Today marks a triumphant victory in our fight against the overpowering influence of big money in politics.
A memo, championed by Council members Cohen, Jimenez, Davis, Candelas, and Foley, has successfully passed, addressing the concerning campaign finance practices witnessed during the 2022 elections. This is a major win for our community, fortifying our local democracy and shielding City Hall from the grip of powerful special interests, including corporate landlords, wealthy developers, city contractors, tech executives, and their lobbyists.
The significance of this victory lies in the assurance that future fundraising by City officials will be subject to appropriate restrictions, putting an end to the potential for corruption at City Hall. The memo boldly confronts the campaign finance discrepancies observed during the 2022 elections, effectively closing the loophole that allowed a political action committee led by former Mayor Liccardo and his chief of staff, Jim Reed, to exploit our local election laws.
During the 2022 elections, former Mayor Liccardo and Jim Reed amassed an astounding $1.5 million, exceeding the local campaign finance limits. Their political action committee accepted unlimited contributions from corporate landlords, developers, and tech executives, manipulating mayoral and City Council races. For instance, Legacy Partners, a major landlord co-founded by a relative of Mayor Mahan, donated over $200,000, raising ethical concerns within City Hall, especially since Reed now serves as the current Mayor’s chief of staff.
With the passage of this crucial memo, the days of unchecked fundraising by City officials are over. We now stand resolute in ensuring that future fundraising endeavors by City officials will be bound by necessary restrictions, leaving no room for doubt or potential corruption at City Hall.
This victory is a testament to the strength of our unity and our unwavering commitment to the principles of fairness and transparency. By coming together and engaging as a community, we have made a tangible impact on our local democracy. This triumph highlights the power of collective action and the importance of safeguarding the integrity of our electoral process.
Our journey doesn’t end here. We must remain vigilant and continue to actively participate in civic affairs to create a brighter, more just future for San Jose. Together, we can shape an inclusive democracy where the voice of the people reigns supreme over the influence of big money.