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About David

I have lived in the Berryessa area of San Jose for over 20 years and have taken a strong interest in our community. I served as a member of the San Jose Library Commission for 5 years. As vice-chair of the commission, I led the Benefit Assessment District oversight committee, which ensures that parcel tax money is being used properly - to buy books, computer equipment, and support staff at our wonderful city library system. I helped with the Measure S campaign to renew this vital funding. For two years, I had the pleasure of chairing the Library Commission, and have represented the library system at press conferences, community meetings, and on television programs.

As a member of the School Board, I have been very active in our schools. I am the only board member who has made regular visits to schools every year, including taking the time to have lunch with school staffs. I was elected twice by my fellow board members to serve as President of the board during difficult budget times. I started a blog to communicate the district's issues with the public and to solicit feedback. I meet regularly with our elected members of the California Assembly and Senate so that they know how their budgetary choices affect Berryessa. Recognizing that we couldn't rely solely on Sacramento for funding, I was the key driver in getting Measure W on the ballot in 2008. The measure was supported by over 72% of Berryessa's voters, and provides our district with $1.7 million of local funding each year. As a result, we have been able to keep our libraries open, retain middle school counselors, and keep our award-winning music program.

I believe that it is important to encourage young people to develop leadership skills and a desire to serve the community. For over a decade, I worked with a national college service organization called Alpha Phi Omega. As an advisor to the UC Berkeley chapter, I helped strengthen their program of service. As chair of the section covering Northern California and Nevada, I worked with students on a dozen campuses. I facilitated workshops on effective communication, leadership development, creativity, and conflict resolution.

My wife Shelli is a physician practicing family medicine in Fremont. We have a high school daughter who successfully attended Berryessa Schools and a 7th grade son at Sierramont Middle School. Our family has benefited directly from the excellent teachers and staff at Berryessa Schools. We believe that diversity is one of the great strengths of our community and are teaching our children to be multilingual. Both our children are already fluent in English and Spanish and Mia spent 4 years learning Mandarin at Berryessa Chinese School.

I am a Chemical Engineer managing the Computational Modeling Group at Lam Research, a manufacturer of semiconductor equipment. I have a PhD in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley and a BS degree from Cornell University. I am a product of public education K-12 and know how important strong schools are to a vibrant community.


David Cohen for Berryessa School Board 2018
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