SVO Endorses Pierluigi Oliverio for Santa Clara County Supervisor

The Silicon Valley Organization—formerly known as the San Jose-Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce—passed over one of its own employees to endorse Pierluigi Oliverio in the race for the District 4 seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

Oliverio, who spent a decade on San Jose’s City Council before terming out in 2016, is running against four other candidates to succeed Supervisor Ken Yeager when he terms out at the end of the year.

“Throughout his public service, Pierluigi has demonstrated a leadership style that includes listening to all sides, thoughtful policy deliberations, prioritizing neighborhood services, championed fiscal responsibility and transparency in local government,” The SVO noted in a press release on Thursday. “For these reasons, Pierluigi has earned SVO PAC’s sole endorsement.”

The former Willow Glen councilman said he’s honored by the distinction.

“I’m proud to be endorsed by an organization that recognizes my fiscal pragmatism,” Oliverio said. “I believe they selected me because of my consistency, because I don’t try to represent myself differently to different groups of people. … All the other candidates in the race were seeking the labor endorsement, and I did not.”

Fellow candidate Susan Ellenberg—a San Jose Unified trustee who works for the SVO as a senior director of community development—called her employer’s decision a letdown and said it reflects a deeper cultural problem at the organization.

“Today’s endorsement is in no way a reflection on my work at the SVO Foundation,” Ellenberg said in a prepared statement before the SVO announced its preferred candidate. “It does demonstrate, however, that there are still some who do not share the vision I believe in, and are more interested in the policies of the past: low minimum wages, lack of affordable housing, and a divisive ‘us versus them’ attitude between workers and employers. My opponent shares that outdated vision; I do not.”

Oliverio shrugged off the criticism, saying he’s going to double down on his campaign and on prioritizing what he calls the county’s primary responsibility: to care for people with mental illness.

“At the end of the day, I’m focused on caring for the severely mentally ill to reduce homelessness and to free up police officers’ time,” he said. “I’m very focused on being efficient with taxpayer dollars so that we could care for the seriously mentally ill instead of only talking about it when there’s a mass shooting.”

Ellenberg and Oliverio are running against Santa Clara Councilman Dominic Caserta, San Jose Councilman Don Rocha and former Campbell Mayor Jason Baker—all of whom have collectively raised more than $1 million so far.

The South Bay Labor Council gave a dual endorsement in the race to Rocha and Caserta.

The SVO on Thursday also announced its endorsements in two San Jose council races: Thomas Duong in District 7 and Pam Foley in District 9.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. I prefer the candidate not endorsed by either Labor or the Chamber. Better to be beholden to none.

  2. I don’t understand the Labor vs Business thing myself. Business needs workers to be a business. Employees of the Business require a paycheck for services rendered. The symbiosis is a natural one. Only when the two get out of balance whereas one becomes so lopsided in it’s particular cut of the pie that the train comes off the tracks and derails sending all overboard and into oblivion. Need I say more?

    Okay I will.

    Remember one thing once elected, that is who elected you. You “electeds” work for neither special group(s), you work for us, the people which voted you into office.

  3. An organization hires someone because of a skillset they are looking for. I imagine Susan fulfilled the needs of the position that SVO hired her for. What the SVO didn’t do is hire someone based on they align politically with their organization. To say say that the SVO ‘snubbed’ their employee is nothing more than clickbait. They didnt snub anyone. what they did, it sounds like, is endorse someone based on their values. the true test will be if the values of the voters are the same of the svo when they choose who will represent them.

  4. I want to see PLO win for the same reason I wanted Trump to win. Getting so tired of our dirty local politics and their ego’s. I would love to see them crumple into little mashed up wads of paper so we can toss them.

    As far as his sexual harassment allegations, that’s all they were, allegations. There was no due process involved, but that didn’t stop labor from making a sad video with Sarah McLachlan music in the background.

    • Mr Cortese – Isn’t PLO the one who was caught on camera stealing his opponents campaign signs by the police a few years back? I believe he reluctantly pulled them out of the trunk of his car and handed them over after initially denying he had them.

      Supporting someone like him, is hardly getting rid of “local dirty politics and their ego’s” as you put it. I think that is a perfect example of an raging egomaniac and dirty politics at its finest perpetuated by someone who thought he needed an “edge” to win. Not very honorable at all…

      If he is willing to stoop so low and be so childish as to steal signs, lie about it and only admit it when he learned it was caught on camera, that is not someone I could ever support, for any public office.

      I usually enjoy very much what you have to say, but supporting PLO for any public office is disgraceful in my opinion.

      • Mr Cortese – Isn’t PLO the one who was caught on camera stealing his opponents campaign signs by the police a few years back?

        They were illegally placed on traffic medians. He was authorized to do so as an “Agent of the city” You probably don’t like that law, but that’s too bad.

        • > He was authorized to do so as an “Agent of the city” You probably don’t like that law, but that’s too bad.


          I don’t believe I read this in the newspaper.

