Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo taking on a new challenge

After 16 years with the city council, he’s joining a San Francisco-based public affairs firm

No, Sam Liccardo will not run against Rep. Zoe Lofgren in 2024, but the former San Jose mayor has a new job lined up.

Liccardo will join Ground Floor Public Affairs in San Francisco as senior advisor and counsel for California civic initiatives. Liccardo says he will continue to work on many of the issues he was passionate about while serving as a councilmember and mayor on the San Jose City Council for 16 years: homelessness and affordable housing, food insecurity, education, and energy costs.

“As mayor, you’re frequently dealing with the crisis of the moment — sometimes 17 at the same time,” Liccardo explained in an interview. “This is an opportunity to work proactively on projects.”

Liccardo’s job at Ground Floor will entail working on policy strategy and public outreach, as well as having conversations with a variety of business, nonprofit, and community leaders throughout the Bay Area about those issues and conducting extensive research — which appeals to his policy wonk side. Liccardo says his job will not require lobbying and that he does not intend to register as a lobbyist.

“We’re most successful when we’re able to bring nonprofits and private-sector companies together to really tackle issues,” Liccardo says. “Ground Floor has been doing that for many years.”

Alex Tourk, who previously worked in government for 15 years, including in the administrations of San Francisco Mayors Willie Brown and Gavin Newsom, founded Ground Floor in 2007. Liccardo’s expertise, leadership skills, and relationships, according to Tourk, will expand the firm’s vision for their clients and the Bay Area.

“We share a commitment to cross-sector collaboration to solve the challenges facing our region and state,” he said. “At Ground Floor, we believe that a win for a client is a win for the community.” Having Sam on board will assist us in carrying out that guiding principle.”

While the majority of Ground Floor’s clients are from San Francisco and San Mateo County, Liccardo says he will continue to live in San Jose and teach at Stanford Law School. He’s also made no secret of his desire to run for Congress, and in February, he polled voters on his popularity and called Lofgren to ask if she planned to run for re-election. She confirmed this. While he is not running for office this time, Liccardo says he is not ruling out a run in the future.

CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE: Expect a large crowd at San Jose City Hall Plaza on Friday for Fiestas Patrias, Mexico’s annual Independence Day celebration. The free and open to the public festivities begin at 4 p.m. with a flag-raising, lowriders, live music and dance performances, and plenty of food trucks. Whether you plan to celebrate or not, Santa Clara Street will be closed to traffic from Fourth to Sixth streets in front of City Hall beginning around 11 a.m.

Another celebration will take place at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in East San Jose on Saturday, the actual date of Mexico’s independence. This is the annual Chile, Mole, Pozole! community festival, which takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. and features Mexican food, salsa tasting, mariachis, and other live music. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth, and free for children aged 6 and under. More information is available at

DOG-FACED ACTING: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is preparing for its new show, the West Coast premiere of “Mrs. Christie,” but it still needs to cast Peter, Agatha Christie’s dog. While Peter was a wirehaired terrier in real life, TheatreWorks Artistic Director Giovanna Sardelli, who is directing the play, says the company is looking for a well-behaved, well-trained dog of any size or breed to play the pooch.

“Mrs. Christie,” a play about the legendary author’s mysterious disappearance in 1926, premieres Oct. 4 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and runs through Oct. 29. For more information, visit

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply