Mayor, New Council Members to be Sworn in at Inauguration

An inauguration ceremony will be held Tuesday night for San Jose's newly elected mayor, Sam Liccardo, and four incoming City Council members: Chappie Jones, Raul Peralez, Magdalena Carrasco and Tam Nguyen.

So many people signed up for the ceremony that the city had to move venues, from the California Theatre to the Center for the Performing Arts.

The event is free, but the city has asked the public to register ahead of time before noon today. Registration is available through this link, by emailing [email protected] or by calling 408.535.4800. Doors open at 5:30pm and the ceremony starts at 6pm. If you'd rather watch it from home, the event will be streaming live broadcast on the city's website and Civic Center TV (channel 26 on Comcast) at a later time.

A brief swearing-in ceremony will also take place this afternoon in the council chambers, but only for re-elected council member Don Rocha, who would probably prefer chewing broken glass than attend the event. The council will also vote today whether to approve Liccardo's 2015-16 committee appointments, which he announced Monday.

Appointments for the city's five standing committees included a few surprises. Liccardo not only nominated council members who opposed his run for mayor, but he also gave Carrasco—a first-term council member—a position on the powerful Rules and Open Government Committee. The new mayor also grew the size of each committee to the maximum allowed by law to get more elected officials involved in policy work, according to his interim spokeswoman Michelle McGurk.

“If we’re going to solve the critical issues our city faces, we need to encourage public discussion of the very best ideas, not merely those ideas that appear politically comfortable,” Liccardo said in a prepared statement. “That’s why I’ve assigned chairperson roles based on expertise in the issues, not political alliances.”

Below is the list and part of the press release the mayor's office sent out Monday:

Neighborhood Services and Education: Councilmember Donald Rocha (District 9, Cambrian), a former board member of the Cambrian School District, will chair the Neighborhood Services and Education Committee, with Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco (District 5, East San José) as vice chair. Carrasco formerly served on the East Side Union High School District board. Councilmembers Tam Nguyen (District 7, Southeast San José) and Raul Peralez (District 3, Downtown), and Interim Councilmember Margie Matthews (District 4, North San José, Berryessa, Alviso) round out the committee. Both Matthews and Peralez have experience as educators.

Transportation and Environment: Councilmember Ash Kalra (District 2, South San José/Blossom Valley) will chair the Transportation and Environment Committee. Kalra just completed a term as board chair for the Valley Transportation Authority. Nguyen will serve as vice chair. Committee members will be Councilmembers Rocha, Matthews, and Rose Herrera (District 8, Evergreen); all have served on the committee and VTA board previously.

Public Safety, Finance, and Strategic Support: Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio (District 6, Rose Garden/Willow Glen) will chair the Public Safety, Finance, and Strategic Support Committee. He has served on this committee for several years. Councilmember Peralez, a former San José police officer, will serve as vice chair. Committee members will be Councilmembers Carrasco, Charles “Chappie” Jones (District 1, West San José), and Johnny Khamis (District 10, Almaden).

Community and Economic Development: Councilmember Khamis will chair the Community and Economic Development Committee, with Councilmember Jones as vice chair. Prior to election to the Council, Khamis and Jones both served on the Small Business Development Commission. Members will be Councilmembers Oliverio and Kalra, both previous members of the committee, and Herrera, a previous chair and vice chair.

Rules and Open Government: As has been customary, Mayor Liccardo will chair the Rules and Open Government Committee. Members will be Councilmembers Carrasco, Herrera, Jones, and Khamis.

Key appointments to boards and commissions include:

  • Association of Bay Area Governments: Carrasco, Jones, and Rocha, board members; Herrera, Nguyen, and Kalra, alternates
  • Caltrain Joint Powers Board: Kalra
  • Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force: Liccardo, chair; Herrera and Peralez, members
  • Schools/City Collaborative: Liccardo, Carrasco, and Rocha
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority: Carrasco, Herrera, Kalra, Khamis, and Liccardo, board members; Peralez, alternate

The memo outlining the appointments, released Friday, January 2, is online here:

These appointments continue Mayor Liccardo’s pattern of working to build bridges with those who did not support his election, including:

  • Appointing several individuals who endorsed his opponent to his Transition Committee.
  • Inviting the leaders of every city union to meet with him, and meeting with more than a dozen union leaders already, including the leadership of the San José Police Officers Association.
  • Meeting with the leadership of the South Bay Labor Council immediately after the election.
  • Prioritizing negotiation with the POA, Local 230, and other employee unions over Measure B pension reforms. (Note: the Mayor’s proposal will be heard at the Rules and Open Government Committee meeting on Wednesday. See memo:
  • Deferring the investigation into the POA’s alleged role in undermining police recruitment (memo:
  • Recommending the appointment of an interim councilmember in District 4, Margie Matthews, who had received labor backing in both of her prior elections.


  1. The dumbing down of our elected representatives. From the website of D-1’s new councilmember, the Honorable “Chappie”: “His parents instilled fiscal responsibility, participating in civic activities and bettering the neighborhood you live in principals in him. He has practiced the same principals ever since.” The man and his handlers are clearly not the most literate of folks, and he represents a highly literate district. Lesson for the week, “Chappie”: you and whoever proofed your website need to learn and understand the difference between principals and principles. Study hard, Chappie, and report back to us all next week, OK? Another marginally literate sentence on Chappie’s website: is: “Chappie has been married for 20 years to Kelli Jones, a high tech sales and marketing consultant, have two children together and all live in Murdock neighborhood of District 1.” OMG! I’ll leave it to you, Chappie, to find the flaws in that sentence. I’ll check back next week to see how well you have done, Chappie.

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