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Mercury News Endorsement: District 10 - Arjun Batra



The Mercury News endorses Arjun Batra for San Jose City Council

Before COVID, plans for San Jose’s future focused on commercial office growth in an effort to tap into Silicon Valley’s economic engine. But times have changed. Old priorities are taking on new urgency. It’s still about growth, but there’s more emphasis on housing to make the city more affordable for workers, populate downtown to bolster the city’s economy and shelter the unhoused.



San Jose needs leaders who see the city’s future promise and understand its challenges. In a time of rising needs and dwindling resources, the moment demands a careful, thoughtful approach from city leaders. In the March 5 election, San Jose voters will have a chance to pick those leaders, including the mayor and five of the 10 city councilmembers. Here are our recommendations.

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Mahan was halfway through his City Council term representing Almaden Valley’s District 10 when he was elected mayor in 2022. To fill the vacancy, the county appointed Arjun Batra, who voters should now support for a full term.


A former Intel Corp. executive, Batra has used his time on the council well, developing an understanding of San Jose’s knottiest challenges. He supports Mahan’s emphasis on interim housing over building affordable homes, reasoning that the current homeless crisis cannot wait years for expensive housing for a few people. However, he warns that temporary housing brings its own risks, since operating costs can spiral upward over time.


Batra also believes it’s time to re-examine the BART extension to Santa Clara, noting that the region and the project’s costs have changed dramatically since the plan was designed. Finally, he warns against converting high-vacancy office space into housing without serious consideration.


Batra came better prepared to discuss the city’s challenges than his two opponents, George Casey, a land use attorney and city planning commissioner, and Lenka Wright, who has been a spokesperson for five cities over the past 17 years, including five years for San Jose.


Batra is the candidate ready to address the city’s complex issues. Voters in District 10 should give him a full term on the City Council.


Read the original publication in The Mercury News here.

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