Picture of Lydia Kou

Councilmember Lydia Kou


(650) 308-9893


On her LinkedIn page, Lydia Kou says that her diverse background—born in Hong Kong, she's also lived in Sudan and Guam—has given her “the privilege to understand the different cultural and traditional differences from different parts of the world.” She moved to Palo Alto in 1988, where she started a video rental business. She segued into real estate a decade later, and was elected to the City Council in 2016 on her second run for office. A member of the City Council’s “residentialist” faction, which favors slow growth, Kou won a second term in 2020. 

First elected: November 2016

Day job: Realtor, Keller Williams

Alma mater: University of Guam (business administration)

Twitter bio: “Mom. Wife. Realtor. Wanna be Taiko Drummer & Welder. Gardener. Palo Alto Council Member speaking on behalf of self for Sensible Sustainable Growth.”

Notable quote: “I believe Palo Alto is at a crossroads. Do we retain our single-family residential areas, expand our community serving businesses and retain our unique character? Our village? Or, do we change our zoning and land use regulations to allow for severe densification and morph into a large urban center?" (Source: Palo Alto Weekly)

Related News

California Local Pin Marker From San Jose Spotlight...

Palo Alto Mayor Lydia Kou stumbled into politics accidentally—now she wants to run for higher office. Kou announced she will run against incumbent Marc Berman who represents Assembly District 23.

California Local Pin Marker From Daily Post...

Mayor Lydia Kou is taking center stage with a list of priorities—not all of which align with Palo Alto’s current direction.

California Local Pin Marker From Palo Alto Online...

Lydia Kou, a real estate agent who in her six years on the City Council has been a leading critic of housing mandates and a skeptic about new developments, will serve as Palo Alto mayor in 2023.
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