OPINION: Santa Clara needs voters, not dismissers

Editor’s note: The argument made in this article is not an official Roar endorsement of Mayor Gillmor’s campaign. This is not an indictment of any candidates’ character. Information supplied is contingent upon the rapidly changing nature of news and election versatility.

The mayoral elections play a significant role in the Santa Clara community because citizens have a say in what they want to see happen in their city. In Santa Clara, the main candidates running are incumbent Lisa Gillmor and current council member, Anthony Becker, who was elected in November 2022.

Gillmor, being a Santa Clara resident, has been serving in the Santa Clara City Council from 1992. She was then elected as mayor in 2016 and with her 30 years of experience, she has incorporated many impactful decisions. By initiating plans for the benefit of the citizens, providing food for the needy as well as partnering with nonprofit organizations, Gillmor emphasizes her commitment to putting Santa Clarans first over organizations like the San Francisco 49ers.

Lance Williams and Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the 49ers have donated $368,000 to boost Becker’s bid in order for him to become mayor. Additionally, they donated $380,000 to two committee council members, Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal, who are also running for re-election. The 49ers have been funneling money into these councilmens’ campaigns in order to stack the council with politicians who will let them do whatever they want. Santa Clara accused the 49ers of diverting stadium revenue at the publicly-owned facility, in which Becker led the effort to resolve contentious lawsuits that were between the city and the team. Gillmor, being a 49ers critic, was fighting against this settlement.

The donations given to the other two running council members, was reported to the Secretary of State’s Office, which led to a heated discussion between Becker and Gillmor. On Aug. 30 during a closed session, Gillmor and council member Kathy Watanabe argued with Becker about the settlement being a bad deal for the city. Gillmor and Watanabe both claimed Becker angrily cussed at them. Becker’s behavior is detrimental for the city and is not representative of a leader.

According to Carolyn Schuk of The Silicon Valley Voice, Gillmor has provided boxes of free meals to families in need and has partnered with other nonprofit organizations to help provide aid. Gillmor has also focused on Santa Clara’s homelessness task force.

Gillmor advocates for affordable housing, and she has received funds for the next two years for affordable and transitional housing. The city currently has ten affordable housing projects in working progress. Gillmor also supports the decision of having more access to different transportation. Santa Clara will collaborate with other cities to develop a city bus shuttle, with the assistance of council member Raj Chahal.

Due to the tension between the two candidates, the election of incumbent Gillmor and Becker will ultimately impact the view of Santa Clara. With the actions taken by the two candidates, it is important to see how their decisions have affected the city as well as how that portrays the character of the individual, especially considering the various decisions they are making toward the city. Santa Clarans need to make their voices heard in this election because who they vote for displays who they want to make decisions that will affect them and the city itself.