Richard Mehlinger

Sunnyvale City Council, District 5

Richard will be the first out LGBTQ man on the Sunnyvale City Council!


Richard grew up in Long Beach, CA, earning a dual Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and History from Harvey Mudd College and a Master’s degree in History from UC Riverside. He first moved to Sunnyvale in 2011 to take a job as an engineer at a networking company.

Dispirited by the results of the 2016 presidential election, Richard started to get involved in local politics in 2017. After years of watching his friends and neighbors displaced by rising rents, Richard joined Livable Sunnyvale, a grassroots organization advocating for housing, green transportation, and sustainability.

He first entered local government in 2018, when he was appointed to the Charter Review Commission and then the Sunnyvale Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC). He is proud to have chaired the BPAC from 2019 to 2022, and has successfully driven the adoption of multiple study issues to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

As an out and proud queer man, Richard has worked for the past five years to make Sunnyvale a safer, more welcoming, more livable community for all. He believes in a Sunnyvale where all are welcome, and where the people who make our city work—our teachers, nurses, and public safety officers—can actually afford to live. Outside of politics, Richard continues to work as a software engineer specializing in frontend development. He can often be seen around town on his celeste green Bianchi.

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