Earlier this year, Councilman Don Rocha considered calling it quits. He was fed up with a City Council he felt was obsessed with cutting employee costs and not improving public safety, libraries, streets and community centers.. The dimple-chinned part-time male model seemed like he just wasn’t into the job, pulling his chair away from the table and sitting alone when colleagues delivered committee reports.
He stopped posting constituent newsletters to his website at the end of 2011, and did little to keep himself in the public eye, not caring much about reputation management in the social media sphere. He left the picture of him and convicted criminal George Shirakawa Jr. on his Facebook page.
Things are better now with the city economy, and Rocha is willing to stick around. On Wednesday night, the District 9 representative sent out an email and posted to his Facebook page that he’s planning to seek a second term.
His statement in full read as follows:
It has been just three short years since I was elected to serve the residents of San Jose City Council District 9. I have been honored to serve and I continue to believe that there is no greater vocation than public service. It is that passion that has compelled me to seek another four-year term on the City Council. The election is scheduled for June 3, 2014 and this decision has not come lightly.
As has been widely reported, the past few years here in San Jose have been a challenge. Actions such as fiscal reform, pension reform, and contract negotiations have taken center stage to proactive policy work and program delivery to our residents. I recognize that we are not alone in this challenge, but it still has been difficult to maintain that passion to serve when we have slashed services to our residents and reduced salaries and benefits for our employees. I understand quite well that these decisions on some level or in some form were necessary in order to weather the recession.
After significant reflection, what I feel today is a hope for better days ahead. Days where we can reinvest in our roads, reopen shuttered community centers, and open our excellent libraries more than four days a week. Not only is our fiscal condition improving but we have three open Council seats and an opportunity to elect a new Mayor. These can be significant building blocks to returning San Jose to the City we all love and miss, one where we were leaders in developing affordable housing for all of our citizens, and also where we once held the title of the safest City in the nation.
It is with this hope that I ask for your support in seeking a second and final term on the City Council, including your consideration of other Council candidates who possess a vision for a better tomorrow for our City.