Silicon Valley’s first all-day political festival featuring marquee names in media and politics for exclusive interviews, expert panels and in-depth conversations at the iconic Hammer Theatre in downtown San Jose.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Check out the PolitiBeat AGENDA


Legendary journalist Soledad O’Brien will headline PolitiBeat and share her thoughts about diversity in media, the 2024 presidential election and more. Don’t miss this exclusive conversation about the state of national media and politics. Moderated by San José Spotlight co-founder and CEO Ramona Giwargis.

Join us for a deep-dive conversation with San Jose’s 66th mayor, Matt Mahan, six months after taking office following a highly-anticipated and expensive election. Moderated by San José Spotlight City Hall reporter Jana Kadah.

Silicon Valley is home to an array of professional sports teams and premier sporting events. How does that shape our local economy and the region’s ability to confront crises like housing and cost of living? Join us for a candid conversation with San Jose Earthquakes COO Jed Mettee, Bay Area 2026 CEO Zaileen Janmohamed, San Jose Sharks President Jonathan Becher, San Jose Sports Authority Executive Director John Poch, and San Francisco 49ers Chief Revenue Officer Brent Schoeb. Moderated by San José Spotlight senior reporter Joseph Geha.

Join us for a wide-ranging discussion on the state of public education in Silicon Valley with Alum Rock School District Superintendent Dr. Hilaria Bauer, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Evergreen Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Antoine Hawkins, and East Side Union High School District Superintendent Glenn Vander Zee. Moderated by San José Spotlight editor Nick Preciado.

Is downtown San Jose stuck in a never-ending doom loop? We’ll ask the tough questions about the future of downtown — and how it can be revitalized — with an expert panel that includes Urban Community CEO Gary Dillabough, San Jose Downtown Association CEO Alex Stettinski, SPUR San Jose Director Fred Buzo, Team San Jose leader Frances Wong, and San Jose Councilmember Omar Torres. Moderated by San José Spotlight editorial advisor Moryt Milo.

From foster youth to formerly incarcerated individuals to struggling families, Santa Clara County is at the forefront of UBI — or universal basic income — programs. But does this model work? Learn more from Mountain View Councilmember Margaret Abe-Koga, California Sen. Dave Cortese, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Susan Ellenberg, and Destination: Home Chief Program Officer Chad Bojorquez. Moderated by KQED correspondent Guy Marzorati.

A candid look at the state of Congress with three of our congresesional leaders, Reps. Jimmy Panetta, Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo. Moderated by San José Spotlight managing editor Alexandria Bordas.

Get the latest legislative insights from California legislators Alex Lee, Aisha Wahab, Marc Berman, and Evan Low as they discuss key initiatives and policies shaping the future of our state. Moderated by Papia Gambelin of United Airlines.

More speaker and panel announcements coming soon!

The Business of Premiere Sports

The Sharks, the 49ers and Earthquakes. We love cheering on our Bay Area teams, but what’s the economic upshot from having premiere sports in the South Bay? What’s the toll on cities? This panel includes an in-depth conversation on the economics of professional sports and how Silicon Valley can cash in on the multi-billion dollar industry.


  • Al Guido, CEO of the San Francisco 49ers
  • Jared Shawlee, president of the San Jose Earthquakes
  • Jonathan Becher, president of the San Jose Sharks
  • Zaileen Janmohamed, president and CEO of Bay Area Host Committee
  • John Poch, executive director of San Jose Sports Authority

Fireside chat with Mahan

A deep-dive conversation with San Jose’s 66th mayor, Matt Mahan, months after he took office following a highly-anticipated and expensive election.


  • Moderated by San José Spotlight reporter Jana Kadah

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