Innovation Dialog with Matthew Mahan, San Jose City Council and Candidate for Mayor

For the latest edition of Innovation Dialog Diana Ding interviewed Matthew Mahan, San Jose City Council member and Candidate for Mayor. Diana and Matthew spoke about his tech entrepreneur background and his teaching career and how his experience informs his tenure as an elected official. Matthew also spoke about his priorities if elected as the Mayor of San Jose, what differentiates him from his competitors and current policies that are not working. Diana and Matthew spoke about Anti-Asian hate crimes and what he plans to do about hate crimes if elected.

Matthew comes from the business world where he founded and grew companies dedicated to empowering neighborhoods and communities and holding government accountable.

After graduating from Harvard, Matthew spent a year in Bolivia building irrigation systems with family farmers to increase their economic opportunities. He returned to San Jose to teach middle school English and History in Alum Rock through the Teach for America program for two years.

After teaching, Matthew joined Causes, a startup and early Facebook app that enabled people to raise awareness and funds for their favorite nonprofits. Over the course of five years, Matthew worked his way up from Director of Business Development to COO and eventually CEO. Causes ultimately grew to 190 million users in over 150 countries, and helped individuals fundraise over $50 million for nonprofits in the U.S. alone. In 2014, Matthew co-founded Brigade along with a few colleagues. Brigade built the world’s first voter network: a nonpartisan platform for voters to discuss issues, advocate to their elected officials, and vote for candidates who reflect their values.

Matthew has long been deeply involved in the community. He has served on a number of neighborhood and civic boards, including the City of San Jose’s Clean Energy Advisory Commission, the Almaden Valley Community Association, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the District 10 Leadership Coalition, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, and San Jose Rotary.

In 2018, Matthew co-chaired the citywide Measure T campaign, which secured $650 million in funding for repaving roads, building police and fire stations, upgrading 911 communications infrastructure, and preserving the open space surrounding San José.

Matthew ran for City Council in 2020 for District 10 with a focus on improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods by making City Hall responsive and accountable, especially for public safety, infrastructure and cleaning up our streets.

Matthew has decided to run for Mayor to force the Council and the bureaucracy to focus on the key problems facing the community, such as homelessness, trash, crime and traffic, and to pursue common sense solutions that are both affordable and effective.

To learn more about Matthew Mahan, visit his campaign website.


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