.Cindy Chavez and Matt Mahan Battle for Votes

San Jose mayoral candidates discuss city’s issues

Four weeks out from San Jose’s Nov. 8 mayoral election, San Jose mayoral candidates Matt Mahan and Cindy Chavez will meet for a two-hour long mayoral candidate forum today at 7 p.m. 

The forum is sponsored by KQED and Univision, with additional funding by Silicon Valley Community Foundation. It will be hosted at Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose, CA 95116. 

As vote-by-mail ballots begin trickling out to voters, the two candidates will try to woo on-the-fence voters with their differing ideologies on how they will tackle difficult issues San Jose residents are facing, including homelessness, affordable housing, and public safety.

Mahan, a San Jose City Council Member representing District 10 in South San Jose since 2021, proposes building affordable housing for unhoused residents in the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on Tully Rd, removing regulations that stifle housing development, and better training for San Jose Police Officers. 

One of his main proposals on the campaign trail is to tie pay raises for city politicians and department heads to their performance in office. 

Even with only one year of political experience, Mahan’s platform on “bringing back common sense” and accountability to San Jose’s government is giving voters a chance to bring in a fresh, new perspective in comparison to Chavez’s two decades of South Bay political experience. 

Chavez, a Santa Clara County Supervisor representing District 2 since 2013 and a former San Jose City Council member from 1999-2006, is primarily campaigning on her prior accomplishments in public office. 

She was the main architect of major legislation being passed at the county wide level including 2016’s $950 million Measure A affordable housing bond that led to 4,400 affordable homes being built in the community, universal health insurance for children in San Jose, and the county’s purchasing of O’Connor Hospital, St. Louise Regional Hospital, and the DePaul Health Center in 2018.     

She wants more coordination and pooling of government resources between city, county, and state officials. 

On homelessness, Chavez wants interim housing for homeless residents to be more spread-out rather than concentrated in one area. At the Sept. 15 mayoral candidate forum, Chavez said having a mix of middle and low-income residents is better for the surrounding communities and the homeless residents living in the interim housing locations.

Both candidates oppose California’s Senate Bill 9 which seeks to build up to four affordable housing units in single family home lots, want the approval process of housing development projects to be faster and more streamlined, and more hiring and retention of hundreds of highly qualified San Jose Police Officers that represent their respective communities.

This is the third time the two elected officials will meet for a public discussion since they were confirmed as the final two mayoral candidates after the June 2022 primary elections. 

The two candidates last met three weeks ago on Sept. 19 at a 30-minute mayoral candidate forum hosted by San Jose City College and Sept. 15 at San Jose’s Tabard Theatre.

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