San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo would hold onto his seat for another two years under a proposal to move the city’s mayoral races to coincide with presidential elections.
Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco and council members Sergio Jimenez, Don Rocha and Chappie Jones pitched the idea as a way to take advantage of higher voter turnout during those years. The proposal would require voter approval because it would require a rewrite of the city charter.
“We value our electorate, and believe that with increased voter turnout we will be able to elevate the office of the mayor and capture a more diverse constituent that is reflective of our city,” Carrasco said in a statement to reporters on Tuesday.
In addition to giving Liccardo another two years on the council, increased voter participation could make the city swing left, as greater voter turnout tends to draw low-income and minority voters.
Under the proposal—which has garnered support from the Asian Law Alliance and San Jose State University’s Californians for Justice—the rest of the San Jose council elections which are already staggered every two years, would remain unchanged.
The memo will come up for discussion at Wednesday’s Rules and Open Government Committee meeting, which takes place at 2pm at City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St.