I walk, I bike, I vote: San Jose California elections

Several people are running for mayor in the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest city, with city council candidates also running in several districts. The big issues in San Jose this year are public safety and pension reform, but a few candidates have earned themselves some attention based on their positions on transportation safety and livable streets.

Locals who care about local politics set up a web site to educate and inform people on the issues at hand. It’s fairly content free right now, but they promises updates in the coming days. They’ll send a questionnaire to all candidates later this week and post the responses to I Walk I Bike I Vote.

Mayor: This is a mid-term election, which means the suburbs will vote and the more densely populated central city residents will not, hence the importance of “get out the vote” drives like what you see from the likes of some San Jose Bike Party people. This also means Dave Cortese (the police union candidate) is probably a shoe-in this election, but it’s not over until it’s over. In that spirit, I tip my hat to Sam Liccardo. Not all of my bike buddies agree with this endorsement, primarily because he emphasizes pedestrian safety over cyclist convenience in the downtown district he represents, but strategically he gets the overall importance of transportation safety. Cortese is a super-nice guy, but he’s going to get bowled over by the newly appointed City Manager. In San Jose politics, it’s traditionally the city manager who sets de facto policy for the city, and the city council and mayor rubber stamp his recommendations.

District 1: I endorse Susan Marsland for D1, which covers West San Jose.

District 3: District 3 is Sam Liccardo’s district. A number of strong candidates are running for his seat. Most are running on strong anti-crime. Right now, I’ll put my support with candidate Kathy Sutherland.

Districts 5, 7, 9: I don’t really have a read on these candidates yet. Stay tuned!