San Jose mayoral candidates discuss homelessness, public safety

San Jose mayoral contenders Cindy Chavez and Matt Mahan clashed on Wednesday over homelessness and public safety, which have raised serious concerns as San Jose is poised to appoint its first new leader in eight years.

Chavez, who is a Santa Clara County supervisor and former San Jose vice mayor is making her second bid for the mayor’s job, told the crowd at the Rotary Club of San Jose that San Jose hasn’t acted quickly enough to recruit police officers due to issues over pension costs over ten years ago.

“When I served on the City Council, San Jose was the safest big city in America,” said Chavez, who represented the city’s downtown district from 1999-2006.

As reported by the East Bay Times, Chaves noted that San Jose now has hundreds fewer officers than it did during her tenure as vice mayor.

Chavez, who is a former labor leader who also has the backing of a major police officer union, acknowledged that the council did approve a budget that will add more officers. Chavez said that the city needs to “move more quickly” in increasing the size of the force.

Mahan, who has been a San Jose City Council member since 2020 and former technology entrepreneur and has the backing of outgoing Mayor Sam Liccardo, said he was “all for adding more officers.”

Mahan said that the police’s budget has been restricted by the size of benefit increases that have been implemented by Chavez and other council members several years ago. Mahan also officers he has spoken to previously have complained about the constant cycle of dealing with repeat offenders.

“We’ve been far too slow,” Mahan said, in “investing in appropriate interventions for repeat offenders.”




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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