San Jose voters should support Jake Tonkel for city councilor in the upcoming elections because of his stance on political contributions and his familiarity with local issues.
Tonkel is a biomedical engineer in District 6, and a San Jose native.
I found it progressive of Tonkel to decline political contributions from corporations, which often distracts local politics from focusing on the community.
According to Tonkel’s campaign website, “Refusing corporate and developer donations sets me apart from ‘politics as usual’ and lets me better represent the people of San Jose.”
The current council seat is held by Devora Davis who was elected in 2016. She recently left the Republican Party in 2018.
In his candidate statement, he understands that systems in place are not creating the solutions for today’s true fundamental problems.
He states, “Our city faces cuts to essential services, while tax breaks go to corporations, exacerbating our inequality and increasing crime.”
Tonkel considers himself an environmentalist and a social justice activist. It is important that even local candidates are willing to discuss and be vocal about topics like these, especially during these socially tense times.
Unlike Davis, Tonkel is a San Jose native, he has grown up here, giving him a stronger knowledge of the community. It seems odd we have councilors who are not native to even the state.
He has also been able to provide quality services without raising taxes for residents.
Tonkel understands that this city is one of the biggest and wealthiest in the U.S., and realizes it is unjust for many local problems to remain unsolved. He also sees the issue with gentrification.
In an interview by San Jose Spotlight, Tonkel said, “Is San Jose a city for all our working class families, or are we going to continue to build luxury apartments and to push people out of our city?”
It is important to me as a voter and as a resident of San Jose that we have more government employees that see the damage that has been done to local San Jose residents by allowing big corporations and real estate companies to buy in.