John McCormick for Lafayette City Council

Note: This page will be updated frequently during the campaign as new interesting questions are asked that would be valuable to share. I may also update the answers to existing questions as needed. Is there a question you'd like to see on this page? Click the "Contact" link at the bottom of the page and let me know. Thanks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q – How did you get on the City Council? I don’t recall you running in an election before.

A – Teresa Gerringer resigned from the City Council at the end of last year. Following standard procedure, the city took applications to fill her spot. I, along with six other candidates, applied. I was interviewed by the remaining members of the City Council and was selected to fill out the seat until the next scheduled election, which is November 5th. 

Q – Are you running against the other current Council Members?

A – I am running for a four-year seat on the City Council. There are three four-year seats available, and two other incumbent Council Members are running as well. So you can vote for all of us for City Council! 

Q – Why should I vote for you for City Council?

A – That is the key question, isn’t it? Here are some reasons I can offer to gain your support and trust:

  • Experience: I have been on the City Council since January of this year, so I know what it takes to do the job well. My prior service on behalf of the city was on the Planning Commission and Land Acknowledgment Task Force. On behalf of the city, I currently serve on the boards of RecycleSmart and Marin Clean Energy (MCE.)
  • Commitment to our Community: My wife and I have lived in Lafayette for thirty years. We have owned a small business in downtown Lafayette for the last fifteen years. I feel I know what makes Lafayette special, and I will do what it takes to keep it so. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the Park Theater Trust. Our children attended elementary, middle, and high schools in Lafayette, where we were deeply involved in the music and arts community. I volunteered for over twenty years for LASF/LPIE.
  • Unique Perspective: Every City Council member should bring their unique, lived experiences to the Council. There hasn’t been a downtown small business owner on the City Council in decades (if ever). That, along with my involvement in local arts, music, and other community/civic organizations, is a very valuable viewpoint. I will be a strong advocate for local businesses, a vibrant downtown, education, and the arts community.

Q — It is great that you are on the Boards of other community and civic groups like the Lafayette Chamber and the Park Theater Trust, but is there a conflict of interest with being on the City Council as well?

A – Fortunately, no. I am fully dedicated to the success of the Chamber and the restoration and renovation of the Park Theater. I am more than willing to contribute my time and expertise to support these efforts. If a vote by the City Council were required, and my participation on one of those boards presented a potential conflict, I would abstain from voting. Fortunately, the objectives of the Chamber, the Park Theater Trust, and the City are well aligned, so I do not anticipate any conflicts. I have consulted with our city attorney, and she agrees. In fact, my deep understanding of these organizations can be beneficial when collaborating with the City.

Q – What is your position on the new Housing coming to Lafayette and the Housing Element?

A – First and foremost, I believe Lafayette received an unfair housing allocation from the state and ABAG. There's no logical reason why Lafayette, a city with about 10,000 housing units, should be required to build over 2,000 more in the next eight years. The city pushed back but was denied an adjustment. So, like every other city in California, we have to deal with it. The Housing Element that was ultimately submitted is a reasonable compromise between what we had to provide to the state and what we wanted. It’s not perfect by any means. No one wants giant buildings lining Mt. Diablo Blvd, and we need to manage growth as carefully as possible. However, the state had specific requirements for Lafayette, and I believe we will secure their endorsement. Every day we lack an approved Housing Element, we are vulnerable to Builder’s Remedy, which could result in developments far worse than those proposed under the Housing Element.

That said, I understand the need for more housing in Lafayette and across the state. We must come together to build more affordable housing. This dual approach will help the market adjust, allowing our children and grandchildren to enjoy communities like Lafayette in the future.

Q – You met your wife in the Cal Marching Band and you own a Music Store. Do you still play music?

A – Yes, occasionally. I am nowhere as talented as the instructors who teach at our store. I play alto saxophone with the California Repercussions – a rock-and-rock marching band mashup made up of alumni from Cal, UC Davis, Stanford, and other friends. You can see us playing on Sunday at the Lafayette Art & Wine Festival! We also organize and play in the all-volunteer Lamorinda Marching Band, which plays in the Orinda Parade on the 4th of July. I also play the occasional gig with the Alumni Cal Straw Hat Band and Alumni Band at various Cal sporting events.

Q – What are your favorite things about Lafayette?

A – Lafayette has the perfect mix of small-town charm and bigger-city amenities. We have the Lafayette Reservoir PLUS Diablo Foods, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Safeway. I frequently hike the Rim Trail around the Reservoir and still can’t believe we have this amazing resource in our backyard. We have a vibrant downtown filled with mom-and-pop shops PLUS bucolic neighborhoods. We have world-class schools PLUS views of charming valleys and hills. We have an engaged, educated citizenry that truly cares about what happens here. Will Lafayette stay the same? No, unfortunately, it can’t. But we can try to shape the future together. 

Q – What’s your favorite local event in Lafayette?

A – The good news is we have lots to choose from: The Art & Wine Festival is an amazing, intense weekend bringing people from all over the area to our town. We can really show off our city to the rest of the Bay Area! The Taste of Lafayette allows 500 of your closest friends to experience our wonderful restaurants. The Res Run is a great way to celebrate community fitness and enjoy a cool morning together. It’s a Wonderful Life is a charming holiday community event downtown, and the Rock the Plaza concert series really kicks off summer. I love them all and usually work at them in one form or another. But my favorite might be a bit under the radar – it is Trick or Treat Street downtown in October. This is where hundreds (thousands?) of local kids (and their parents) get dressed up in their Halloween costumes and go door-to-door around downtown. We get a chance to see many of our families walking our downtown streets, catching up with friends, showing off their creativity, and meeting with our local business owners. It is just a charming, small-town time for everyone. 

Q – Can I contact you directly?

A – Well, one thing about being a small business owner in town is you always know where to find me! If I’m not at a City or Chamber meeting, you will find me at Lamorinda Music. Feel free to drop by and say hi and chat for a few minutes. If you want to have a longer conversation, that is great too, but give me a shout beforehand and we can schedule a good time for you to stop by. Or we can meet for coffee – your choice. If you prefer email, reach out to me at john@mccormickforlafayette.com.