Liccardo speaking at Facebook F8 2017.
|65th Mayor of San Jose|
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2015
|Preceded by||Chuck Reed|
|Born||Samuel Theodore Liccardo|
April 16, 1970
Saratoga, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Georgetown University (BA) |
Harvard University (MPP, JD)
One of five children to Salvador and Laura (née Aceves) Liccardo, Sam Liccardo grew up in Saratoga, California and graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory in 1987. Liccardo studied at Georgetown University and earned his law diploma at Harvard Law School. Prior to his election to public office in 2006 he served as a criminal prosecutor in the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office.
In 2006, Liccardo ran for San Jose's District 3 Council seat. After placing first in an eight-candidate June primary with 43% percent of the vote, Liccardo went on to place first in the November runoff election, this time with 61.3%. In June 2010, he won his reelection to the City Council with 80.16% of the primary vote.
As councilman, Liccardo advocated for more high rises in San José's downtown, including the construction of the $135 million, 23-story high rise at One South Market.
In 2014, Liccardo ran for Mayor of San Jose to succeed termed-out Mayor Chuck Reed. He placed second in a five-candidate June primary with 25.7% of the vote and placed first in the November runoff with 50.8% of the vote. The mayor offered policy suggestions in a brief book, Safer City, Smarter Government.
In his first year in office, he helped guide negotiations on an agreement with all 11 of city's employee unions that could save the city $3 billion in pension costs over the course of three decades. In the 2016 elections, voters approved the agreement by passing Measure F with more than 61% of the vote. This measure replaced a contentious pension reform plan, which has faced a series of legal challenges since its 2012 passage.
The city has engaged in a number of efforts to expand its tax base. The city launched five new, direct international flights from the Mineta San José International Airport in 2016. Large Silicon Valley companies, such as Apple  and Google, will also bring campuses to North San José. Residents approved a quarter-percent sales taxes increase in June, 2016, with a vote of 62% in favor. City officials estimate the tax will generate $40 million annually. In 2016, the San José City Council allocated $17.7 million of that new tax money to road repair, including potholes. In 2017, the Mercury News reported that Amazon will move its innovation division, Lab126, to San Jose's downtown.
In addition, Liccardo advocated for a half-cent sales tax increase called Measure B on the 2016 November ballot, which passed with over 70%. The tax is devoted to transportation, with funds dedicated to expanding BART, reducing traffic congestion, and filling potholes. Despite the majority vote, it has become a controversial topic throughout Santa Clara County as the tax measure has also attracted negative reception from Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, and Mountain View as well as San Jose Sharks Sports & Entertainment, LLC who have harshly criticized Liccardo with wasting millions of dollars on insufficient roadway projects, lack of focus on local transit and bus service, and insisting that the BART subway through Downtown San Jose be a single bore rather than the traditional double bore.
The City also launched a youth employment program called SJ Works during Liccardo's first year in office, with a goal of serving 800 youth and teens. In 2016, the City allocated funding to expand the program to 1,000 participants.
In Liccardo's second year, the City Council voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2019. This culminated a regional effort Liccardo began with mayors from Santa Clara County, including Los Altos, Mountain View, Cupertino and Palo Alto.
In March 2016, Liccardo unveiled a Smart City Vision, with the expressed goal to make San Jose the "most innovative city in America by 2020." This vision received unanimous approval from the City Council in March, and in June 2016 the city created an Office of Civic Innovation to meet its goals. Since then, Liccardo formed a partnership with Facebook to deploy the company's wireless, high-speed internet technology called "Terragraph" in downtown San José, and the City of San José launched a project to bring free wireless internet to two schools in San José's East Side Union School District.
Liccardo also advocated for ways to house the homeless, including rehabilitating two deteriorating motels, the Plaza Hotel and the Santa Clara Inn. According to a city staff report, such motel conversions represent a cost-effective way to house homeless households.
On Veteran's Day in 2015, he also launched a campaign to get homeless veterans off the street called "All the Way Home" with non-profit Destination:Home and Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese. One year after launching the program, the group announced it had found homes for more than 500 homeless veterans.
On February 21–22, 2017, after one month of heavy rainfall, Coyote Creek flooded parts of San Jose, displacing 14,000 people. Residents complained that the city failed to uphold its duty to protect and warn its citizens. Liccardo and other city officials accepted responsibility for failures in their emergency response, but also put some of the blame on the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
In May 2017, the San Jose City Council unanimously agreed to start up a Community Choice Energy program, becoming the largest city in the country to do so. Mayor Liccardo advocated for the adoption of a Community Choice Energy program as a way to take action against climate change while President Trump's administration turned back to fossil fuels.
Sam Liccardo married Jessica Garcia-Kohl in 2013. He was named for his paternal grandfather, who owned and operated a neighborhood grocery store in downtown San Jose, the Notre Dame Market. Liccardo is descended from the first Mexican settlers in the Bay Area, and is also of Sicilian and Irish descent.
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- "San Jose's Long and Winding Road to Pension Reform Takes Another Turn | News Fix | KQED News". Ww2.kqed.org. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Ramona Giwargis. "Air China gets green light to launch flights from San Jose in June – The Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
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- George Avalos. "Google and Apple seal North San Jose property deals, in tech expansion – The Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
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- Noack, Mark. "Lawsuit blocks Measure B funds". Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "VTA, BART agree on one-tunnel option for San Jose extension". The Mercury News. 2018-03-31. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- "Highway 85 express lane proposal divides Silicon Valley drivers". The Mercury News. 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- Ramona Giwargis. "San Jose Works gives troubled teens a second chance – The Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Koehn, Josh (2016-03-17). "Mayor Unveils Ambitious, Vague Plan to Make San Jose 'Smart'". San Jose Inside. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- "San Jose approves Smart City vision aimed at using tech to better serve residents – The Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Colin Wood (2016-07-05). "Office of Civic Innovation, New City Officials Help Further San Jose, Calif.'s Smart City Vision". Govtech.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Ramona Giwargis. "San Jose: Plaza Hotel for homeless housing approved by City Council – The Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Ramona Giwargis. "San Jose council approves using Santa Clara Inn to house homeless – The Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- "Subject: Funding Commitment to Abode Services for the Santa Clara Inn" (PDF). Sanjose.granivus.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- "San Jose, Santa Clara County Launch 'All the Way Home' to Get Homeless Veterans Off Streets". NBC Bay Area. 2015-11-11. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Kurhi, Eric (22 February 2017). "San Jose mayor: Clear 'failure' led to record flooding". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- Wadsworth, Jennifer; Koehn, Josh (1 March 2017). "Floodgate: How the Water District and City's Comedy of Errors Became a Local Tragedy". San Jose Inside. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- "Pizarro: It's a 'Valley of Heart's Delight' wedding for San Jose Councilman Sam Liccardo – The Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. 2013-05-28. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Scott Herhold. "Herhold: Sam Liccardo's roots go back to the beginning of California – The Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
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| Mayor of San Jose, California