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Mahan's moment: San Jose votes for change

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

By Lia Yereslove Dec. 15, 2022

The San Jose primary mayoral elections have drawn to a close, with Matt Mahan set to lead the city of San Jose after the incumbent Mayor Sam Liccardo ends his second term. Before running for mayor, Mahan represented District 10—encompassing an area that includes the school—in the San Jose City council; his opponent, Cindy Chavez, is the Santa Clara County Supervisor. With more than 250,000 votes cast, after a week of vote counting, Chavez conceded and Mahan was declared San Jose’s mayor for the next two years.

Tianshu Yang Art

Mahan was endorsed by The Mercury News, which helped him spread his message of “common sense” to the people of the city. Winning by more than 2% against Chavez, Mahan is prepared to realize his vision for the city. The leading policy of Mahan’s campaign is to end the homelessness crisis, among other goals.

“Our current approach to homelessness is failing. We need to be bold enough to hold our government accountable for the results of homelessness, starting with a real plan to end street homelessness in the decade ahead. We also need to encourage residents to stand up for themselves, using shelter when it is available and entering treatment programs if they need support. Every county in California should share the burden of ending street homelessness and every city in Santa Clara County should be doing their fair share,” Mahan said.

According to Mahan’s Chief of Staff Matthew Quevedo, the key propositions within Mahan’s campaign include bringing back common sense, accountability and transparency within the government to rebuild a sense of trust, working towards a more beautiful and cleaner San Jose. When asked about his political affiliation, Mahan stated that he is “a common-sense, moderate Democrat,” who would make decisions “based on common sense, not on party politics.” His claims are echoed in his campaign pledging a “Revolution of Common Sense” to reform local government—especially current policies on homelessness, crime, cleanliness and housing.

Tianshu Yang Art

Mahan’s opponent, Chavez, targeted different issues in San Jose in her campaign; her main priority was to improve public safety. On her website, Chavez promised to add more officers and offer them better pay and benefits to reduce emergency call response times and alleviate the burden on current law enforcement officers. Chavez also pledged to focus on diversity to attract voters across the city.

“Mahan’s campaign seems to deal with more important issues than Chavez’s. Homelessness and housing costs are big problems that affect many people in San Jose, so they should be focused on more than increasing the number and pay of law enforcement officers,” Junior Warren Kong said.

The race was extremely tight between the two candidates and saw the highest campaign spending in a San Jose mayoral election, with Mahan spending a total of $4.45 million and Chavez spending $4.8 million in all. Although both members had different propositions, their main goal was the same—to improve the city of San Jose and the lives of its community of over one million people. This year, Mahan took the victory and now has the opportunity to realize his vision, but with the next mayoral election set for 2024, Chavez may have another chance to compete for the title of mayor.


About the Contributors

Lia Yereslove

Staff Writer

Lia Yereslove is a junior at Leland High school, and proud to be one. She is a new staff writer on the Leland Charger Account and cannot wait for readers to see what this incredible newspaper has in store. Outside of Journalism, she enjoys hanging with her friends, her dog, listening and playing music, as well as traveling the world. And, of course, writing about it.

Kenneth Yang

Staff Artist

Kenneth Yang is a senior at Leland Highschool and he is going to be an artist for The Charger Account. During his free time, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and exercising.

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