Co-founded Catalyze Silicon Valley, growing it in 5 years from a group of a few community volunteers meeting in a living room to now leading it as Executive Director with multiple staff, a budget over $300k, 2,000 stakeholders, and a fee-for-service business. Catalyze SV works to get the community more involved in shaping more sustainable, equitable & vibrant places in our community (December 2016)

Tag: Community Engagement; Housing; Transportation; Equity; Sustainability & the Environment; Great Places; Small Business & Economic Development


Launched the effort to bring a farmers market back to Midtown San Jose, which opened in the Rose Garden at Lincoln High School in 2018. Worked with the West Coast Farmers Market Association, the Shasta/Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association, & San Jose Unified School District.

Tag: Neighborhoods; Small Businesses & Economic Development; Sustainability & the Environment; Community Service; Great Places


To make San Jose more affordable for renters, led the charge as a San Jose Housing & Community Development Commissioner to enhance rent stabilization measures in the City's Apartment Rent Ordinance (March 2016)

Tag: Housing; Equity


Working for pioneering elected official Ken Yeager, built support for creating the Santa Clara County Office of LGBTQ Affairs, the first office of its kind in the nation (proposed March 2015, adopted as part of budget process July 2015)

Tag: LGBTQ; Equity


Initiated the successful effort to get a street in San Jose named after America’s first black president, Barack Obama (August 2017 - January 2021) 

Tag: Neighborhoods; Community Service; Great Places


In response to a suggestion from a constituent who contacted Alex while working for Supervisor Yeager, collaborated with the Sheriff's Office on a gun buyback event that took over 1,100 guns out of Silicon Valley in 1 day (March 2013)

Tag: Safety; Good Government


Played a key role in a coalition of organizations and individuals seeking to protect & prevent the displacement of hundreds of small businesses operating at the Berryessa Flea Market, which successfully secured a better deal for these businesses as this redevelopment unfolds (June 2021) 

Tag: Small Businesses & Economic Development; Equity; Great Places


After Google first presented to Catalyze SV members its Downtown West project in January 2020, Alex worked with Catalyze SV members to ensure the project included community voice and benefits. Catalyze SV members eventually raised the project’s score to 4.43 out of 5, lauding it as a transformative project and heralding its community engagement measures

(2019 to May 2021)

Tag: Community Engagement; Housing; Transportation; Equity; Sustainability & the Environment; Great Places; Small Business & Economic Development; Neighborhoods


First raised by a Buena Vista neighbor in July 2002 in response to cars speeding down a neighborhood street, Alex jumpstarted the installation of a roundabout (traffic circle) on Leland Ave (September 2015)

Tag: Safety; Transportation; Neighborhoods; Good Government


In partnership with Dave Cortese’s Office and youth advocates, created a Santa Clara County policy that ended fines and fees charged to juveniles in our justice system and their families (moratorium passed in June 2016, permanent end passed in January 2017)

Tag: Youth & Juvenile Justice; Equity; Good Government


Worked with Supervisors Cindy Chavez & Ken Yeager to secure funding for an extra deputy sheriff to patrol the Burbank neighborhood, including to provide traffic enforcement (June 2014)

Tag: Safety; Neighborhoods


Since even before starting Catalyze SV, Alex has worked on ensuring more community input, community benefits, & housing on over 60 development projects, which includes 17,000 new homes, 5,000 of which are affordable homes (2014 to present)

Tag; Community Engagement; Housing, Equity; Great Places; Small Business & Economic Development


Collaborating with County staff and Ken Yeager, designed a proposal – eventually affirmed by the Santa Clara County Cities Association in November 2013 – to make it easier, quicker, and cheaper to install electric vehicle chargers during initial construction (supported by Board of Supervisors May 2013)


Facilitated 15-person workgroup called Collective PRIDE that designed and delivered groundbreaking LGBTQ youth competency training to 850 County staff and community stakeholders working in the juvenile justice system. 

Tag: LGBTQ; Youth & Juvenile Justice; Equity


Working with the Sheriff’s Office, advocated for the County Jail to set aside a section geared toward transitional-age youth between 18 and 24 years old to increase their likelihood of being rehabilitated, which they did (June 2016)

Tag: Youth & Juvenile Justice; Equity


Leading a collection of community members and organizations alongside the Preservation Action Council of San Jose in supporting the revitalization and restoration of the Burbank Theater (2022 to present)

Tag: Great Places; Small Businesses & Economic Development; Neighborhoods


Campaigned for the successful passage of San Jose’s Measure E to dedicate more funding to building affordable housing (March 2020)

Tag: Housing; Equity; Community Service 


Assisted Supervisor Yeager in marrying 27 same-sex couples on July 5, a record day for all wedding ceremonies performed in Santa Clara County (2013) 

