Beyond the Grieving — Keeping Each Other Safe

First published on Medium In recent weeks, our television and computer screens have transmitted terrifying views of violence in Orlando, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, and Dallas. Predictably, scores of commentators and politicians have rushed in to opine on these events and their implications for an emotionally reeling nation, largely focusing on what divides us, citing issues of race, gun control, or even immigration. We should not allow this to distract us from the pain that this violence has inflicted on our families, communities, and country, and on our need to ...

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Thank You

After a long election, weeks of voting and days of counting, I am proud to have been elected San José's 65th mayor. I spoke to County Supervisor Dave Cortese and accepted his gracious congratulations after a hard fought race. I look forward to working with him to move San José forward – because ultimately, that's what this election was all about. I was honored to face an opponent with the intelligence and resolve of Dave Cortese. He has a long and distinguished record of public service and leadership in this community. I am grateful that he has offered to lend ...

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Sam’s Remarks at his Election Night Party

Thank you. Friends, I want to thank Dave Cortese for a spirited campaign. We've come a long, long way. Wow, what a journey! This has been an extraordinary journey, and no journey can be all bad if it ends in a brewery. Thanks to Dan Gorden for hosting us tonight, and reminding us that yes, manufacturing is alive and well in San José! We began this odyssey over a year ago. This journey has taken us through every San José neighborhood and seemingly, over every street in San José. We started this journey when many folks believed we didn't have a chance. We ...

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In the lead

What an amazing night! When I first got into this race for mayor, folks didn't think I had a chance. I was behind by double digits and it didn't seem like we'd ever be able to overcome the gap. But we succeeded for one simple reason: You. And while they are still counting late absentee ballots down at the Registrar's office, we lead 51% to 49%, a margin that was steady as new ballots came in last night. There are many more ballots to be counted, but we have every reason to believe this lead will hold up. Thanks to your support, your hard work, your dedication ...

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I Prefer Solutions to Scare Tactics

Printed in the Mercury News I've dedicated much of my career to confronting crime, and the fears that surround it. As a criminal prosecutor in San José, I spent many hours eliciting courtroom testimony from trembling victims, who mustered the courage to testify against their assailants. Navigating this sea of fears poses a test for political leaders, particularly in an election season. Some respond with scare tactics. I prefer solutions. Responsible solutions require money to pay for them. I've made reducing crime my top priority, and have crafted a comprehensive plan ...

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A New Way to Engage Voters: Interactive Video

I first decided to run for city council eight years ago because I believed that the more San José residents engaged in civic life the better our government would be. Serving on the council, that belief was reinforced nearly every day. I saw the power of regular citizens standing up for better policies and smarter government. The challenge is that the big special interests have lobbyists and lots of ways to be heard. We need to make sure that the rest of us have a voice in our government. That’s why I have been pushing so hard to make it easier for regular ...

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One More Smart Way to Reduce Crime in San José

Last January, we had a series of arson attacks in several neighborhoods east of Downtown. The arsonist damaged several homes and a church, destroyed businesses and left one couple destitute. I worked with community leaders and the Fire Department to launch rotating “block watches” to distribute thousands of leaflets in multiple languages to educate residents about how to protect their home. Using evidence from neighbors’ private security footage, police eventually arrested the suspected arsonist. Based on this experience, I proposed the creation of a voluntary, ...

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San José Doesn’t Need to Spend More Money to be Safer

Printed in the Mercury News With the San Jose City Council declining to place a tax measure on November's ballot, we face the task of restoring police and other critical services within our existing level of revenues. Fortunately, we have the means to do so. With the enactment of pension reform in 2012, the city saves some $25 million this year, increasing in future years, to improve services. We're using this dividend to increase the pace of police hiring and to restore pay 11 percent to improve officer retention. Working together with our police and neighborho...

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An Innovative Approach to Improving Our Parks

What do we do when we have both a pressing problem and the funds to deal with it – yet we’re unable to match resources to needs? We have to get innovative. For years, developers have paid into a fund to support the construction of new parks and capital improvements. This has helped build dozens of new parks, and improved our neighborhoods, giving kids and families new recreational opportunities. (more…)

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As the Votes Are Counted…

We keep getting returns from Election Day as more votes are counted. As the returns come in, our numbers continue to improve. We've gained a half point since Tuesday evening and now have 25.69% of the vote in a crowded 8-person field. All this shows how strong our momentum is with late voters clearly breaking our way - and it's this strong momentum that will take us to victory in November. Thank you again for all your support and now let's get ready for the runoff!

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