — our teachers, firefighters, service workers, police officers, small business owners, multi-generational families, and leaders of tomorrow – are centered when filling this seat. We must not allow political expediency to put at risk a Council that works for all.  

With deep gratitude, 

Michael Smith

Council member, District 4