July 3, 2023. San Jose Spotlight

Alex Shoor began working in San Jose city politics more than a decade ago. Now, he’s moving his political agenda forward by running for office.

Shoor, executive director of Catalyze SV, an organization that works with residents and community leaders on transportation and housing solutions, is running for the San Jose City Council District 6 seat. His platform is focused on better housing policy. He hopes to replace current Councilmember Dev Davis, who terms out in 2024. District 6 encompasses Willow Glen, Santana Row, The Alameda and parts of downtown.

“I’ve never felt a sense of belonging and community (the way I do) here,” Shoor told San José Spotlight. “I want others to feel that feeling as well… for me, the unifying theme of my campaign is going to be building community.”

Shoor said affordable housing and development will be one of his top priorities should he win. He has been a recognizable force in helping shape housing policy in the Bay Area. Shoor previously worked with VTA to help extend BART into Silicon Valley in 2019 at Katz & Associates, a communications and public engagement consulting firm in North San Jose, according to Catalyze SV.

Shoor serves on the San Jose Housing and Community Development Commission, where he has been on the commission for eight years. The 14- member commission makes recommendations to the housing director, city council and mayor. In 2021, he helped rename a portion of Bird Avenue in San Jose to Barack Obama Boulevard, in honor of the former president, and in 2018 he helped create a farmers market in the Rose Garden area.

Shoor said his years of experience with housing and development policy, as well as advocacy work in different communities, gives him insight into city processes that could prove essential on the council.

“Helping people is in my blood,” Shoor said. “It’s about making the biggest impact I can.”

Shoor, 41, grew up in Santa Clara County and comes from a family working with the public—doctors and teachers—which he said propelled him into being civically engaged.

He’s the second person to jump into the race following Olivia Navarro, whose husband, Ruben Navarro, unsuccessfully ran for the seat in 2016 and 2020. Olivia Navarro, an insurance agent who unsuccessfully ran for a San Jose Unified School District board seat in 2016, did not respond to a request for comment.

Pierluigi Oliverio, a San Jose planning commissioner and former District 6 councilmember, is rumored to also be eyeing a run at the open seat. He told San José Spotlight he’s “more inclined to say yes than no” when asked if he plans to campaign.

Davis has yet to make an endorsement and told San José Spotlight she wishes all District 6 candidates luck in their race.

Ken Yeager, a former District 6 San Jose councilmember and county supervisor, is endorsing Shoor in the race. He said Shoor’s ability to work well with the community and other councilmembers will help him make strides on housing policies. Shoor worked for Yeager when he was on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors from 2012 to 2015.

“He’d be a perfect councilmember for District 6,” Yeager told San José Spotlight. “He works well with people and with organizations. He’s a consensus builder. He knows the importance of constituent work.”

Shoor will remain executive director of Catalyze SV while he runs for the council seat, but will step back from his responsibilities dealing directly with the city, including contract work and speaking on issues in San Jose. He will also not deal with development projects and policy matters in the city.

Contact Julia Forrest at [email protected] or follow @juliaforrest35 on Twitter.