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Tuesday November 5, 2019 — Local Elections
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City of BurlingameCandidate for City Council

Photo of Emily Beach

Emily Beach

City of Burlingame Vice Mayor
3,257 votes (38.5%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Quality-of-life improvements to make Burlingame the most livable community on the Peninsula.
  • Forward-thinking transportation solutions focused on safety, efficiency, and environmental stewardship.
  • Tackling affordability challenges for Burlingame residents and workforce with balanced, long-term solutions.



Profession:City of Burlingame Vice Mayor, U.S. Army Veteran
Musician, Self-Employed (2003–current)
Vice Chair, San Mateo County Transportation Authority Board of Directors — Elected position (2017–current)
Board Member, League of California Cities Statewide Board of Directors and Environmental Quality Policy Committee — Elected position (2018–current)
Vice Chair, Caltrain Modernization Local Policymaker Group — Elected position (2016–current)
Member, Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County — Elected position (2017–current)
Vice Mayor, City of Burlingame — Elected position (2015–2019)
Business Unit Manager, WaferNet, Inc. (2000–2003)
Captain, U.S. Army (1996–2000)


University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN B.A., Magna Cum Laude, Government & Spanish (1996)

Community Activities

Licensed Foster-Resource Parent, San Mateo County (2011–current)
Music Teacher, UMC Nursery School (2010–current)
Music Volunteer, St. Catherine of Siena Church (2010–current)
President and Board Member, Burlingame Community for Education (BCE) Foundation (2011–2015)
Parent Board Member & Chairperson, First Presbyterian Church Nursery School (2009–2012)


Emily’s diverse life experiences have given her an appreciation for different people and perspectives that guide who she is today. From attending college in the midwest at the University of Notre Dame on an ROTC scholarship, to serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army, she worked proudly alongside servicemembers from all different walks of life in Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Texas honing a level of discipline and commitment that defines her work ethic. As a Silicon Valley business executive, she learned to strategize and lead in a corporate environment, managing to increase profits even during an economic downturn. And as an accomplished musician, Emily approaches life with creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

Emily first learned the meaning of community growing up in a small New England town in western Massachusetts.  So when Emily, Duff, Kate and Matthew moved from San Francisco to Burlingame in 2008, she knew they had found their forever home. She loved the safe, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, the schools, the vibrant downtowns and most of all — the community. She first began volunteering with First Presbyterian Nursery School’s Parent Board, St. Catherine of Siena Church’s Music program, Girl Scouts, and later in the public schools with Burlingame’s education foundation where she served as president for two years. In just four years on BCE Foundation’s Board of Directors she helped increase the annual fundraising grant to Burlingame School District from $1.0 to $1.795 million (80%) by growing and galvanizing the BCE volunteer corps. As Emily’s love for Burlingame and community service grew deeper, she redirected her energy to impact the entire City.

Emily was elected to City Council in 2015 with the highest margin of victory of any candidate since 2003, and most total votes in a decade. On Council, her broad life experiences help her to effectively collaborate and govern with common sense. She works hard to be accessible because she genuinely wants to hear from and learn from you. Emily hopes that during the past four years you’ve read her online newsletters, participated in one of her constituent coffees, faith leader gatherings, or listening sessions for both seniors and youth. 

Emily rides her bike to work, raises children in our public schools, and shops the local markets — so she knows how City Council decisions impact our day-to-day life in Burlingame.  Emily approaches decisions she makes on City Council — both the big, complex challenges and the little things that impact our daily life — with thoughtfulness, hard work and integrity.  Ask around about her. Chances are you know someone who has worked with Emily. Hear what they have to say.

Emily also serves on a number of regional and state-wide governing boards.  Her particular areas of passion and focus include transportation and environmental policy.  Learn more specifics about her work on behalf of Burlingame residents by reading about her policy work and community involvement.

For a complete list of endorsements, visit Emily's website

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Congresswoman Jackie Speier
  • Jerry Hill, State Senator, District 13
  • Kevin Mullin, California State Assemblymember, Speaker Pro Tempore, District 22

Organizations (13)

  • Sierra Club
  • San Mateo County Asian Pacific Islander (API) Caucus
  • San Mateo County Central Labor Council
  • San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR)
  • San Mateo County Building Trades Council
  • San Mateo County Democrats
  • IBEW Local #617
  • UA Local #467
  • California Apartment Association, Tri-County Division
  • Carpenters Union Local #217
  • DemFems Silicon Valley
  • Peninsula Young Democrats
  • North Peninsula Democratic Club

