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Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo 

Address: 
200 East Santa Clara Street
18th Floor
San José, CA 95113

Phone:
(408) 535-4800 

Email:
mayoremail@sanjoseca.gov

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Biography

Meet Mayor Sam Liccardo

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Mayor Sam Liccardo took office in 2015, and was reelected in 2018 with 76% of the popular vote. In that time, Sam has led efforts to:

  • forge a historic pension reform agreement with 11 unions that will save taxpayers $3 billion over the next three decades, including more than $43 million this year; 
  • launch “San José Works,” providing summer and year-round jobs to more than 3,000 teenagers living in gang-impacted neighborhoods;
  • preserve nearly 1,000 acres in Coyote Valley against development, in partnership with the Open Space Authority and Peninsula Open Space Trust, to make San Jose more resilient against droughts, floods, and wildfires, to protect key wildlife corridors, and to provide trails and open space for future generations to enjoy;
  • find innovative ways to house our homeless neighbors—from rehabilitating decaying motels, to expanding work-first programs, to building “tiny home” villages—while housing more than 1,600 homeless veterans in partnership with the County, the Housing Authority, and Destination:Home;
  • make Mineta San José International the fastest-growing major airport in the nation for two consecutive years, with six new international flights and more than 30 new domestic flights;  
  • pass the largest bond measure, Measure T, in San José history, enabling the repaving of more miles of streets and roads in 2019 (278 miles) than any time in three decades, and the construction of fire stations, bridges, and other key infrastructure;
  • create after-school learning programs (“San Jose Learns”) and coding and computer science programs (“5K Coding Challenge”) for more than 7,000 children from low-income families, while expanding library services and hours in every neighborhood; 
  • facilitate the most successful period of tech expansion in San José’s history, by: 
  1. landing major investments from corporate titans like Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Micron, Microsoft, and Verizon; and,
  2. luring fast-growing innovators such as Okta, Roku, Splunk, SuperMicro, WeWork, and enabling expansions of industry leaders like Adobe, Broadcom, Western Digital, and Zoom.
  • concurrently lift the minimum wage among a half-dozen Silicon Valley cities, to $15 per hour;
  • rebuild the San Jose Police Department, adding more than 270 officers in 3 years, while implementing data and technology—ranging from body-worn cameras to data analytics—to improve policing;
  • make San José the nation's largest city to implement its own "Community Choice Energy" program, offering San Jose residents and businesses the option to power their homes and facilities with cost-competitive renewable energy that now supplies 80% of their electricity;
  • spark Downtown's revitalization, using fee reductions and accelerated permit approvals to fill empty storefronts with restaurants and amenities, expand co-working space, build thousands of high-rise apartments, invigorate public spaces, and lure key tech employers;
  • create a “San Jose College Promise” with San Jose City, Evergreen, and West Valley Colleges to eliminate the cost of tuition, fees, and books for 1,600 low-income students;
  • pass three voter-approved ballot measures to bring Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to San Jose, expand light rail in East San Jose, launch bus-rapid-transit in Downtown and East San Jose, and recast Downtown’s Diridon Station into the region’s “Grand Central Station”;
  • launch “#BeautifySJ,” to enable residents to reclaim their city from blight, using such new programs as free junk pickup service, a MySanJose smartphone app to report blight, neighborhood beautification grants, and enhanced response to dumping and abandoned cars;  
  • protect open space and undeveloped hillside from developers’ efforts to develop it, as part of an environmental coalition that was outspent on its ballot measure by developers by $6 million;
  • launch a ”Digital Inclusion Fund” to close the digital divide, leveraging millions in revenues generated from agreements with major telecommunications companies and philanthropy to provide broadband access, devices, and skills for 50,000 low-income families 
  • craft San Jose’s “Smart City Vision,” forging partnerships with the tech community to leverage technology and data to improve safety and services, with the ambition of making San José the most innovative city in America.

In Sam’s prior public service, he prosecuted a range of felony cases as a federal and local criminal prosecutor, from sexual assault and child exploitation to international narcotrafficking.  In 2006, voters elected Sam to the first of his two terms on the City Council, where he led efforts to revitalize its downtown, preserve San José’s hillsides and open space, create an inclusionary housing policy to boost funding for affordable housing, and open a world-class soccer stadium for the San José Earthquakes.  He served as a founding board member of Cristo Rey San Jose High School, an innovative Jesuit school that propels students from low-income immigrant families to college and beyond. 

Sam serves on a number of boards, including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Valley Transit Authority (twice as Chairperson), and serves as co-chair for Joint Venture Silicon Valley.   He is a senior fellow for the American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley, and is a Rodel Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Sam graduated from San José’s Bellarmine College Prep and from Georgetown University, where he was captain of the heavyweight crew.  He received a law degree from Harvard Law School, and a master’s degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

Sam and his wife, Jessica, live in the Northside neighborhood, north of Downtown.  They live within blocks of Jessica’s childhood home, the home of three of Sam’s grandparents, and the neighborhood grocery store that Sam’s grandparents owned and operated in the 1950’s.  Sam descended from Sicilian and Irish immigrants, as well as from the first Mexican settlers in the Bay Area.