Pam Foley to Face Kalen Gallagher This Fall in San Jose’s District 9

Some of San Jose’s District 9 council candidates threw parties that appeared to be an exercise in humility optics. Fly was surprised to see even the most monied contenders like Pam Foley slumming it up in her mid-century million-dollar Willow Glen home with some wine from the prestigious Costco vineyards.

“I could not be more tickled pink,” Foley chuckled while watching the early election results on the living room television and casually swirled her goblet like Queen Cersei relishing the Great Sept’s destruction.

Confident in her victory, Foley savored her commanding lead in the polls with a toast of that Kirkland private reserve red among about a dozen family members, neighbors, friends and supporters. Vince Sunzeri, board chair of the San Jose Police and Fire Retirement Plan, joined in the fun, as did Bill Baron of Brandenburg Properties, Mike Fox from Goodwill of Silicon Valley, and Councilman Johnny Khamis’ Chief of Staff, Shane Patrick Connolly.

Down the street and around the corner, labor candidate Shay Franco-Clausen continued the Costco theme with her inner circle at home and waited to pop her own bottle of that bargain bubbly.

Although she was in third at the time despite being a favored candidate in the weeks leading up to election night (even Foley’s followers were surprised to see Kalen Gallagher pull ahead), Franco-Clausen was “absolutely 100 percent optimistic” that voters would come through for her in the end.

“I think the night is young,” the mother-of-five said. “I’ve seen lots of campaigns turn around in the middle of the night.”

While waiting with family and supporters for people like Sunnyvale Vice Mayor Larry Klein, Sunnyvale Councilwoman Nancy Smith and San Jose councilors Raul Peralez and Sergio Jimenez to arrive, Fly was offered a cheeseburger from the pile of In-N-Out food on the kitchen table.

Franco-Clausen said she’s actually “not at all” a fan of California’s cult fast-food chain (she never eats beef burgers), but noted that the company’s renowned labor practices aligned neatly with her progressive campaign platform.

“They actually do pay a living wage,” she added.

Now there’s something to toast with that hoity-toity vino.

Gallagher, a Campbell Union High School District trustee, ended the night as the surprise runner-up, pulling it off without the institutional backing of labor or business. With more than 70 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday, he held a tad more than 30 percent of the votes.

Come November, D9 voters will have their pick between a young independent in Gallagher or business-friendly schools trustee in Foley.

Either way, the race will significantly shift the balance of power on the 11-member council. D9, which spans a largely affluent, home-owning expanse of south San Jose, has long been held by labor-friendly Councilman Don Rocha, who terms out this year.

Source: Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters

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26 Comments

      • A “critical” piece actually analyzing Kalen’s platform would’ve been awesome. But this blog’s “coverage” consists of gibberish: Calling for Kalen to drop out? Pooh-poohing his chances? Dismissing him as an afterthought, an also-ran? The guy nearly beat Foley, and you ignored him. Horrible coverage.

        Also, the commenters below are correct: You write like a self-important high school student – or Gerald Broflovski sipping Malbec while trolling Sweden. (Obscure enough reference for you?)

  1. > . . . and casually swirled her goblet like Queen Cersei relishing the Great Sept’s destruction.

    Obscure.

    Very obscure.

    Completely unintelligible to those of us outside the bubble.

  2. I guess the “Queen” drinking from her wine goblet in her million dollar home should enjoy her short lived victory while she can, because her opponent will take her out in the fall.

  3. Love the Great Sept tag.

    Not to be a know it all jerk, but this was somewhat foreseeable. Kalen and Pam went into this with name recognition from their school board seats, and on top of that they were both very serious candidates. I’m not going to dance on Shay’s grave, but SBLC made a rookie mistake endorsing her. They let their personal relationship to Shay blind them to what should have been a clear choice to endorse Kalen. Maybe they need better consultants.

  4. What is Kalen’s platform? What is Foley’s?
    Kalen, you plan on rebuilding SJPD, how exactly? The department has the worst retirement system now for officers entering the profession. Offciers can thank you for a few years of experience and putting them through the academy when the lateral to an allied agency that offers a much better retirement.