Elected Officials (20)

  • Fiona Ma, CPA, California State Treasurer
  • Marc Berman, California Assemblymember, District 24
  • Dave Pine, San Mateo County Supervisor
  • Carole Groom, San Mateo County Supervisor
  • Don Horsley, San Mateo County Supervisor
  • Warren Slocum, San Mateo County Supervisor
  • David Canepa, San Mateo County Supervisor
  • Ann Keighran, Councilmember and Former Mayor, City of Burlingame
  • Ricardo Ortiz, Councilmember and Former Mayor, City of Burlingame
  • Michael Brownrigg, Councilmember and Former Mayor, City of Burlingame
  • Kay Coskey, Burlingame School District Trustee
  • Davina Drabkin, Burlingame School District Trustee
  • Elizabeth Kendall, Burlingame School District Trustee
  • Florence Wong, Burlingame School District Trustee
  • Nancy Magee, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools
  • Mark Intrieri, Burlingame School District Trustee
  • Jim Cannon, San Mateo County Board of Education Trustee
  • Linda Lees-Dwyer, San Mateo Union High School District Trustee
  • Marc Friedman, San Mateo Union High School District Trustee
  • Greg Land, San Mateo Union High School District Trustee

Individuals (12)

  • Jerry Deal, Former Mayor of Burlingame
  • Joe Galligan, Former Mayor of Burlingame
  • Terry Nagel, Former Mayor of Burlingame
  • Rosalie O'Mahony, Former Mayor of Burlingame
  • Frank Pagliaro, Former Mayor of Burlingame
  • Russ Cohen, Former Burlingame Councilmember
  • John Root, Former Burlingame Councilmember, BSD Trustee, and San Mateo County Board of Education Trustee
  • Maggie MacIsaac, Burlingame School District Superintendent
  • Michael Barber, Former Burlingame School District Trustee
  • Lisa Rosenthal, Former Burlingame School District Trustee
  • Adrienne Tissier, Former San Mateo County Supervisor
  • John Ward, Former San Mateo County Supervisor

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Local government must be effective, responsive, and sensible – and its representatives must always consider a decision's long-term impact. I value transparency, fiscal responsibility, sustainability, diversity, and community.  I support a thriving and balanced Burlingame – one that embraces positive change while maintaining deep respect for our community’s character.

I've learned that governing takes time and commitment to understand how challenges affect our community.  Here is my commitment to you:

  • Accessibility
  • Progress & results
  • Hard work
  • Integrity

Together we’ve accomplished a lot during the past four years. Some examples include:

  • New playground and park renovations (Village, Paloma, Ray) 
  • Three new neighborhood police officers
  • New bicycle lanes on Carolan Avenue and California Drive
  • $30 million in county grants for Burlingame transportation projects
  • Broadway beautification investments
  • New Skyline Dog Park (fall 2019)
  • Community pool rennovation (early 2020)
  • Mills Canyon trail and safety improvements
  • New electric vehicle charging stations
  • New turf fields (Murray, Franklin, Osberg) 

We also have important long-term work currently in progress:

  • El Camino Real near and long-term fixes
  • 177 affordable housing units under construction
  • New downtown parking garage (2021)
  • Broadway Caltrain grade separation of tracks and road redesign
  • Fiscally responsbile pension funding strategy
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan
  • Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030
  • New Community Center (2022)

With your support for a second term on Burlingame City Council, I will prioritize: 

  • Quality of life improvements
  • Forward-thinking transportation solutions
  • Affordability for residents and workforce
  • Fiscal discipline

Position Papers

Quality of Life Improvements


To protect and improve our cherished livability in Burlingame, we must continue to focus on: 

  • Infrastructure and capital improvements that enhance our daily lives
  • Investment in parks, playgrounds, and open space
  • Green policies and initiatives
  • Thriving, balanced business districts
  • Providing high-quality City services
  • Fiscal discipline 

I support: 

  • Infrastructure and capital improvements that enhance our daily lives

    • Fixing El Camino Real by partnering with Caltrans for a workable solution 
    • Broadway/Caltrain Grade Separation of railway tracks from the roadway to improve safety and gridlock 
    • Strengthening our stormwater systems to protect against evolving flood zones during severe rainfall
    • Maintaining safe, functional municipal buildings before they fall into disrepair
    • Thoughtful public debate about the appropriate timing to renovate and re-imagine City Hall
    • Modernizing underground water and sewer systems

