Mayor - City of San Jose
Matt Mahan ran for city council in 2020 because he knew it was time to give local government a “wake-up call.” Between a crisis of homelessness, crime, dirty streets and dysfunctional government, Matt knows we deserve better – and we can do better.
Matt comes from the business world where he founded and grew companies dedicated to empowering neighborhoods and communities and holding government accountable. Now, he’s running for Mayor of San Jose to give us a voice – and to make sure our city government is working for us.
Matt was raised by working-class parents: a school teacher and a letter carrier. He was taught to value hard work, the importance of education and the power of community. Growing up in Watsonville, Matt’s interest in local politics was sparked by his curiosity about the challenges of crime, unemployment and poor education that his hometown faced. He avidly read the local newspaper and when it came time for high school, he decided to make the long, often four hours a day commute to San Jose to attend Bellarmine College Prep, which offered him a full work-study scholarship as a low-income student. There, he was active in community service and student government, joined the wrestling team and worked on the grounds crew in the summers to pay for his education. Matt went on to Harvard where he was an honors student and student body president. He also co-led the first successful campaign to end the university’s investment in companies supporting the genocide in Darfur. This experience deepened his passion for civic engagement.
After graduating from Harvard, Matt spent a year in Bolivia building irrigation systems with family farmers to increase their economic opportunities. Matt returned to San Jose to teach middle school English and History in Alum Rock through the Teach for America program for two years. There, he worked long days, coaching the girls soccer team and keeping his classroom open after school as a safe space for his students to learn.
After teaching, Matt joined Causes, a startup and early Facebook app that enabled people to raise awareness and funds for their favorite nonprofits. Over the course of five years, Matt worked his way up from Director of Business Development to COO and eventually CEO. Causes ultimately grew to 190 million users in over 150 countries, and helped individuals fundraise over $50 million for nonprofits in the U.S. alone. In 2014, Matt co-founded Brigade along with a few colleagues. Brigade built the world’s first voter network: a nonpartisan platform for voters to discuss issues, advocate to their elected officials, and vote for candidates who reflect their values. In the 2016 and 2018 elections, Brigade reached millions of voters and empowered them with better information and tools. Brigade’s team and intellectual property were acquired in 2019 by Pinterest and Countable, respectively.
Matt has long been deeply involved in the community. He has served on a number of neighborhood and civic boards, including the City of San Jose’s Clean Energy Advisory Commission, the Almaden Valley Community Association, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the District 10 Leadership Coalition, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, and San Jose Rotary. He was also a founding member of the Friends of Guadalupe Oak Grove Park and co-led the effort to save the 63 and 13 bus routes in Almaden Valley.
In 2018, Matt co-chaired the citywide Measure T campaign, which secured $650 million in funding for repaving our roads, building police and fire stations, upgrading our 911 communications infrastructure, and preserving the open space surrounding San José.
Matt ran for City Council in 2020 for District 10 with a focus on improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods by making City Hall responsive and accountable, especially for public safety, infrastructure and cleaning up our streets. Despite having two opponents, Matt won outright in the March primary election with nearly 60% of the vote.
District 3 - San Jose City Council
A resident in downtown San Jose since 1989, Irene has raised her family, run a small business, worked at the downtown locked mental health facility and often walked to court from my home. Irene understands the importance of safe, clean neighborhoods for families who want their children to grow up healthy and for business owners to thrive. The conditions in our downtown neighborhoods impact all of us; as downtown residents, we’re in this together.
Her core values come from her parents and their parents, Irish and Polish Catholics who immigrated to the United States for a better life. To make a living, her grandfather drove a taxi during the day and played the accordion at a local pub at night. Although her grandparents struggled to make a living, their sacrifices enabled her father to be the first in his family to go to college. Their lessons, their work ethic and sense of perseverance, shaped her from an early age.
Her father impressed upon her the importance of community participation. He told her that as a member of the community who benefits from access to grocery stores, paved roads and good schools, she is required to give back and pay it forward. Each of us can contribute, volunteering and making improvements in our neighborhoods, Irene believes.
She started volunteering in the second grade, in her sister’s classroom. Her sister Shery has Down Syndrome. Shery and Irene have both had the opportunity to be active in Special Olympics, she as an athlete, and Irene as a ‘hugger’. Irene learned so much growing up with Shery, especially that persistence gets results and a smile goes a long way.
Learn more at IreneSmithD3.com
District 7 - San Jose City Council
Bien immigrated to San Jose and has lived here since our city was just orchards. He has led a life of public service, most notably with the San Jose Fire Department, because he wants the best for our community.
District 7 does not have a strong community voice in our council office at city hall. We experience more crime and homelessness here than in any other part of San Jose, yet we continue to be neglected, especially in the areas of funding and public safety staffing, because other districts have stronger representation. We need a leader for us all, who embraces our diversity, and who has the proven experience to solve local problems.
Bien Doan is committed to true and equal representation. He has the experience required and the dedication we need to make a positive difference for us all.
Learn more at BienDoan.com
Mayor - City of Milpitas
Elected to the Milpitas City Council in 2016, Anthony Phan has led the City to become one of fastest growing economies in the Bay Area. As Councilmember, he spearheaded efforts to raise the minimum wage, create more affordable housing, expand access to transportation, invest in public education, create thousands of good-paying jobs, and tackle on government corruption. He is running for Mayor to keep delivering results for Milpitas families and communities.
Learn more at standwithphan.com
Santa Clara City Council - District 3
Board of Equalization - District 2
Peter Coe Verbica is a fifth-generation Californian, who learned the importance of a strong work ethic growing up on a cattle ranch. Trained in business, real estate, law, and as a Certified Financial Planner®, he brings extensive professional experience to the Board of Equalization, which oversees 58 county assessors who value and tax property throughout California. He currently serves as a Managing Director at Silicon Private Wealth and Viant Capital.
Learn more at peterverbica.com
Copyright © 2021 Silicon Valley Biz PAC - All Rights Reserved.
Paid for by Silicon Valley Biz PAC. Committee major funding from Solutions Silicon Valley, Suzanne Salata and affiliates, and James Castellanos. Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.