Defend the Vote Endorses Sam Liccardo for Commitment to Voting Rights

Defend the Vote Endorses Sam Liccardo for Commitment to Voting Rights

Defend The Vote is dedicated to protecting voting rights, democracy, and the rule of law


SAN JOSE, CA — Today Defend the Vote, one of the nation’s leading and most influential pro-democracy organizations, announced its sole endorsement of Sam Liccardo for Congress in California’s 16th Congressional District. 


“The only way to ensure that our leaders are accountable to the people instead of corporations and billionaires is to elect candidates who will protect the freedom to vote and the rule of law and get dark money out of the system,” Defend the Vote Executive Director Brian Lemek said. “In Congress, Sam will defend against extremism and threats to democracy. We look forward to working with him to pass historic reforms like the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.”  


“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of Defend the Vote,” Liccardo said. “In the face of growing distrust, it is imperative that our elected leaders remain steadfast in their support for our democracy, and the institutions that power it. In Congress, I look forward to working with Defend the Vote to pass essential legislation that promotes democracy and the rule of law.”


Liccardo has committed to work in the House of Representatives on protecting and expanding the right to vote, ending dark money, and ensuring democracy works for everyone. He supports the Freedom to Vote Act and John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act as well as funding for local election workers to run safe and accessible elections without threat of harassment or intimidation and to prevent the spread of misinformation. Electing him to Congress is essential to building a House majority that will pass legislation that protects every American’s right to vote in safe, accessible, transparent elections. 


Liccardo is endorsed by the NorCal Carpenters Union, Laborers’ International Union of North America, California State Controller Malia Cohen, U.S. Representatives Nanette Barragan, Tony Cárdenas, Lou Correa, Robert Garcia, Linda Sanchez, and Scott Peters, Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone, San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan, and more than 100 local elected officials and community leaders.  In the primary election, he was endorsed by the Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle.  A full endorsement list can be seen here.



About Sam Liccardo 

Sam Liccardo is running for Congress to focus Washington on the big issues like homelessness, climate change, reproductive rights, and the punishing cost of living. To a Congress that has been called the least productive in decades, Liccardo says “Let’s Get it Done!” on the problems that matter most to the Peninsula, the Coastside, and Silicon Valley.


As Mayor of San José, the Bay Area’s largest city, Liccardo’s innovative efforts to confront homelessness include pioneering the conversion of motels to housing in 2016, four years prior to California adopting it as a statewide model. He piloted the development of quick-build prefabricated housing communities that were constructed at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional apartments, helping thousands come off the streets. Liccardo also launched a successful program that employs unhoused residents cleaning the city in exchange for housing and pay (“San José Bridge”). Though San José long struggled with growing homelessness, it became one of the very few California cities to reduce street homelessness in Liccardo’s final year in office, 2022.


Under Liccardo, San José resolved chronic deficits, reduced city debt, and improved its credit rating, particularly through a 2016 ballot measure that saved taxpayers $3 billion over three decades. He took on the gun lobby and crafted a first-in-the-nation requirement for gun owners to pay annual fees to support violence-prevention programs and to purchase liability insurance. He launched San José Clean Energy for the city’s one million residents which now procures 95% of its electricity from renewable and GHG-free sources. Liccardo also led a series of successful ballot measures to preserve open space and hillsides, rebuild city streets and other infrastructure, and provide hundreds of millions in funding for housing affordable to vital workers such as teachers, nurses, firefighters, and police officers. Liccardo led efforts to expand BART and was part of the regional coalition that supported the successful efforts to electrify Caltrain.


Prior to his service in elected office, Liccardo prosecuted felony crimes of sexual assault and child exploitation in the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, and also served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of California. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Georgetown University. His published works have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other national publications. He and his wife, Jessica García-Kohl, live in San José.


About California’s 16th Congressional District


California’s 16th is an open Congressional District that covers parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, home to Silicon Valley. The district covers all or part of the cities of Menlo Park, Los Altos, Woodside, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Atherton, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Campbell, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Saratoga and Stanford. 


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These are difficult times. We need leaders like Sam Liccardo willing to think differently, act boldly and fight for us in Congress.

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