By Robert Haugh
From the political mail we’ve seen, all the candidates think they’re well qualified. Some of them have more experience than others. Some of them have lived in the district longer than their opponents.
One major issue that divides them all is the weekday stadium curfew that Jed York and the 49ers want to change. They want more revenue from concerts that go past 10 p.m. on the weekday. That’s something that’s been in place since the stadium opened to protect neighborhoods.
The team and candidates Jed is supporting says it means more revenue for the City. The problem is that it doesn’t. We’ve written about this before. The 49ers won’t give the city info they’re legally required to by agreements. So no one knows if an event makes money.
Here’s our breakdown of each race.
Kathy Watanabe — ballot statement
Harbir Bhatia — ballot statement
The choice is clear. Kathy Watanabe is the first person to represent the Northside. Watanabe has really delivered a lot when it comes to parks, libraries and protecting neighborhoods around the stadium.
The challenger, Harbir Bhatia, is currently being investigated for failing to register as a lobbyist for developer SiliconSage and other Santa Clara developments. (We’ve written about it before). Bhatia supports York’s plan to get rid of the curfew. That would hurt Northside neighborhoods.
Teresa O’Neill — ballot statement
Kevin Park — ballot statement
Teresa O’Neill has been a leader on both City issues and regional issues. She was the first Santa Claran to chair the VTA. She’s really pushed for affordable housing and help for residents during the pandemic.
Kevin Park is running again. He runs every couple of years. But Park hasn’t done much in the community. There are no reports of him helping people during the pandemic. Park supports York’s plan to get rid of the curfew.
Bob O’Keefe — ballot statement
Suds Jain — ballot statement
Bob O’Keefe has been an active leader in the Old Quad for a long time. O’Keefe is the only candidate who can legally vote on downtown developments and Santa Clara University issues.
Suds Jain has been dishonest with voters. Suds wrote an email on October 5 to the City saying he knew he could not vote on downtown issues. Three days later, in a videotaped forum, he told the public he could … Jain supports York’s plan to get rid of the curfew.
Gautam “Gary” Barve — ballot statement
Anthony Becker — ballot statement
Rob Mezzetti — ballot statement
Gary Barve has never run for office before and he’s only lived in the district about five months. He hasn’t done much in the community.
This is Anthony Becker’s third run for office in three election cycles. Becker moved into District 6 to run. He’s only lived in the district for about seven months and doesn’t have deep roots. Becker supports York on his plan to get rid of the curfew.
Rob Mezzetti is known for representing his clients well, especially survivors of sexual abuse. His professional expertise will come in handy, especially since the 49ers have sued the City seven times.