San Jose City Councilman Matt Mahan has thrown his hat into the San Jose mayoral race.
Mahan announced his run before a group of supporters Saturday morning at the entrance to the County Fairgrounds and took aim at the county’s inadequate efforts to address the homelessness crisis. “Behind us sit 150 acres of county land,” he said, declaring that government land must be deployed to build low cost units for unhoused individuals. “At $850,000 per unit we will never solve the problem,” he said, a veiled reference to the county’s nearly billion dollar Measure A housing program.
Instead, Mahan suggested that local government could provide “clean, safe modular units with a door that locks and a bathroom” for one-tenth the cost.
Casting himself as a problem solver, Mahan declared, “We can end street homelessness” and added “We have the money right now to end it.”
The Mahan for San Jose web site went live earlier with a platform declaring his intention to wage “a revolution of common sense” and detailing his programs for smart growth, neighborhood preservation and construction of low cost housing for the city’s unhoused population.
The Harvard-educated former technology startup executive was elected to the City Council in 2020 to represent District 10, which includes the Almaden Valley, Blossom Valley and Vista Park neighborhoods. He defeated two other candidates in the March primary with 58.5% of the vote.
Mahan was raised in Watsonville and attended San Jose’s Bellarmine College Preparatory school. He and his wife Silvia are raising their two young children in the West Santa Teresa Foothills neighborhood.
He enters a field to replace termed-out Mayor Sam Liccardo that includes fellow councilmembers Dev Davis and Raul Peralez, and former Nevada congressional candidate Jonathan Royce Esteban. A committee has filed campaign paperwork for Councilmember Cindy Chavez, but she has not yet announced her candidacy.
This article has been updated.