As San Jose gears up for 2020 elections in its even-numbered City Council districts, candidates are coming out of the woodwork to vie for Johnny Khamis’ then-to-open seat in District 10 and to challenge Lan Diep’s re-election in D4. But all’s been quiet in districts 2 and 8, repped by Sergio Jimenez and Sylvia Arenas, respectively.
The same was true in D6 until this week when transportation activist Andrew Boone proclaimed his intention to run against first-term Councilwoman Dev Davis.
Boone prefaced his April Fool’s Day announcement by saying that it’s no joke.
The 39-year-old grassroots organizer—a vocal proponent of making Silicon Valley streets more bicycle friendly and someone whose transit activism has made him a familiar presence at many a public meeting from San Jose to the Peninsula—aims to push the 11-member council further to the left.
“San Jose has been so badly mismanaged for so long that it’s hard to figure out where to start to fix it,” Boone opined in a Facebook status posted first thing Monday morning. “Let’s start with poverty wages.”
The San Jose resident, who moved to the district from East Palo Alto last fall, says he’d like to see a higher citywide minimum wage (up to $25 an hour, to be precise), higher corporate taxes, more short-term shelters for the homeless and a stronger push for local policies tackling climate change.
“One key thing is to get young people involved in the election,” he says, “and that’s a wave that’s already rising—not from anything that I’m doing, necessarily, but something we’ve seen since the election of Donald Trump, and the children’s movement against gun violence and climate change, we’re seeing that happening throughout the country.”
Boone says he realizes it’ll be an uphill battle.
Davis—a Stanford University-educated economist and 41-year-old mother of two adopted children (a daughter and son)—is well-liked in the politically involved district and has even been floated as a potential mayoral contender in 2022.
A Republican when she won the nonpartisan seat in 2016, Davis soon defected from the party over Trump’s draconian border enforcement and positioned herself as an independent voice on the council. She’s aligned with progressives on certain issues—such as preserving the sanctioned campsite-for-the-homeless known as Hope Village, something Boone also supports—and has closed ranks with her center-to-right colleagues on things like rent control and other tenant protections.
Davis says she plans to continue her service into a second four-year term and graciously welcomed Boone’s challenge. “I respect the democratic process,” she tells Fly, “and an individual’s right to run for office.”