The Latino Leaders Network demonstrated its convening power by bringing together sixty mayors from around the country to honor the Mayor of San Jose, California, Sam Liccardo, with the Antonio Villaraigosa Leadership Award at another edition of the prestigious Tribute to Mayors event.
The award ceremony took place on January 22 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Mike Ibarra, founder and president of Latino Leaders Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to “Bringing Leaders Together” to establish relationships of unity, referred to the event as “a breath of fresh air” that allows mayors to come together to celebrate their leadership and share their stories.
The Antonio Villaraigosa Leadership Award is presented to a mayor of a city with a significant Latino population whose work has demonstrated his capacity to articulate diversity in a productive and harmonious environment, characteristics that fit accurately the profile of the mayor recognized in this edition, Sam Liccardo.
Liccardo was elected mayor of San José in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 with 75.8% of the votes. He is a graduate of Bellarmine College Prep, Georgetown University and Harvard Law School.
El Sol Latino was present at the well-deserved act of recognition of this important leader and spoke exclusively with the Californian Mayor about some relevant aspects of his administration and his future projections.
Like other cities in the United States, San José does not escape the housing situation. One measure taken by Liccardo in this regard has been the “Tiny Home” project, which consists of building small housing units to solve the situation of the homeless in its jurisdiction. However, he pointed out that this project is transitional since his administration contemplates securing affordable housing with a budget of seven million dollars per year.
Liccardo referred to the impact that the expansion of Google’s facilities in a 6 million square foot space would have on the city, which he described as “significant”. This expansión, has caused justified fears among area residents because of its consequences on housing prices.
However, according to the Mayor, the agreements established with Google imply its commitment to building thousands of housing units, which also includes the payment of an “impact fee” with the purpose of ensuring the affordability of a greater number of homes.
Regarding his support for Democratic Party primary candidate Mike Bloomberg, Liccardo said that the fact that this candidate has done a successful job in “the most complex, diverse and populous city in the nation,” referring to New York, makes him the ideal candidate for the presidency. He pointed out that Bloomberg’s commitment to his city, obligues his own administration to setting high-impact, inclusive goals. “I want every one of the 80,000 undocumented residents of my city be citizens,” he said to illustrate his point.
The successful Mayor felt blessed in serving a city with a high Latino population, a fact that motivates him to do a better job. “I´m committed to make San Jose the most successful multicultural city in the country”.