Tag: LGBTQ; Equity


As a Shasta / Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association Board member, made the motion to dedicate $400 to paint rainbow crosswalks on The Alameda (October 2015)

Tag: Neighborhoods; LGBTQ; Great Places


Led partnerships with 6 organizations in both the artist/creative community & the Vietnamese community to host workshops to gather community input about the future of the area around Diridon Station (Fall 2020) 

Tag: Community Engagement; Equity; Neighborhoods


Co-led a coalition of nonprofit organizations that successfully ended the City of San Jose mandates on parking. This policy that encouraged more congestion and pollution, as well as less housing & community benefits, hadn’t been substantially changed since 1965. The new policy puts a greater emphasis on walking, biking & public transit (December 2022) 

Tag: Transportation; Sustainability & the Environment


Designed & presented – from 2014-2023, the last yen years straight – a training for over 125 community leaders in New Leaders Council, Silicon Valley called “Getting Good Policy Passed

Tag: Community Service; Community Engagement; Good Government


Helped conceive of Back Alley Block Party at Business Circle in the Burbank neighborhood (July 2016)

Tag: Neighborhoods; Community Engagement; Community Service; Great Places


When the County cafeteria was losing the small business operating it, introduced a new one who successfully took over operations to continue her business

Tag: Good Government; Small Businesses & Economic Development


Led effort to get anti-gay company removed from SJC airport, resulting in its contract not being renewed for two more years (April 2019)

Tag: Equity; LGBTQ


First at the County of Santa Clara and then at the City of San Jose, championed the implementation of a policy that temporarily reduces property taxes for owners who dedicate their vacant or blighted land to community gardens and/or raising animals. Successfully advocated for reducing the City of San Jose application fee for those applying from over $1,500 to $300 (County ordinance adopted Sept 2015, passed City of San Jose November 2016)

Tag: Sustainability & the Environment; Safety; Economic Development; Great Places; Neighborhoods


Ensure nonprofits are represented on the bench of community engagement contractors at the City of San Jose (June 2022 - June 2023)

Tag: Equity; Community Engagement; Good Government


Leading the public discussion in San Jose and Santa Clara County to require property owners who leave their homes empty for years to pay a fee that goes toward building affordable housing, including a resolution from the Santa Clara County Democratic Party urging this issue to move forward (2019 to present)

Tag: Housing; Equity


Helped Ken Yeager and Dave Cortese shape a Lawn Conversion Policy to increase landscaping on County-owned properties that use drought-tolerant, native plants instead of green grass lawns. Suggested to Supervisor Yeager a ten-year moratorium on water-intensive landscaping on County-owned land (proposed April 2015) 

Tag: Sustainability; Good Government


Project managed key elements of one of VTA’s most extensive public engagement efforts ever on the total redesign of VTA’s bus and light rail system, which smoothly passed VTA’s Board in a unanimous vote with key community support (December 2016)

Tag: Transportation; Community Engagement


Teaching cooking classes to residents of San Jose affordable housing projects (2022 to present)

Tag: Community Service; Housing; Equity


Co-led organizing of District 6 primary candidate forum at Westminster Presbyterian Church (May 2016)

Tag: Community Service; Community Engagement


Worked with the Volunteer Center and Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits to establish a Board Match Silicon Valley event (Sept 2015)

Tag: Community Engagement; Community Service


Assist transit riders and other visitors coming to the new Berryessa & Milpitas Transit Center navigate its features by leading the design of a VTA map of both places (2019)

Tag: Transportation; Good Government


Shepherded the process to create and make available apparel with designs that celebrate iconic places in San Jose, including the Rose Garden, Alum Rock Park, Mt. Hamilton, & Japantown

(2021 to present)

Tag: Community Engagement; Great Places


Advanced composting while working at the County. For the first time, secured district neighborhood Clean Up Day to include a compost giveaway. Worked with Supervisor Yeager to add composting of food water to contract with County’s waste hauler (proposed Jan. 2013 in State of the County, contract approved Jan 2015, service began July 2015) 

Tag: Sustainability & the Environment; Neighborhoods


Supported growth and advocacy efforts of new community organization Santa Clara Housing Advocates supporting housing for homeless residents (April 2023)

Tag: Community Engagement; Housing; Equity

To cut down on time spent in traffic and on maintenance of personal vehicles, championed a ridesharing/ridematching program to benefit employees of Santa Clara County (proposed Sept 2015, passed Sept. 2016)

Tag: Good Government; Transportation; Sustainability & the Environment

To make the County of Santa Clara’s fleet of vehicles produce less pollution and provide greater energy efficiency, teamed with Supervisor Yeager to ensure the next fiscal year purchase of vehicles included more hybrid vehicles that were 13 miles per gallon more energy efficient than that would have been purchased (Dec 2014)

Tag: Sustainability & the Environment; Transportation