          • I think it was something Rick Doyle sent out in memo, was reported in a few places. You can read the code below, they even are allowing “Volunteers for the city” That’s new I think. Used to only say “Agent of the city”

            23.02.880 – Authority to remove illegal signs in public right-of-way.
            A. Any illegal signs in the public right-of-way may be removed by the city.
            B. Any illegal sign of de minimus value in the public right-of-way may also be removed by volunteers on behalf of the city.
            C. No notice shall be required prior to removal of illegal signs, including without limitation elections signs, in the public right-of-way.
            D. Any sign removed by the city, except any sign of de minimus value, shall be held in storage and the owner or other person in control of such sign, if known, shall be given written notice and ten days to reclaim such sign.
            E. Any sign held in storage by the city may be destroyed by the city if not reclaimed:
            1. In the time period set forth in subsection D. above; or
            2. Within ten days after removal if the owner or other person in control of such sign is not known.
            F. In order to reclaim a sign removed by the city, the owner or other person in control of such sign shall first pay to the city a fee as set forth in the schedule of fees adopted by resolution of the city council.
            G. Any illegal sign in the public right-of-way of de minimus value shall be deemed to be abandoned and may be destroyed by the city after removal. No opportunity to reclaim such sign shall be given by the city.
            H. For purposes of this section, any sign made of cardboard or other nondurable material shall be deemed to be of de minimus value.
            (Ords. 24201, 24835.)

  5. > —all of whom have collectively raised more than $1 million so far.

    Isn’t this kind of a lot of money for a seat on the County Board of Supervisors?

    I would have thought you could buy a Senator or a Governor for a million bucks.

    No wonder politicians smirk at my ten dollar donations and never return my calls.

  6. > I want to see PLO win for the same reason I wanted Trump to win.


    This is what happens when people spend too much time on Facebook and Twitter and are exposed to Russian bots and trolls.

  7. Disappointing to read a win for PLO framed by a loss for SE. Give him the win, leave her out of it, they didn’t endorse any of the other candidates either. Too many candidates get caught up in endorsements when what they should be doing is focusing on the actual voters.

    • > Too many candidates get caught up in endorsements . . . .

      Speaking of endorsements, I would like to remind any candidates who may be reading this forum that I have not yet made any endorsements for the current election cycle.

      I would also remind candidates that the emoluments clause of the Constitution does NOT apply to endorsers. Ample emolumentation of endorsers is permitted and legal.

      Also, I am running a special on speaking fees through the election.

      – ten percent off on all endorsement speeches before the primary election
      – TWENTY-FIVE percent off on endorsement speeches before the general election

      An endorsed candidate is a happy candidate!

  8. Talk about getting thrown under the bus. SVO culture, business relations, and stance on local development is reflected and a bit apparent by these community politics.

    There’s more than a million dollars involved.
    “po” wants a job he’s good at and there are others that know not any better.
    “po” wants a job that he can continue to sponge off of others with the least physical and mental effort needed. Apparently there are others willing to hand it to “po” on a platter, “the work of others”. He works smarter not harder in certain contexts. He’s good at learned routine tricks.
    Persuading, smiling, and telling others what they want to hear is his forte.
    He was born to work, but he chooses to be the false political prophet of the people.
    Give “po” the Columbus statue as a reminder.

  9. Pierluigi represented me as a Councilmember, and although we had some differences of opinion, I came to respect his integrity. He will bring a much needed perspective to the Board of Supervisors. Pierluigi is the only candidate to honestly deal with the real causes of homelessness.

  10. Aside from getting caught red handed with his car’s trunk full of stolen campaign signs, Pier is brimming with integrity and virtue. Maybe it is time to pull the YouTube video of this incident again, the one where he calls the Chief of Police on his cell as the police question him about the signs.


      Apparently, Mr. PLO has someone on staff here ready, willing, and able to censor links to that video.

      I posted one, but now it’s gone. I’ll try again:

      Readers can make up their own minds…

      • Lol ty, I actually hadnt seen the video before ,just heard the story. Regardless of being illegal or legal it just seems to be in poor taste and with poor judgement for someone in his position.

  11. I would like to hear each candidates stance on:

    1. Homeless. We are not addressing this issue correctly.

    2. The sanctuary city and state issue

    3. The bullet train issue.

    I will do my home work

    • > I would like to hear each candidates stance on:


      I suspect you’re late to the party. The candidates have likely already made their stances known many months ago to the big money donors.

      Just look in your mailbox in the next few months and the donors will thoughtfully inform you that they have already done your homework for you.

      Think of “democracy” is being like fast-food politics. You just show up when you get an urge to vote and everything is already prepared and packaged for you.

  12. Another video- News channel- showing the story of PLO getting caught stealing signs and then speeding all over Willow Glen to get away. Let’s not forget he also tried to deceive voters into thinking he was a ‘family man’ with a wife and kids in his marketing materials. Such a douche. SJ can and should do better.

  13. I really can’t believe anyone would seriously consider this unscrupulous, dishonest and childish man for any public office. Are our choices really so limited that he is even remotely in the running? What does that say about the pool of candidates in Santa Clara Valley? Sad…!

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