Since Mayor Sam Liccardo took office in 2015, San Jose has thrived. In his very first year, Liccardo settled intense battles over pension reform with 11 unions, saving taxpayers US$3 billion over the next three decades and enabling the restoration of San Jose’s police force. Since then, he has led the most successful period of economic growth in the City’s history, announcing major expansions from employers like Adobe, Apple, Broadcom, and Google. Liccardo has also implemented innovative approaches to reduce homelessness—such as converting motels, expanding work-first programs, and building “tiny home” villages—while working with community partners to house more than 1,000 homeless veterans. Furthermore, he has helped broaden prosperity in San Jose by launching after-school programs in less affluent neighborhoods, providing jobs for 2,000 at-risk teens, teaming with community colleges to eliminate tuition for low-income students, and lifting the minimum wage across the region. Liccardo has also co-led successful measures to bring Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and other transit improvements to San Jose and protect its hillsides and open spaces from sprawling development. In 2018, San Jose residents overwhelmingly re-elected Liccardo, with 76% of the vote.
I felt this conference was life changing. I am truly inspired and am plotting both career and personal changes to live up to the great lessons I learned. Both the sessions and the networking were vital.