My name is Omar Torres: I am a Trustee for the San José-Evergreen Community College District Board of Education, neighborhood leader, and candidate for San José City Council District 3.
I grew up in a Downtown neighborhood called Guadalupe - Washington, a primarily Latino working-class area. My parents and grandparents worked at the Del Monte Canneries, and though they put in long hours, they instilled in my siblings and me solid working-class values around education, community, and hard work.
Since I was fourteen, I've been a community advocate. I helped organize my community after a tragic and fatal drive-by shooting that occurred in front of our local elementary school. Through hard work and determination, we were able to accomplish so much for our neighborhood - including the creation of a new youth center and library.
Since that time, I have spent most of my teenage and adult life advocating for our youth and families - through community organizing; serving as an Executive Director for a local non-profit serving Guadalupe-Washington families and the houseless; serving on two local school boards; working at City Hall, and building coalitions across our neighborhoods. Now, with the endorsements of BAYMEC, Equality California, HONOR PAC, and the Victory Institute, I hope to be the first openly gay Latino ever elected to San José City Council and first gay Latino to sit on any City Council in Santa Clara County.
Together, we've had success fighting for new schools, new affordable housing projects, new parks, new small businesses, stop signs, traffic lights, increased public safety, and more! We did it TOGETHER!
Our Council District 3 has been a tremendous catalyst for activism. The challenges we've faced have taught me not to sit down in the face of inaction from our government but to stand up and organize. We should expect more from the representatives we elect and strive for a government that works for all of us.
Together as a community, we have a lot of work to do. Starting in District 3 and across San José, we face dire challenges:
- Homelessness & lack of affordable housing
- Unsafe neighborhoods
- Economic recovery of our Downtown San José
- Essential quality of life issues ignored at City Hall; such as abandoned vehicles, illegal dumping, graffiti, and other blight.
We cannot sit down and remain silent: It is time for us to rise, time to stand, and time for us to demand action and work shoulder to shoulder to create vibrant and thriving neighborhoods for our families.
That is why I am running for District 3: to make this City work for YOU - for ALL of us.
I hope to earn your vote!