    Edcuation:
    How exactly do you expect to change this? This is a state issue. Do not tell us funding. Know that the best schools are those schools where parents are involved and expect their children to perform. The teachers and curriculum in Cupertino is no Differet than East Side.

    You want to “transfer” people in to programs? Do us a favor, what legal standing can you cite to force one to seek treatment? A judge can mandate one who is convicted to a program, you and the city council can’t. What about those with psychological issues? How do you force them into services? Did you check with the ACLU? You can offer them, but don’t lie and tell us you can enforce anything.

    Traffic and housing. Anything the government offers is a cost to someone. What is your plan.

    This too goes for Ms. Foley. I am tired of these rainbow unicorn ideas from politicians.

    Here is some food for thought:
    -Don’t lump vagrants and mentally disturbed with acutal homeless people. There is quite a difference.
    -There are laws that prohibit camping outdoors, setting camp fires, deficating and urinating in public, and panhandling. Enforce them.
    -There is a certain percentage of people that are unemployable. There is no law that mandates people work. Stop catering to them.

    So what is the real platform, for both you.

    • > I am tired of these rainbow unicorn ideas from politicians.

      Ah! But the California voting public NEVER tires of rainbow unicorns.

      Demand creates supply.

      “The people want unicorns? GIVE ‘EM UNICORNS!”

  5. The author spent too much time trying to be clever and not enough trying to convey the story.

    Seriously. This is like a high school newspaper.

  6. I don’t watch Game of Thrones, had to read the comments to figure what on earth author was referring to. Pam will be squashed in the fall. Thank goodness for that.

  7. It is surprising that Foley did so well. As school board trustee she leads an organization that generates mediocre to poor academic achievement results for students in math and ELA. See the results at http://sipbigpicture.com on the Data Visualization page. Results don’t really matter as you provide the glittering vacuous unicorns our community so desperately needs and deserves.

    • Bill:

      I meant to ask you before the election who you supported for State Superintendent of Public Education and why.

      I (and most likely 90% of Californians) had no idea who any of these lizards were. My presumption is that ANYONE running for State Supe is likely to be a public education lizard, so the office is likely just a government paycheck for a loyal and committed statist educrat.

      Would ANY vote for any of the candidates for State Supe have made ANY difference to anything?

      • Hi SJOutside the Bubble,

        Your instincts about the State Superintendent candidates Tuck and Thumond are unfortunately correct. Both candidates pander to the Unions, Parent, Teachers, Students, etc. Tuck wants a system that just finds the “best” teachers and let them have control of the reigns. Neither has any real balls to address the root cause problems of education in California. Lots of evanescent mist to add to the fog of education.

        What should they be addressing?
        -Total transformation of the “Colleges?” of Education in the state of California so they produce highly qualified teachers who know their curriculum, research-based practices and assessments, and are monitored for quality implementation throughout their careers.
        -Identifying high quality curricula for key academic subjects with the expectations that school districts teach the curricula with fidelity and quality and that implementation of the curricula is monitored.
        -Identifying key research-based professional practices for teachers and administrators with the expectation that all teachers and administrators implement and monitor thees practices.
        -Acquisition of high quality curricula, practices, and assessments for the learning of the English Language by English Learners within 3 years of having been identified as English Learners – No more dual immersion nonsense.
        -Develop a rigorous accountability system for teaching and administration that includes both rewards and sanctions.

        There are other goal priorities that would be specific and of quality but that is not what we get. We get more educationese and fluff from the educational milquetoast candidates for State Superintendent. So Sad. Teaching and Learning is not so hard if you stay focused on the work which is student academic achievement, quality curricula, high performing practices, Formative and Summative Assessments, and Monitoring and Accountability.

        We could even begin to see some improvements in the academic achievement that I have so beautifully visualized for Santa Clara County at http://sipbigpicture.com

      • Hi SJOutside the Bubble,

        Your instincts about the State Superintendent candidates Tuck and Thumond are unfortunately correct. Both candidates pander to the Unions, Parent, Teachers, Students, etc. Tuck wants a system that just finds the “best” teachers and let them have control of the reigns. Neither has any real balls to address the root cause problems of education in California. Lots of evanescent mist to add to the fog of education.

