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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of East Palo AltoCandidate for City Council

Photo of Duane Goff

Duane Goff

1,511 votes (12.3%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • My top priority is affordable housing. There is a crisis due to a lack of affordable housing in East Palo Alto. The city needs to explore creative ways to provide more housing while avoiding displacement of existing residents.
  • Our seniors need more and better services. The city's payments to the Senior Center are not timely, there is a lack of low-income housing for EPA seniors, and our seniors need better public transportation.
  • We need better facilities for our police department.



Profession:Now retired, I spent 15 years as a governmental program analyst and six years as a business owner/operator.
Board Member, Senior Center of East Palo Alto, Inc. — Appointed position (2016–current)
Chair, League of United Latin American Citizens, California, State Committee on Social Justice — Appointed position (2015–current)
State Commander, American G.I. Forum (social justice organization made up of veterans) — Elected position (2013–2015)
Partner, Three stone Realty Investments (2010–2012)
Governmental Analyst, State of California, Multiple departments (1975–1989)
Board Member, Sacramento Legal Aid Society — Appointed position (1978–1979)


Bakersfield Community College I have a high school diploma and approximately 35 community college units., Political Science and Ethnic Studies (1974)

Community Activities

Coordinator, Ravenswood Food Bank (2014–current)


I am a combat veteran of the U.S. Army, raised in Kern County. When I returned from Vietnam I entered Bakersfield Community College and became the campus coordinator for the United Farmworkers boycott. My involvement morphed into other areas of concern in the community. I co-founded an umbrella group of Chicano organizations called Chicanos Unidos for Progress (CUP).

In 1974 I was offered a short term appointment by the Governor's office to work on a project to upgrade the State-owned migrant camps. When that project was finished I was, again, appointed to work on a project to remove all of the sexist language from the welfare regulations. I ultimately became a permanent State employee where I focused on civil rights issues. 

In 2010 I founded a Bakersfield chapter of the American GI Forum to combat police abuse against people of color. In 2013 I was elected State Commander and focused our statewide efforts on education issues. That is where I met my wife. 

In 2015 the State Director of the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC California) contacted me. As the oldest Latino civil rights group in America, LULAC continues the fight for civil rights and he asked to chair the Director's Committee on Social Justice. I accepted the appoiontment and immediately began the process of addressing education issues. Through our attorneys at MALDEF, we asked the Sequioa High School Board to change from at-large to district elections so that there might be representation from communities of color. They have agreed to do so and the process has begun. A Southern Penninsula chapter is in the process of being organized.

When I moved to East Palo Alto there were so many issues that needed to be addressed that I, frankly, didn't know where to volunteer my time. Then I came across the Second Harvest Food Bank with their motto of "when you're hungry, nothing else matters" and decided that was where I wanted to serve. I began organizing the Ravenswood Food Bank in November of 2014 and by February of 2016 we were the largest operation of our kind in San Mateo County. The need was there but wasn't being adequately addressed. In spite of more than half a dozen small food programs in EPA, we still had people who needed food-especially our elders. Today we serve an average of 2,500 people per month with 45-50 local volunteers and 10-20 volunteers from other communities.

My experience with the community has made me realize the needs in our community and I am running for the EPA City Council to address those needs more adequately. As a member of the EPA City Council I will not only participate in guiding our city through some tough times, I will be an advocate for those not heard.


Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (3)

  • Ana Maria Pulido
  • Dr. Charlie Mae Knight
  • Marcelino Lopez

Individuals (1)

  • Patrick Brock

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Affordable Housing


EPA residents need more affordable housing and it is the responsibility of the City leaders to find a way to meet that need.

As everyone knows, we need more affordable housing. To address that issue, we need to build housing for  East Palo Alto (EPA) residents. And surrounding communities need to build housing for their residents. Though affordable housing is not a problem unique to EPA, what is different about EPA's housing needs is our history.

People of color have been historically denied an equal opportunity for housing. Even government programs have a history of red-lining. People of color dealt with the institutional racism by purchasing houses in the only place they were allowed to - East Palo Alto. With that came the building of a unique community. A community filled with a shared culture and a shared history. We in EPA do not want to lose that which is unique to EPA. That culture, that shared history is worth fighting for.

The leaders of EPA, both elected and private, need to address the problem with a new vision, a new approach, and a new energy. We must not give in to the forces of gentrification. This battle has been fought in other cities and we can move into the 21st century with a new vision.

Some look at the shadow of Facebook, looming over us like a mythical monster from a long forgotten nightmare. We fail to take note that only a few years ago Facebook didn't exist. We should look at the dream the Facebook founders had, the belief they could create a new world. We too, can create a new EPA. An EPA that recognizes our strengths and our weaknesses. An EPA that will respect the work of our fathers and mothers, and the community that they built; a community in which they can no longer afford to live. We must build that future. We can do it. Together we can.

Candidate Contact Info

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