A decorated former Marine is eyeing a new battle—winning the District 6 San Jose City Council seat.
Amatangelo (Angelo) Pasciuti, 39, recently moved to San Jose after 21 years of military service took him to 35 countries. He wants to continue serving locally by securing the District 6 council seat, which represents Willow Glen, The Alameda and parts of downtown.
“District 6 is the most diverse, well-rounded and beautiful part inside the city,” Pasciuti told San José Spotlight. “I was out fighting for the principles and ideals, which I believe (in) even enough to be able to die for, and I wanted to come home to continue to fight for those principles.”
After retiring from the Marine Corps this year, he unsuccessfully sought a seat on the San Clemente City Council in May before moving to San Jose last month. Pasciuti was born in San Jose and graduated from Fremont High School in Sunnyvale before joining the Marines soon after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
His campaign platform is focused on homelessness, housing affordability and public safety. The common thread to solving these issues, Pasciuti said, is community engagement. He wants to be a councilmember who uplifts the voices of residents to understand how to better serve them.
For homelessness, Pasciuti said he agrees with Mayor Matt Mahan’s focus on transitional housing—but also emphasized the need to bolster long-term solutions – such as more affordable housing development.
“One of things the city is doing is direct engagement with the unhoused population,” Pasciuti said. “Metrics, data tracking and data mining is necessary to understand which (homeless solutions) have a higher efficacy.”
Pasciuti said he wants to create programs that support local businesses while also encouraging big companies to stay in the city. He said he supports a competitive market and wants to ensure there is upward mobility for all business owners. With that comes supporting San Jose’s young adults through vocational training and community outreach programs, he said.
The council-hopeful wants to work closely with police, fire and paramedics to resolve staffing issues while also building strong relationships with residents—particularly for police. Pasciuti said he understands the difficulties of being a police officer and making decisions under public pressure, because he faced the same struggles as a Marine.
“They have to engage in the community and at the split second they have to be able to take a stand or save a life,” Pasciuti said. “By the same token, there is a social contract between law enforcement agencies and their constituents—how do we continue to communicate with (residents) to show them that we are a member of the community, not an overlord of it?”
Pasciuti didn’t share tangible policies, but said he will release plans soon. He doesn’t have the same political experience as other candidates, though he just started a public leadership masters program at University of San Francisco and holds an MBA from the University of Southern California.
The race to replace Councilmember Dev Davis, who terms out in 2024, will certainly be contested. Alex Shoor, executive director of Catalyze SV, which advocates for more affordable housing, has thrown his hat into the race. Longtime labor leader Olivia Navarro is running and Planning Commissioner and former Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio may announce a run as well.
While Pasciuti may be newer to the political arena, he is already receiving the support of many San Jose political insiders and is rumored to be the labor pick.
Mary Anne Groen, Davis’ chief of staff, said she is excited to have a candidate like Pasciuti run because he brings a new perspective from outside of San Jose and his military background.
“It doesn’t bother me that he just moved back. Maybe we need that,” Grohen told San José Spotlight. “He is brave … he sees things differently.”
Contact Jana Kadah at [email protected] or @Jana_Kadah on X, formerly known as Twitter.