Dev Davis and Helen Chapman are similar to the District 2 candidates in that they disagree on how to solve many of the city’s major issues. Unlike that race, however, the District 6 contenders can lucidly explain their positions and have a record of service that makes them both exceptionally qualified representatives.
Willow Glen and its surrounding neighborhoods are among the most politically engaged in all of San Jose, and a crowded, drawn-out primary that began almost as early as the presidential race has given D6 voters a clear idea of who they’ll elect.
Chapman retired after running a small business for 16 years and helping mentor youth for San Jose Unified School District. She has served on numerous city and neighborhood committees and chaired San Jose’s Parks & Recreation Commission. She has compassionate concern for the homeless and believes a solution to public safety issues can not only be aided by increasing the number of civilian community service officers, but also making infrastructure improvements to make roads safer for children.
Davis, a Stanford policy analyst by day, takes a methodical approach to every issue and has also served on a wide range of neighborhood committees, such as chairing the city’s Early Care and Education Commission. She has more conservative positions on rent control, minimum wage and Measure E, but these positions appear to be painstakingly researched without coming off as condescending. “People can think [dates and numbers] are cold or heartless, but I think that’s the most objective way,” she says.
The recent decision to build temporary housing for homeless people on Evans Lane offers a split in how the two women would vote on a contentious issue: Chapman supported the project, which the council passed on an 8-3 vote, while Davis says she would have opposed it in favor of building permanent affordable housing, which would have taken about six years.
Davis calls herself “socially inclusive, fiscally conservative,” which is certainly a trait that resonates in Willow Glen. But on other issues, such as the city’s commitment to the arts, Chapman has proven to be an outspoken champion. The pair also disagrees on how the city should develop into regions like Coyote Valley. Chapman opposes the urban sprawl.
Residents are unlikely to agree with either of the candidates on every issue, but at least constituents will know they’re representative is listening and taking the time to inform themselves.
San Jose Inside will be publishing endorsements and information on local races, ballot measures and state propositions throughout the rest of the week.