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Councilmember 

Magdalena Carrasco

Magdalena graduated from Independence High School in East Side San José and had worked for this community for decades. Growing up the child of immigrant parents, Magdalena learned the value of hard work and community service at a young age, a value that has propelled her to serve families, children, and this community her entire life.

 

Magdalena was the first in her family to finish high school; from there, she went to UC Santa Barbara to pursue her degree in Chicano Studies. Magdalena worked her way through college as a caregiver at home for youths transitioning from juvenile hall to the adult world. She taught them life skills, conflict resolution, anger management, and how to respect themselves and their communities.

 

After college, Magdalena came home to serve her community. Her passion for improving the quality of life for children and families led Magdalena to a ten-year career with the Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children Services. There, she served as a powerful advocate and spokesperson for the Foster Care and Adoptions Program. Magdalena has had firsthand experience with families and children in difficult home situations and has seen how violence impacts our community. In her role as a community advocate, Magdalena helped rehabilitate perpetrators of violence and supported their families to get the help they needed to get back on their feet. 

 

Magdalena also served as a Family and Child Advocate with First 5 Santa Clara ensuring that families understand the resources and services available for children 0-5, a critical time for early childhood development. The work was instrumental in identifying infants and pre-schoolers who needed additional support and who were lost in the educational system. Her work was recognized by Governor Jerry Brown when he appointed Magdalena to the California First Five Commission and the State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care.

 

As the District 5 Councilmember, she has brought fearless advocacy to shift greater resources and services to the under-resourced community of East Side San José. She has elevated and highlighted neighborhoods like the historic Mayfair, and Poco Way that has otherwise have been ignored. 

 

During her tenure, she is proud of the many accomplishments that have directly improved the lives of the residents of East San José and the entire city. Magdalena has championed policies focused on women and families, including the passage of the Women's Bill of Rights and increased funding for services that assist survivors of domestic violence. She has strengthened regional policies to combat human trafficking, addressed blight in our community, and secured city investment to create paths for good-paying jobs. 

 

 Additionally, during her tenure, the City has developed a refined clean energy program, addressed infrastructure needs in our streets and parks, and worked hard to streamline the creation of homes for residents at all income levels while providing enhanced protections for current renters. She has continued to champion issues such as wage theft, open space, transportation, and early education. Every summer, she hosts a National Night Out event, engaging over 3,500 residents to enjoy an evening of free activities as well as meeting local officials and other key stakeholders. Over 1,000 students walk away with a backpack full of school supplies every year, ready to tackle the school year right. And she has taken on the fight for equity within the cannabis industry, most recently the passage of the cannabis equity permitting program to ensure those who have been most impacted by the prohibition of cannabis have equal access to the legal and economic opportunities in San José.

 

She was appointed by Mayor Liccardo as Vice Mayor from 2017-2019, the first Councilmember from East San José in over 30 years. Magdalena strongly supports mentorship and representation as a key to a strong democratic society. She has successfully worked to increase women and people of color in our local political representation at all levels, continuing her belief that the true goal of a leader is not where you stand but who you bring with you. 

Boards & Commisions