        What should they be addressing?
        -Total transformation of the “Colleges?” of Education in the state of California so they produce highly qualified teachers who know their curriculum, research-based practices and assessments, and are monitored for quality implementation throughout their careers.
        -Identifying high quality curricula for key academic subjects with the expectations that school districts teach the curricula with fidelity and quality and that implementation of the curricula is monitored.
        -Identifying key research-based professional practices for teachers and administrators with the expectation that all teachers and administrators implement and monitor thees practices.
        -Acquisition of high quality curricula, practices, and assessments for the learning of the English Language by English Learners within 3 years of having been identified as English Learners – No more dual immersion nonsense.
        -Develop a rigorous accountability system for teaching and administration that includes both rewards and sanctions.

        There are other goal priorities that would be specific and of quality but that is not what we get. We get more educationese and fluff from the educational milquetoast candidates for State Superintendent. So Sad. Teaching and Learning is not so hard if you stay focused on the work which is student academic achievement, quality curricula, high performing practices, Formative and Summative Assessments, and Monitoring and Accountability.

        We might even begin to start to improve some of our abysmal academic achievement results for our students. You can see some of the need for improvement at my awesome web site:http://sipbigpicture.com that you helped inspire me to produce and that was rejected in a resounding way by the leaders of school districts in Santa Clara County!

  8. Hi SJOutside the Bubble,

    Your instincts about the State Superintendent candidates Tuck and Thumond are unfortunately correct. Both candidates pander to the Unions, Parent, Teachers, Students, etc. Tuck wants a system that just finds the “best” teachers and let them have control of the reigns. Neither has any real balls to address the root cause problems of education in California. Lots of evanescent mist to add to the fog of education.

    What should they be addressing?
    -Total transformation of the “Colleges?” of Education in the state of California so they produce highly qualified teachers who know their curriculum, research-based practices and assessments, and are monitored for quality implementation throughout their careers.
    -Identifying high quality curricula for key academic subjects with the expectations that school districts teach the curricula with fidelity and quality and that implementation of the curricula is monitored.
    -Identifying key research-based professional practices for teachers and administrators with the expectation that all teachers and administrators implement and monitor thees practices.
    -Acquisition of high quality curricula, practices, and assessments for the learning of the English Language by English Learners within 3 years of having been identified as English Learners – No more dual immersion nonsense.
    -Develop a rigorous accountability system for teaching and administration that includes both rewards and sanctions.

    There are other goal priorities that would be specific and of quality but that is not what we get. We get more educationese and fluff from the educational milquetoast candidates for State Superintendent. So Sad. Teaching and Learning is not so hard if you stay focused on the work which is student academic achievement, quality curricula, high performing practices, Formative and Summative Assessments, and Monitoring and Accountability.

    You can get a glimpse of the need for school district transformation by looking at the results of our school districts in Santa Clara County. http://sipbigpicture.com on the Data Visualizations Page. You inspired much of this work SanJose Outside the Bubble! Thanks.

  9. > You inspired much of this work SanJose Outside the Bubble! Thanks.

    WHAT?!!

    Impossible.

    I know for a fact that no one ever listens to me. I’ve got proof!

    • Not to worry! Nobody listens to me either! Everybody is too busy with this and that to focus on student academic achievement! It is so 1888! We are focused on personalized learning!!! I will try and maintain a focus on student outcomes while many district leaders quench their insatiable thirst at the public fountain!

  10. Campbell Union High School District was stuck in the past with outdated attitudes and a lack of academic rigor when Kalen Gallager was first elected to the school board. He received more votes than anyone by far and his arrival on the board marked a sea change in the district. Del Mar High School was once the least desirable school in the district with low academic performance and too many teachers who had not changed their lesson plans in years (my son graduated in 2006). Over 30% of the student body spoke Spanish at home yet there was no one in the school office or on staff (except the Spanish language teacher who sent his kids to Archbishop Mitty) who spoke Spanish. In contrast, Del Mar is now a totally changed high school thanks to its new International Baccalaureate (IB) program; 17 teachers retired and 17 new hires came on board eager to make changes. Kalen Gallagher brought leadership and vision to an out of touch school district. Elect Kalen Gallagher as District 9 City Council Member.

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