From redistricting to continued civic engagement of low propensity voters, we’re taking bold steps to nurture a more representative democracy for all residents in our region — where “pay to play” politics is a thing of the past and our government is responsive to the people.
Wealthy corporate interests have tilted our elections in their favor, giving disproportionate influence to large developers, landlords, city contractors, and their lobbyists. These special interests can write big campaign checks for candidates for Mayor and City Council in order to sway their decision.
We’re taking bold steps to change this and create a more representative democracy for all residents in our region — where “pay to play” politics is a thing of the past and our government is responsive to the people.
Following the 2020 census, we came together with a coalition of civil rights, labor, and community based organizations to ensure a fair process in San José and Santa Clara County, where all our votes would have equal weight and each of our communities equal resources.
Every 10 years, Census data is used to redraw City and County district boundaries. The districts we draw each cycle shape our lives — determining how our communities are represented and what gets funded, from parks to affordable housing to fire stations. Yet, nationwide and locally, we continue to see efforts by special interest groups and conservative forces to manipulate district lines and dilute the voices of communities of color, renters, and working people.
As a result of our collective work, we moved 1 million people into more representative districts.
Together, with our community and labor partners, we led the campaign for fair elections in San José, becoming the first city in the Bay Area to move the mayoral race to presidential election years — a huge step in increasing voter turnout.
In November 2020, voters took the the ballot box and overwhelmingly voted in favor of Measure B, a common sense reform to strengthen our democracy. Together, we rallied, fundraised, volunteered, and spread the word about Measure B, and we won!
By moving the mayoral election to coincide with presidential elections, voter turnout is expected to increase by over 30% here in San José, especially amongst women, people of color, and young voters. In fact, studies have shown that in California cities where the Mayor is on the same ballot as the President, voter turnout is more than double that of cities where Mayoral elections are conducted off-cycle.
We know this is just the beginning, and will continue to work together to strengthen our democracy and make our elections a more representative process for all.