Forward.

Dear Neighbor,

I want you to be among the first to know that after a lot of thought, conversations, and soul-searching, I am launching my campaign to represent our community on the San Jose City Council.

I grew up in San Jose, the son of a mechanic and a stay-at-home mom who was involved in the community. Though money was tight at home, my parents provided an amazing childhood, enhanced by my ability to play in well-maintained parks, learn in strong public schools, and expand my horizons in our city libraries. Our neighborhoods felt safe, our roads were paved, and there was a strong sense of community that tied neighbors together.

As a 4th generation resident of District 9, I care deeply about our future. We are living in a critical time for our city - one filled with opportunity and potential but also with its share of challenges. San Jose is now the innovation capital of the world, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that our city government is struggling to keep up.  

It’s crucial that our next council member fights to improve our police and fire departments, maintain our parks, and modernize our libraries. We need to continue expanding San Jose’s innovation economy, bring more high-paying jobs south, and support the small businesses that make our area unique. We need to ensure we receive our fair share of infrastructure dollars so 85 and 87 no longer feel like parking lots and our roads are no longer riddled with potholes. At the same time, we need to expand affordability for our seniors, teachers, police officers, firefighters, service workers, and more. 

Keeping our city vibrant and competitive is an ongoing endeavor that demands fresh perspectives, new ideas, and committed action - and I’m running to fight on your behalf for safer neighborhoods, stronger schools, and improved neighborhood services that allow our children, seniors, and families to thrive.  

I have a unique set of experiences needed to bring the changes we deserve to city hall. As a former middle school teacher, I’ve worked closely with families and learned how to collaborate, innovate, and meet high expectations. As an entrepreneur who built a cutting-edge startup, I’m well versed in how we can better leverage technology to deliver city services in more modern, timely, and cost-effective ways. From my current role at an education non-profit, I know our city can do a better job assisting school districts to ensure all our students receive an excellent education. 

As a member of the school board, I’ve demonstrated my ability to deliver results for our community. We’ve cut our dropout rate in half, doubled the amount of counselors at each school, and gone from 1 computer for every 93 students to 1 for every 2. We've invested heavily in our teaching staff, our test scores are higher than they’ve been in years, and we’ve increased access to career pathways like engineering and computer science. Big changes are possible in local government if you take a community-driven approach and operate outside of the destructive silos that have historically defined San Jose politics.

I love our city and hope that over the next year you’ll find my passion and commitment to community-driven action worthy of your vote and support.

This will be a highly competitive race in a very large district. Before I can bring our vision and passion to city hall, I’ll need your help to get our message out to over 50,000 voters. 

I look forward to taking this journey with you. Thank you for your continued support - together we will build a strong foundation so our children, our seniors, and our families can thrive.

-Kalen