San Jose Councilman-elect Sergio Jimenez will start his new job a month early and without pay. The District 2 councilman, who beat Steve Brown for the south San Jose seat with 54 percent of the vote, was sworn in at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Councilman Ash Kalra, who terms out of the D2 seat next month, will also get a head start in his new role representing the 27th Assembly District. Kalra, who will succeed Assemblywoman Nora Campos, resigns from the council this week and will get sworn into the state Legislature next week.
Under San Jose city charter, new council members typically assume office Jan. 1. But the council also has the option of filling a vacant seat on an interim basis.
— RobertHanda (@RHandaNBC) November 29, 2016
Jimenez early start will allow him to represent the Edenvale-Santa Teresa district as soon as this week, though he said he won’t collect a paycheck from the city until the start of 2017. Jimenez will keep his day job through December as an investigator at the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office, he said, so he can tie up any loose ends before taking on his new role as an elected official on a full-time basis.
“This should give me a head start,” Jimenez said. “It’s going to be a big transition.”
.@Ash_Kalra takes his last selfie as a San Jose councilman. Liccardo says "we'll be on his front door" in Sacramento asking for money soon. pic.twitter.com/DGJ6DizNb0 — Ramona Giwargis (@RamonaGiwargis) November 29, 2016
Kalra took advantage of some free time after the election to travel to Standing Rock, where he brought supplies to people protesting a 1,200-mile pipeline that aims to pump fracked oil through Native American lands across several states.
“I wasn’t going there as a council member or an Assembly member,” Kalra told San Jose Inside. “I’ve been wanting to go for a while, and this was the only shot I had. I wanted to be there to personally experience it, to contribute whatever time and resources I could and to get some perspective. I’m very concerned about this, and the symbolic nature of what’s happening there.”