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Reading Norm Mineta

“Civic-minded citizens are not simply born, they must be taught and nurtured,” writes Norman Mineta. In an article published on “Constitution Day,” Mr. Mineta—a former San Jose mayor and US Congressman, who also served in the Cabinet under both Bill Clinton and George Bush—laments the decline in civic engagement, and expresses his concern that the public education system needs to do more.

Mineta and Other Mentors in Local Poltiics

Norm Mineta will turn 82 on Nov. 12. His accomplishments from mayor of San Jose to U.S. cabinet secretary under two administrations are legendary. San Jose’s airport is named after him. But Mineta’s most important role has been that of a mentor for two generations of leaders.

A Tale of Two Polls

The recent poll showing Dave Cortese in first place—and Madison Nguyen in second—for the San Jose mayor’s race must have been a shock to the Sam Liccardo camp. So much so, that Liccardo released his own polling information showing him now in second.

Congressman Mike Honda’s Wake-up Call

Mike Honda—Silicon Valley’s globe-trotting, karaoke-singing, hard-partying congressman—has had a charmed career. Now, a well-funded challenger, Ro Khanna, asks whether being likeable is enough, or whether the public expects a lawmaker to work hard, write laws and fight to keep valley industries competitive.

Bay Bridge Had to be Dedicated to a Brown

There is no question that Willie Brown deserves the honor of having a span of the Bay Bridge named after him, given his lifetime of service to the city and county of San Francisco. Considering the political heavyweights who share that last name, there isn’t an infrastructure project since 1958 that does not have a Brown imprimatur.

Bay Area Developers at Odds with City Hall over Lucrative Land Deal

Big-time Bay Area developers Tom Armstrong and Chop Keenan have joined forces with former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery to push the city to change its zoning classification of a piece of property on South King Road. The land is currently home to Asian/Indian radio station KLOK 1170 and a sprawling field that would be better off as a massive lot of single-family detached homes, according to the power brokers. But in an effort to create jobs, the city’s general plan forbids the conversion of light industrial property to residential, and current Mayor Chuck Reed and city planning director Joseph Horwedel are trying to quash the proposal. That might not make a difference, though, as some men can’t be denied.

Why Sheriff Smith Won’t Run for Mayor

We dream of the perfect candidate in our business. The right person, at the right time, with resources to win and the perfect fit for the populace and the times. Barack Obama in President 2008, Jerry Brown Governor in 2010, Willie Brown for San Francisco Mayor 1995, and Sheriff Laurie Smith for San Jose Mayor 2014. Only the last scenario won’t happen.