A local public access television show is changing the channel as a longtime political host steps away.
Terry Christensen, host and executive producer of Valley Politics, retired in May after eight years leading the show on CreaTV San Jose. He’s been an expert on local politics and public policy for decades. He’s a political science professor emeritus at San Jose State University, where he spearheaded CommUniverCity, a partnership between SJSU and the city on community service projects. He was a political analyst for more than 10 years at KLIV radio and was a member of several strategy task forces.
He won a lifetime achievement award from the state Assembly in 2020.
“It was just time to move on to other projects, and to travel that takes me out of the valley and out of touch with local politics,” Christensen told San José Spotlight. “I will continue to observe and engage with politics in the valley both as an academic and advocate.”
As host of Valley Politics, Christensen interviewed guests across dozens of episodes, including San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan, former Mayor Sam Liccardo and Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez. During his last episode in May, he talked to Jessica Paz-Cedillos and Vanessa Shieh, co-executive directors of the School of Arts and Culture, about their La Avenida Project, a proposal to construct affordable housing, space for local businesses and social service agencies near the Mexican Heritage Plaza.
When reflecting on the show’s impact, Christensen is especially proud of the Valley Politics History Interviews, showcasing local figures like Silicon Valley philanthropist and legendary housing developer Charles W. Davidson, former Santa Clara County Supervisor Dianne McKenna and former state Sen. Dan McCorquodale, who committed their lives to local politics and development.
Christensen has hosted and produced Valley Politics since it started in 2015. CreaTV CEO Chad Johnston is rumored to replace Christensen as the show’s host, but details haven’t been finalized. More information will be shared in the coming weeks, Johnston told San José Spotlight.
Regardless of how the show moves forward, Christensen hopes it continues addressing the shortage in coverage of local politics.
“Valley Politics has an important role to play in letting local leaders and activists tell their stories—and record them for history,” he said.
Contact Rashel Chipi at [email protected].