Endorsement: Teresa Alvarado for Supervisor

The District 2 county supervisor’s race is one of the most important in this region’s history. Two-thirds of the county budget—about $3 billion annually—goes to compensation and retirement benefits. Virtually all of the public employee union contracts are up for negotiation in the next two years, and there’s an unfunded $1.7 billion liability for retiree health care. The election will determine whether those issues are tackled by a board majority firmly in the pocket of the South Bay Labor Council—or one that might be a little more independent.

Cindy Chavez, who heads SBLC sister organization Working Partnerships USA, is running against Teresa Alvarado for the seat vacated by George Shirakawa, Jr., who was convicted of five felonies and now faces election-stealing charges. The special election is being held July 30, and ballots will be mailed out shortly. The last day to register to vote is July 15.

Chavez says the race is about experience. Like Shirakawa, she was vice mayor of San Jose under Ron Gonzales. Shirakawa served 14 years on the San Jose City Council; Chavez eight. If being one of 11 people on the City Council dais is the main qualification for the job, then Shirakawa was even better equipped than Chavez for the office he screwed up so badly. And now taxpayers have to spend more than $1 million to choose his replacement.

The election is really about transparency, reform and an end to political corruption. Chavez has aligned herself with the politicians at the centers of the biggest local political scandals of the past decade and a half. She’s been allies with Gonzales, who accepted golf games and gifts while in office; of Terry Gregory, who resigned his office in disgrace and was convicted of graft; of Shirakawa; and of Xavier Campos, who was chief operating officer of MACSA when teachers’ pensions were stolen, and who failed to file political disclosure statements. Her operatives ran anonymous websites that endangered the safety of gang prosecutors by publishing their home addresses and hacked the email accounts of City Hall employees to embarrass political opponents.

Chavez failed to answer Grand Jury questions about her role in the Norcal garbage scandal and hampered attempts to pass a Sunshine Ordinance in San Jose. She refuses interviews, doesn’t return media calls and has journalists thrown out of election events. Her campaign attorney recently sued the county to keep it from releasing public documents, and her handlers harangued a radio station that ran a story about that. In an era when the public expects transparency from elected representatives, Cindy Chavez is completely unqualified to hold public office. Electing her would pretty much be a disaster for accountability.

Teresa Alvarado has advanced proposals to make county government more transparent and ethical. Having held a variety of management positions in the private sector and non-profit communities, she has the breadth of experience needed to scrutinize tough questions and remain independent. Electing a candidate who’s committed to reform will send a clear message to Hedding Street that public money must be spent frugally and honestly, and Shirakawa supporters like Chavez shouldn’t be trusted with the public’s checkbook.


  1. Dan,

    I don’t like you, and you don’t like me.  Amongst our friends, this is common knowledge…  But if there is one redeeming thing I can say about you and the direction you’ve taken the metro in the last few years, you’ve come to understand that Chavez’s side will stop at nothing to get their people into office.  Even resorting to violence by proxy.

    Keep up the good work, you jerk.

    • Stop at nothing? I have been totally flooded with large pro Alvarado flyers, about 20 at my home. I just got my first pro Chavez today. Very similar to the deliveries of the pro Shirakawa campaign for Supe, flyers dissing his more worthy opponent. Not surprised if the funding is ironically from the same sources.

      SOS, it has Mayor Charlie, the Chamber, written all over it. By the way, who is responsible for all of these “unfunded liabilities”? Politicians who freely ignore responsible accounting for liabilities to please the constituents who have no idea what is required to pull worthy employees in this expensive valley out out of the private sector.

      • I saw Matt Whalin (Rose Herrera’s husband) the day after Ragu and DeRolo did a number on him.  Wasn’t pretty.

        Mass mailers are annoying, but baiting a candidates husband by stealing his wifes signs and replacing them with your own is downright scummy. 

        Still curious if Ragu and DeRollo drive a white pickup truck (Nissan).  Saw two guys that looked *just* like them stalking me as I campaigned for Rose.

  2. > Endorsement: Teresa Alvarado for Supervisor

    Realistically, her greatest recommendation seems to be that she is a bit less awful than Cindy Chavez.

    Both candidates had horrible, awful evasive responses at the non-profits candidate forum on the public employee pension quagmire.

    This “democracy” stuff leaves a lot to be desired.  It’s either government by the most ignorant, most venal, and most easily pandered to fifty-one percent of voters.  Or, its a choice between the lesser of two evils —dredged up from the bottom of the evil choices barrel.

  3. Simply go to Jack Van Zandt’s post of Oct. 4, 2007 here on San Jose Inside.
    “Fixing the Mexican heritage”!
    I need say any more? Once you have read the facts, you too will under stand why we must put a stop to the nepotisum that is so much of the reach of the Alvarado’s, into the publications that want no change, in our community!
      The Village Black Smith

    • LOSER, read the facts and do the real research.  You people do not research the facts and just vote based on some blog.  This is the reason measure B, V and every other measure gets passed.  You drink the BS posted and never look at the facts.

      God Help us!

      • Facts are that just about everyone Cindy Chavez has aligned herself with professionally and politically is in jail, on their way to jail or under investigation.

        She is either really bad at assessing character and allies or she us extremely unlucky.  She doesn’t strike me as an idiot or pushover so a reasonable person has to preclude that she knows exactly the type of characters she is getting in bed with and simply chooses to accept their shortcomings without trying to make things better. Business as usual in political circles.  San Jose deserves better than the same dirty characters repackaged and the same tired excuse of “I didn’t know”.  Incompetent or coconspirator either way until Chavez cleans up her act, she doesn’t deserve one vote.

  4. Lets think about this for a minute:

    Candidate A is a public employee.

    Candidate C is a leader of public employee unionism.

    Which candidate would you expect might curtail the public employee pension excesses?




    I say, cancel the election and just give the public employees what they want so the won’t have to steal it behind our backs.

  5. REFORMER?  Reform, What?
    Didn’t George Jr. just get through taking care of all that could go astray and did! George Jr., proved to all of Us , that the system was completely broken. However, it proved to be a hit for those that used what George was selling.
    Thanks George ! you sure turned the lights on at the County and local politics. Even San Jose Inside is feeding OLD politicians to the wolves. Now let’s focus on our East Side
    Write that book while your away.

  6. Teresa Alvarado is endorsed by the Metro/ SJI and the Mercury News… and Cindy Chavez is still leading… Just goes to show you, what most of us think of our local news media’ s opinion. Haha!!

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