  • Parks, playgrounds, and open space

    • Protection, rehabilitation, and growth of our treasured treescape
    • A future downtown square that may include a water feature and community gathering spaces for conversations, markets, and concerts 
    • The possibility of a new 9-acre Burlingame Shoreline Park on dormant State land 
    • Continued investment in current parks, fields, and Mills Canyon.  I value improved outdoor park facilities for all residents including families, athletes, dog-walkers, and seniors.
    • Art in the public realm  
    • Renovation of older playgrounds, like Victoria Park

  • Green policies and initiatives, like:

    • Green infrastructure systems on our roads, sidewalks, and public spaces (e.g. rain gardens, filtration planters) to naturally treat stormwater, improve flood resilience, and calm traffic
    • Forward-thinking transportation solutions 
    • Zero waste, water conservation, greywater irrigation efforts
    • Further development of sea level rise strategy for our Bayfront
    • Green design building standards that decrease our carbon footprint
    • Modernizing our recycling and green waste facilities
    • ECO 100 Peninsula Clean Energy
    • More electric vehicle charging stations, particularly near multi-family housing

  • Thriving, balanced business districts

    • Beautiful and functional streetscapes to create pedestrian activity and vibrancy Downtown and on Broadway
    • Flexible zoning on Burlingame Avenue and Broadway that embraces evolving community needs and market demands
    • Exploration of new entertainment opportunities
    • Development of Broadway and Rollins Road Specific Plans to establish zoning policies that reflect our community’s vision
    • Implementation of our new Broadway façade improvement grant program
    • Last-mile solutions to help Burlingame workforce and residents leave their cars behind

  • High-quality City services

    • Appropriate resources for police and fire to improve public safety
    • Continued investment in our beloved Library and Parks & Recreation programs
    • Outstanding customer service and responsiveness

  • Fiscal discipline

    • Maintaining strong budget reserves to protect our city during the inevitable ebb and flow of economic cycles
    • Continued reduction of Burlingame’s unfunded liabilities by aggressively funding our Pension Trust Fund. We will not kick-the-can down the road to future generations!
    • Careful prioritization and timing of capital improvements
    • Exploring public-private partnerships to help fund capital improvements that benefit our community
    • Thoughtful investment in city staff to ensure maximum effectiveness of our local government

Transportation Solutions


We need innovative 21st century transportation solutions that move people safely, efficiently, and in an environmentally responsible way.  

 I support innovative transportation solutions, like:

  • Roadway and sidewalk safety improvements for all modes of transportation (cars, bikes, pedestrians) and for all ages and abilities
  • Improved curb-management for rideshare services and delivery vehicles
  • Better management of our parking assets-- like electronic signage for available spaces and demand pricing 
  • Attractively designed parking garages for more efficient land use that include designated areas for employees, commuters, and downtown visitors
  • A more bike-friendly Burlingame with protected lanes, more bike racks, and low-stress bike boulevard routes through residential neighborhoods
  • Incentives for workforce, residents, and visitors to use public transportation 
  • Extensive community outreach for the upcoming joint Burlingame/Caltrans El Camino Real rehabilitation proposal
  • Bike-share programs
  • Return of weekday Caltrain service at Broadway
  • Transportation Demand Management (TDM) policies that create incentives to reduce driving alone



Improving affordability will help Burlingame thrive.  Critical members of our workforce (like school teachers, home health care aids, service, and retail workers) belong in our community. When workers live near jobs, their quality of life improves -- as does the quality of service they provide.  Highway traffic reduces, air quality improves, and our community and economy grows stronger and more interconnected.   





I support ways to improve affordability for Burlingame's residents and workforce:

  • Thoughtful land use policies that accommodate new housing units near Caltrain stations where residents can choose to live a “car-lite” lifestyle
  • Housing for all income levels to ensure our economy, workforce, and seniors on a fixed income can thrive in Burlingame  
  • Policy incentives for developers to create affordable housing for critical members of Burlingame’s workforce like teachers, health aides, retail, hotel, maintenance, and restaurant workers
  • Use of developer fees to create new affordable housing, preserve existing affordable housing, and provide emergency assistance to Burlingame residents
  • A balanced, regional approach to thoughtful housing and job growth
  • Prioritizing community benefits on public land over private commercial enterprise
  • Fair wages and economic opportunity for workers and businesses

Videos (2)

— October 8, 2019 Emily Beach for City Council 2019

Learn about Emily's background in her own words. 

— October 8, 2019 Emily Beach for City Council 2019

Hear Emily's thoughts about important issues affecting Burlingame in her own words. 

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