This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, host Gary Scott Thomas welcomes Sam Liccardo, the 64th mayor of San Jose, for an insightful discussion on technology’s impact on legacy and memory. Join us on a fascinating journey as we explore his lineage and the intriguing blend of Sicilian, Irish, and Mexican roots that converge in his family tree. During this engaging episode, Sam Liccardo delves into the unique leadership challenges he encountered, particularly those faced by mayors of big cities. A role often regarded as one of the most demanding. Yet amidst these difficulties lie opportunities for growth and resilience.
Tune in to this conversation filled with captivating stories about our past while providing thought-provoking insights about our present and future!
This episode is sponsored by:
In This Episode:
- Unity and Division: A Historical Perspective
- Technology’s Role in Remembering Personalities
- Candid Conversations with Leaders
- Ancestry Documentation and its Significance
- Debunking ‘The Good Old Days’ Concept
- Future Technology and Social Implications
- The Power of Mementos
- Transition from Physical Spaces to Virtual Studios
- Story Topping: A Conversation Killer
- Politics, Human Interaction, and Quick Connections
- Door-to-Door Politics: A Deep Insight into Community Concerns
- The Rise of AI and Trust Issues
- Resilience: A Recurring Theme
- Ego and Hubris: Obstacles to Scientific Discourse
- Housing Crisis: Need for Innovation
- Balancing Ideological Differences: Finding Middle Ground
- Pandemic Response: Challenges and Triumphs
- High Construction Cost: Need for Innovative Models
- Digital Divide: Bridging the Gap
- Leadership Effectiveness in High-Pressure Situations
- Name-dropping and Celebrity Encounters
- Future Political Aspirations: A Return to Public Service
- Free Speech and Diverse Viewpoints
“The reality is, you know, we’ve survived to this country because somehow or another, one generation or another found a way to be resilient and said resilience, and we gotta find again.” ~ Sam Liccardo
“I certainly hope that real human communication comes back into vogue because the trend lines are going exactly opposite direction.” ~ Sam Liccardo
“You know, there are no easy solutions to a lot of these complex urban challenges.”
~ Sam Liccardo
“You know, really, the best approach of all was just asking questions.” ~ Sam Liccardo
“It’s a terrifying prospect that we just can’t all agree on just a few basic truths so that we can begin to disagree about something more interesting, rather than the fact that we have to question whether or not, you know, whatever anybody said was deep, fake, or real.” ~ Sam Liccardo
Sam Liccardo became the 64th mayor and one of the youngest individuals to serve in San José, California’s highest elected office. A member of the Democratic Party, Sam was elected mayor in November 2014. He was re-elected in 2018 with 75.8% of the vote. After graduating from Bellarmine College Preparatory in San José, Sam attended Georgetown University, where he rowed crew as captain of the heavyweight squad. He graduated magna cum laude in 1991 and enrolled at Harvard Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. After graduating with honors with a law degree and a master’s degree in public policy, Sam returned to the Bay Area in 1996. Sam’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other publications.
Prior to his election to public office, Sam spent a number of years in public service, serving as a federal and local criminal prosecutor on a range of felony cases, from sexual assault and child exploitation to international narcotrafficking. Sam’s extensive work in the community also included teaching political science at San José State University, co-founding an innovative program to mentor children, serving on the boards of several affordable housing organizations, and advocating for several successful countywide ballot measures that are bringing BART to San José.
Under his leadership, San Jose thrived with his efforts by growing the economy equitably, supporting struggling neighbors and broadening inclusion, investing in youth, beautifying San Jose and advancing smart environmental policies, improving public safety, building a 21st-century transportation network, and embracing innovation in the government. Sam and his wife, Jessica Garcia-Kohl, live near downtown San Jose.