The San José Mercury News published one final editorial in support of our campaign. Read it here, then sign up to get out the vote this weekend!

Mercury News editorial: Teresa Alvarado better for supervisor

Posted 07/26/2013

Tuesday’s election will determine whether Santa Clara County is run by the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council or whether the Board of Supervisors will retain some independence of judgment from the unions that dominate its workforce and its electoral politics.

Cindy Chavez, former head of the labor council and its policy arm, Working Partnerships USA, led the field in the June primary to succeed George Shirakawa Jr. Teresa Alvarado came in 9 points behind, making her the underdog. But if voters have paid attention and come out to the polls, the gap can be closed. We recommend Alvarado for her intelligence, her grounding in the community and her analytical ability — but mainly for her independence from any powerful interest group.

Chavez, a former two-term San Jose City Council member, has the edge on experience in public office. But that has provided a window on the way she would operate as a supervisor — a highly political job, with five supervisors jockeying for power and enormous potential for backroom deals with minimal oversight. Alvarado wants more transparency in county government. Chavez does not.

This is not Santa Clara County’s proudest time. Incompetent financial oversight allowed Shirakawa to get away with crimes involving taxpayers’ and campaign contributors’ money, leading to his guilty pleas this spring to five felonies. The county ambulance provider that was selected in 2010 despite the deafening clang of alarm bells is self-destructing, leaving questions about emergency service and public costs. And enormous debts for pension and retiree health care plans have gone largely unaddressed in recent years.

The county needs someone with a fresh outlook rather than another member of the existing power structure. We hope District 2 voters agree Teresa Alvarado is the right person for the job.