Recognizing the urgent need for affordable housing and solutions to homelessness, Dave initiated a countywide housing task force – bringing together business, labor workforce, local government, experts, and the homeless population. This effort led to groundbreaking initiatives such as the $950 million “Measure A” affordable housing bond that Dave co-chaired, along with the “All the Way Home” campaign that he led, which has already provided homes to over 2,200 veterans in the County. In the Senate, he has passed laws to facilitate the development of affordable housing and promote local economic development statewide using principles we’ve championed here in Santa Clara County.
Dave was instrumental in rescuing two local hospitals and a clinic that were in bankruptcy, saving lives during the pandemic. His bill, SB 564, a law that was enacted in 2021, extended safeguarded access to health services during challenging times at both O’Connor Hospital and the Valley Medical Center and he has authored SB 636 to prevent medical coverage denials by out-of-state doctors, advocating for fairness in treatment. In the Senate, he’s secured state funding for Wildfire Preparedness Technologies and is working to improve animal welfare through the expansion of pet and veterinary care in underserved communities.
A dedicated advocate for public safety, Dave led Santa Clara County’s efforts to prevent gun-related deaths. He initiated the 24/7 Sheriff’s program for safe disposal of unwanted weapons, led the creation of the County’s first Neighborhood Safety Unit, with a focus on high-crime areas in San Jose, spearheaded the County’s Fireworks Prevention Ordinance as well as Safe-Storage Ordinance, and stepped-up graffiti removal.
When staff shortages challenged public safety, he worked to support the San Jose Police Department with County Sheriff officers, improved EMS response times, and chaired a successful public safety bond campaign in San Jose.
Dave authored SB 10, or “Melanie’s Law”, that will broaden statewide prevention, education, and training efforts to stop youth fentanyl overdoses and death.
Dave’s commitment to the environment is unparalleled – with a mission to reverse our climate emergency and restore the climate for future generations. Since before he was in public office, Dave has worked successfully to secure 300 acres of permanent open space in South San Jose—now known as Martial Cottle Park—by negotiating a complex joint funding relationship between the State and the County.
He led Santa Clara County’s transition to 100% renewable electric power as well as all-electric buildings, co-founded Silicon Valley Clean Energy ensuring carbon-free electricity for the region, launched the Silicon Valley Kid’s Climate Club and Silicon Valley Youth Climate Initiative, secured state funding for local STEM Education programming, partnered with Al Gore to create the County Climate Coalition, passed first-in-the-nation Climate Restoration measures at the local and state level, and has spoken in front of the United Nations and World Economic Forum to share these groundbreaking best practices, garnering international recognition for his visionary approach and contributing to the global dialogue on effective climate solutions.
Dave led Santa Clara County’s Gender and Ethnicity Pay Equity Ordinance, established the Anti-Human Trafficking Team, and championed comprehensive Title IX policy reviews for K-12 and higher education institutions. He has worked with advocates and survivors to introduce, and successfully pass, legislation to prevent online sexual exploitation and trafficking, including of minors, and provide avenues for recovery and relief for survivors, as well as finally eliminating the archaic “spousal rape exception” in California law.
Bringing his diverse background as a former commercial bank manager, sports franchise investor, and real estate developer, Dave has improved the lives of California workers and business owners. He helped launch programs like the Silicon Valley Small Business Development Center, initiated the Santa Clara County Labor Standards Enforcement Office and championed ordinances for pay equity, living wages, and preventing wage theft. His bills, like SB 740 and SB 745, promote green industries, ensuring a skilled workforce for a thriving economy while safeguarding the environment and public health.
Dave’s pursuit of restorative justice has led to groundbreaking changes in our justice system. Through efforts like the Santa Clara County Blue Ribbon Commission, his visionary policies led to the historic decision to halt the incarceration of offenders under 13 years of age at Juvenile Hall. This dedication has carried on through laws like SB 383, which has provided diversion programs and support for non-violent youth offenders.
Dave has been a relentless advocate for immigrant rights. He led legal challenges against the Trump Administration’s policies, successfully overturning DACA’s repeal in the Supreme Court, and spearheaded the creation of the Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations, securing funding for DACA/DAPA recipients’ legal services and empowering the immigrant community.
As a School Board Trustee, Dave revitalized plans for a new high school and played a pivotal role in an $80 million bond campaign, resulting in Silicon Valley’s first new high school in a quarter-century. In 2022, he helped to launch the Eastside Education Initiative, with a focus on improving college readiness and core subject proficiency for students in East San Jose. He’s leading efforts locally and statewide to support foster youth, close the digital divide, protect students with differing abilities, and combat our fentanyl crisis among youth and young adults. His brainchild, School Linked Services, continues to connect students and families to vital social services and counseling across 200 schools in our community; he has been able to expand the School-Linked Services model statewide through successful legislation such as SB 1184, ensuring integrated data systems for local students to connect to mental health services, and state funding of over $200,000,000 to create school and county mental health partnerships across California.
His bill, SB 692: The Special Education Inclusion Act, was signed into law to support students with different abilities and he has expanded local programs that provide lifelong college-level education for adults with disabilities, fostering growth and workforce opportunities.