Mahan: San Jose Needs Mayor with Experience to Bring Change

With the pivotal vote for San Jose Mayor just days away, Supervisor Cindy Chavez and I have finally found one point of agreement – this race boils down to who has the right kind of experience to get San Jose back on the right track.

She says her nearly 20 years in office as an elected official is the right experience for this moment. I say we need someone with the experience of making change and creating accountability so we have real hope for more common sense at City Hall.

Chavez is the architect of many of our city and county’s key policies on crime, homelessness, housing and government accountability. The problem is those policies are failing. They don’t need to be defended; they need to be changed.

On crime, Chavez still supports the dangerous policy she helped implement at the County Jail, which allows even serious and violent offenders to be released again and again even when they violate the terms of their release again and again.

On homelessness, Chavez drags her feet on requiring those who are a danger to themselves and others to be in treatment while she touts a housing policy that is now spending taxpayer funds to build units at nearly $1 million per door as a solution – with no requirement homeless residents use shelter even when it is available.

On accountability, Chavez defends her decision to use $76 million in Covid relief funds for bonuses for top staff, including those making over $200,000 per year while working from home. She won’t apologize for spending $4.5 million on valet parking for her own staff while San Jose residents struggle to fill their gas tanks. Or for spending over $1 million on a book celebrating the accomplishments of the County, written by a political ally and later found to be partly plagiarized.

Chavez has worked to distract attention from these actual failures by launching one of the most negative campaigns this city has ever seen – marked by a reliance on a series of simply false assertions. The campaign has been so untruthful that one of America’s leading experts on campaign finance reform recently wrote an article titled “When Will Cindy Chavez Tell the Truth?

We are largely still waiting for that.

But we don’t need to wait any longer for change at City Hall.

Our campaign has organized an extraordinary grassroots network of over 40,000 San Jose residents who think we need to demand accountability – starting at the top. Our campaign proposes a City Hall that sets goals and programs its budget around vital priorities like lowering crime, ending street homelessness, cleaning our streets and creating new housing where it makes sense, not where it will make congestion worse. We are fighting for basic accountability – starting with ending the automatic raises politicians and department heads get now, even when they are failing to deliver the results we need. We propose tying future raises to measurable progress – only a radical idea to those who think good intentions are sufficient.

I launched my career as a public school teacher in East Side San José. I tracked the progress of my students and was held accountable for results. I helped grow a software company that empowered millions of people to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for charities – and we tracked our progress and held ourselves accountable. I founded a company that built tools millions of citizens used to discuss and debate issues and keep their elected officials accountable.

Accountability works and the truth is that there is real hope for a city that gets back to basics and moves the needle on our biggest challenges. It just takes the right kind of experience.

Editor’s Note: An op-ed invitation was sent last month to both candidates for Mayor of San Jose.




  1. Reminder that in 2021 Matt Mahan voted in public session (along with his city council colleagues) to fire San Jose police officers who refused an EUA (i.e., experimental) mRNA treatment. A quarter to third of the police force refused (250-300 per reports at the time). Rather than follow through on his coercion, Mahan (and his colleagues) quietly dropped the matter in secret session on the pretext that the previously public diktat was suddenly a confidential employment matter.

    There was not an approved “vaccine” available to the public at the time. What FDA approved was not available and what was available was not approved. Perhaps the City Attorney advised that what Mahan was doing (along with his colleagues) was illegal. Perhaps not. But as a practical matter, Mahan could not actually fire hundreds of cops, as he wanted to, and later run for mayor (or even dog catcher). So Mahan (and his colleagues let the matter quietly die.

    Coercing experimental medical treatment is a crime against humanity under the Nuremberg Code. Federal regulations and California law adopt the same precepts.

    There has been obfuscation of what happened (secret session will do that) but this much is clear: Mahan and his colleagues coerced cops to get an EUA jab, and though he (and his colleagues) didn’t follow through and actually fire those who refused, there was coercion, nonetheless.

    Mahan voted to fire hundreds of police officers. Pass it on.

  2. Can we assume you take this stance across the board then Don?
    That’s to say; you want Biden & Faucci and Pelosi prosecuted for Crimes against humanity? Not to mention Gavin, Cody and Cindy? If that’s what your saying then count me in.

    Otherwise, vote for Mahan and kick the carrier politicians out. They are the ones committing the crimes.

  3. My position does carry across the board.

    I’m commenting on a Mahan op-ed. he is responsible for what he did. Everyone-was-doing-it, even though largely true, is not a defense.

  4. Don, your schtick is way past its expiration date. I didn’t realize you carried Cindy’s water until this campaign. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention until now. Have you sat down and had a conversation with Mahan? If not, it’s not too late.

  5. So what do you do when your city just doesn’t have good candidates to vote for? One’s politics don’t jive with mine, the other has been here for over 20 years and the city is going downhill. I know Cindy’s tenure, along with other city “leaders” is not the way of the future, but Mahan would not have been my choice to replace them. In the end, I can’t go with what I know is broken, but wish I’d been more confident in the change.

  6. Truth is “shtick”?

    I did not vote for Cindy Chavez for mayor, either. She’s also culpable for coercing experimental jabs — on VTA employees.

  7. Every labor politician running or already in a seat is beholden to Cindy Chavez. She says jump – they say how high. And if they say no, there are consequences. Please understand that. If she is elected, labor will own this city, and salaries, benefits, and pension costs will skyrocket because she is beholden to the unions. I am not anti-union – unions play an important role in our society and I appreciate the role they play, especially in the private sector. But public employee unions are fighting for a big piece of a small pie and bankrupting the system as a result.

  8. Mahan talks repeatedly about accountability. He wants accountability, which is already widespread in City Hall, but refuses to be accountABLE. As a CM, he is required to attend his district’s Community Advisory Committee for homelessness, but doesn’t show up.

    Mahan is legally required to provide funding disclaimers on all mailers, texts, and all campaign material, but he doesn’t.

    Mahan is exactly right! We need a mayor with EXPERIENCE. That is the number 1 reason we voted for Cindy Chavez.

  9. “ the city is going downhill”

    IMO….You vote for the person who has the EXPERIENCE to work with the City and the County. Mahan doesn’t have the experience needed and, in fact, chastised County workers for getting bonuses for working through the pandemic. He barely understands how City departments works.

  10. Hasn’t Chavez been one of those desiring to close the Reid-Hillview airport in order to assist developers who covet that site, currently using the recently pushed lead hazard Alarmism Lite as part of a rationalization for doing these things?

  11. My father (passed away last yr) was a retired Engineer & City Commissioner. My mother owns a state licensed business. I’ve to communicate with gov officials at various levels since approx. 14 yrs now. I voted for Matt Mahan. His opponent is an anti-business pro gov over regulating business career politician paid for by special interest groups. That’s why we have an ever- growing homeless crisis. And other systemic problems. With that said. Even if elected. Matt Mahan won’t be able to implement his plans unless enough city council members are on board. If elected. I hope the Governor’s directives to address systemic problems like our homeless crisis are followed. He has allocated $’s towards the homeless crisis. It’s up to the local officials to use that money wisely.

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