Anthony Becker said his experience on the planning commission, years as a Santa Clara resident and age have prepared him to win an election for the first time in three tries as he vies for a seat on the City Council.
“The City Council actually needs somebody that’s from the new generation that understands the needs for the future,” Becker told San José Spotlight Thursday. “It’s time for a millennial to take a chance and it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation.”
Becker announced Thursday that he will run for the council’s District 6 seat. The position will be open because Debi Davis, who has been on the council since 2012, is term limited. Becker is the first person to announce plans to run for the seat.
A 34-year-old content moderator specialist for Accenture, Becker has lived in Santa Clara for more than 25 years and graduated from San Jose State in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in radio, film and television.
The District 6 race isn’t his first dive into local politics. Becker challenged Councilmember Kathy Watanabe in 2016 and in 2018 ran against Mayor Lisa Gillmor. Additionally, Becker filed a complaint weeks before the 2018 election with the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury to investigate alleged mismanagement in the city’s procurement of contracts with PR firm Singer Associates Inc. The investigation was never finished because jurors struggled to get information from the city.
Becker said that having the City Council broken into districts gives him a better chance to be elected through a grassroots campaign. He opposes the upcoming Measure C ballot question, which seeks to reduce the city’s six districts down to three.
“Basically, people don’t want to lose their power on the City Council. They don’t understand that change is here and in the last election in 2018, it proved that it works,” he said, pointing to the election of the council’s first minority councilmember, Raj Chahal, and Karen Hardy, who ran her campaign with a budget of a few thousand dollars. “Measure C is anti-grassroots. It’s more about corporate money and developer influence.”
Becker said he wants to tackle the divisiveness that often occurs in council meetings and said the body needs someone new who will not take sides of anyone other than the voters.
“I promise you that my votes won’t be determined by politics or allegiance to any faction, person or interest group,” he said. “The only side I will ever take is the people’s side, the side of the residents of Santa Clara.”
A renter in Santa Clara without a six-figure salary, Becker said he understands the pressure and uncertainty high rents can cause. Becker said he would bring a new voice to the council in conversations concerning affordable housing development, land use and property tax policies.
He said he’s open to looking into rent regulations, safe parking locations for cars and motorhomes, as well as transitional housing opportunities — especially as someone who came close to experiencing homelessness due to the tight housing market.
Becker said his other priorities include investing in AI solutions for traffic relief, improving recreation facilities through park upgrades and bringing the city’s downtown renovation plans to fruition.
“Right now, we have a rare opportunity with leases on city-owned property expiring and enthusiastic groups like Reclaiming our Downtown and Parade of Champions that has already brought awareness to this dream,” he said in his announcement. “We can make it a reality; we need to act now, and as a member of the planning commission I know how important it is to our future.”
Contact Katie Lauer at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @_katielauer on Twitter.