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David Cohen has led a life of public service, championing those who don't have a voice and always focusing on bringing communities together, wherever he goes.

For more than 25 years, David has called District 4 his home, where he has been blessed to raise a family and does what he loves - make the community a better place for all. For 14 years, he served on the Berryessa Union School District Board as an elected trustee, where he built strong relationships with local families, teachers, staff and students. In 2020, he was elected to San Jose City Council, where he has focused on the needs of all neighborhoods in the District, from Alviso to Berryessa.

David earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his Ph.D from U.C Berkeley. David worked for more than 2 decades as an engineer in high tech, where he managed a global R&D group. He holds 11 patents and has authored several technical papers. 

With his leadership, The Berryessa School District weathered a protracted recession and was positioned to take advantage of an improving economy. During the pandemic, he focused on making sure all students were served through distance learning and had access to the technology, mental health services, and educational resources they need to be successful.

His focus on the board was making sure the District provided the best opportunities for students of all backgrounds to succeed. He led numerous programs and policies that have made the Berryessa Union School District one of the best K-8 school districts in the Bay Area, with an award winning music program, the only Mandarin language immersion program in the South Bay, social workers at every school, and excellent STEM programs. He also pushed the district to environmental leadership, by installing solar panels and introducing compostable lunch trays.

On City Council, David has listened to the input of District 4 residents and worked closely with city staff to build new parks, upgrade crosswalks, fix roads, and improve neighborhoods. He has worked closely with all the neighborhood associations and that is why their Presidents have endorsed David's re-election.

David serves as Chair of San Jose's Rules Committee, the Transportation and Environment Committee, and the Treatment Plant Advisory Committee. He is a Director on the Board of the League of California Cities and serves on the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency, the San Jose Arena Authority, and the Association of Bay Area Governments.

His primary areas of focus are homelessness and housing, opening North San Jose for development, protecting open space and building parks, and making sure San Jose is a leader in sustainability. He has been a leader on the council in passing policy memos, collaborating with all his colleagues.

David learned much of his public service values from his parents. His parents didn’t grow up with much, but did their best to provide for their family and showed David success and opportunity could be found through education.

David lives with his wife and their two kids, both products of the Berryessa schools. They share their home with 2 dogs and 2 cats. He enjoys watching baseball, traveling, and practicing his photography, although these days he currently spends almost all his free time at community events.

Just a few of his accomplishments:

City Council

  • Brokered a deal with the County to open North San Jose to housing

  • Settled lawsuit with Santa Clara Unified and began the process of planning Agnews Park

  • Installed upgrades for sideshow prevention at several prominent intersections

  • Protected Orchard School and the neighboring homes from a proposed overpass

  • Upgraded 5 crosswalks for improved pedestrian safety

  • Planted over 400 trees in District 4

  • Began implementing elements of the Alviso Park Master Plan

  • Protected the open space at the Noble Perc Ponds as permanent park land

  • Authored key policies on homelessness, climate protection, student safety, tree canopy, and abandoned vehicles

School Board

  • Started Dual-Immersion Programs in Mandarin

  • Protected Classroom Sizes

  • Preserved Music and Science Programs

  • Retained Counselors and Ensured Social Workers were added at each school site

  • Moved the Schools to Solar Energy

  • Secured additional dollars for the local schools through leadership on numerous measures

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