Mayor Liccardo is a long-time San Josean, and the 65th Mayor of our city. Since taking office in 2015, he has worked diligently to build a safer, stronger, and more prosperous city.
In 2018, San Jose residents re-elected Sam to serve San Jose for four more years.
Mayor Sam Liccardo took office in
- forge a historic pension reform agreement with 11 unions that will save taxpayers $3 billion over the next three decades, including more than $43 million this year;
- launch “San José Works,” providing summer and year-round jobs to more than 3,000 teenagers living in
- preserve nearly 1,000 acres in Coyote Valley against development, in partnership with the Open Space Authority and Peninsula Open Space Trust, to make San Jose more resilient against droughts, floods, and wildfires, to protect key wildlife corridors, and to provide trails and open space for future generations to enjoy;
- find innovative ways to house our homeless neighbors—from rehabilitating decaying
motels,to expanding work-first programs, to building “tiny home” villages—while housing more than 1,600 homeless veterans in partnership with the County, the Housing Authority, and Destination :Home;
- make Mineta San José International the fastest-growing major airport in the nation for two consecutive years, with six new international flights and more than 30 new domestic flights;
- pass the largest bond measure, Measure T, in San José history, enabling the repaving of more miles of streets and roads in 2019 (278 miles) than any time in three decades, and the construction of fire stations, bridges, and other key infrastructure;
- create after-school learning programs (“San Jose Learns”) and coding and computer science programs (“5K Coding Challenge”) for more than 7,000 children from low-income families, while expanding library services and hours in every neighborhood;
- facilitate the most successful period of tech expansion in San José’s history, by:
- landing major investments from corporate titans like Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Micron, Microsoft, and Verizon; and,
- luring fast-growing innovators such as Okta, Roku, Splunk, SuperMicro, WeWork, and enabling expansions of industry leaders like Adobe, Broadcom, Western Digital, and Zoom.
- concurrently lift the minimum wage among a half-dozen Silicon Valley cities, to $15 per hour;
- rebuild the San Jose Police Department, adding more than 270 officers in 3 years, while implementing data and technology—ranging from body-worn cameras to data analytics—to improve policing;
- make San José the nation's largest city to implement its own "Community Choice Energy" program, offering San Jose residents and businesses the option to power their homes and facilities with cost-competitive renewable energy that now supplies 80% of their electricity;
- spark Downtown's revitalization, using fee reductions and accelerated permit approvals to fill empty storefronts with restaurants and amenities, expand co-working space, build thousands of high-rise apartments, invigorate public spaces, and lure key tech employers;
- create a “San Jose College Promise” with San Jose City, Evergreen, and West Valley Colleges to eliminate the cost of tuition, fees, and books for 1,600 low-income students;
- pass three voter-approved ballot measures to bring Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to San Jose, expand light rail in East San Jose, launch bus-rapid-transit in Downtown and East San Jose, and recast Downtown’s Diridon Station into the region’s “Grand Central Station”;
- launch “#BeautifySJ,” to enable residents to reclaim their city from blight, using such new programs as free junk pickup service, a San José 311 smartphone app to report blight, neighborhood beautification grants, and enhanced response to dumping and abandoned cars;
- protect open space and undeveloped hillside from developers’ efforts to develop it, as part of an environmental coalition that was outspent on its ballot measure by developers by $6 million;
- launch a ”Digital Inclusion Fund” to close the digital divide, leveraging millions in revenues generated from agreements with major telecommunications companies and philanthropy to provide broadband access, devices, and skills for 50,000 low-income families
- craft San Jose’s “Smart City Vision,” forging partnerships with the tech community to leverage technology and data to improve safety and services, with the ambition of making San José the most innovative city in America.
In Sam’s prior public service, he prosecuted a range of felony cases as a federal and local criminal prosecutor, from sexual assault and child exploitation to international narcotrafficking. In 2006, voters elected Sam to the first of his two terms on the City Council, where he led efforts to revitalize its downtown, preserve San José’s hillsides and open space, create an inclusionary housing policy to boost funding for affordable housing, and open a world-class soccer stadium for the San José Earthquakes. He served as a founding board member of Cristo Rey San Jose High School, an innovative Jesuit school that propels students from low-income immigrant families to college and beyond.
Sam serves on a number of boards, including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Valley Transit Authority (twice as Chairperson), and serves as co-chair for Joint Venture Silicon Valley. He is a senior fellow for the American Leadership Forum-Silicon
Sam graduated from San José’s Bellarmine College Prep and from Georgetown University, where he was captain of the heavyweight crew. He received a law degree from Harvard Law
Sam and his wife, Jessica, live in the Northside neighborhood, north of Downtown. They live within blocks of Jessica’s childhood home, the home of three of Sam’s grandparents, and the neighborhood grocery store that Sam’s grandparents owned and operated in the
San José has thrived since Mayor Sam Liccardo took office in 2015. In his very first year, Sam settled intense battles over pension reform with 11 unions, saving taxpayers $3 billion over the next three decades and enabling the restoration of San José’s police force. Since then, he’s led the most successful period of economic growth in the city’s history, announcing major expansions from employers like Adobe, Apple, Broadcom, and Google.
Sam’s work to support job creation and responsible development in San José has always included an incredible focus on serving those who have traditionally been left behind. As part of his ambitious “Smart City Vision,” Sam strives to make San José the most innovative city in America while bridging Silicon Valley’s divide. Upon launching the nation’s first Digital Inclusion Fund, Sam’s leadership helped bring equitable access to broadband, devices, and skills to underserved communities. Sam’s “San José Works” program has also flourished across the city, providing summer and year-round jobs for more than 3,000 teens from gang-impacted neighborhoods.
As Mayor, Sam has implemented innovative approaches to reduce homelessness for vulnerable members of the community, including veterans, college students, and residents in need of interim housing. Sam represents San José on several boards and commissions—including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Valley Transit Authority—and effectively championed measures that delivered much needed transit improvements throughout the region. Committed to taking bold steps to protect the environment, Sam helped preserve priceless open spaces for the future and establish groundbreaking renewable energy sources for San José.
A descendant of Sicilian and Irish immigrants, Sam’s lineage also includes the first Mexican settlers in the Bay Area. Sam graduated from Georgetown University and later attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Law School for his master’s degree. After a career in public service as a criminal prosecutor at the local and federal level, Sam ran for San José City Council in 2006 and served two terms. Mayor Liccardo was re-elected with overwhelming support by San Joséans in 2018 and 76% of the vote.