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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Local

City of Santa ClaraCandidate for City Clerk

Photo of Rod Diridon, Jr.

Rod Diridon, Jr.

Santa Clara City Clerk
22,424 votes (67%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Innovation – Enhance Transparency, Fairness and Accountability
  • Impartiality – Value and Respect our Community
  • Experience – Work Hard and Smart for Santa Clara

Experience

Experience

Profession:City Clerk and Auditor
Global Community Relations Manager, 3Com Corporation (1995–2001)

Education

San Jose State University for both degrees Undergraduate degree in Political Science (1993), Masters in Public Administration (2013), MPA was received Summa cum Laude with a perfect 4.0 gpa and the award-winning thesis-level project (1993)

Community Activities

Chair, California Ethics and Democracy Project (2007–current)

Biography

Rod Diridon grew up in Santa Clara County where he attended local public schools. He worked his way through San Jose State University earning a BA in Political Science in 1993, during which time he interned with then-Congressmember Norman Mineta. Rod returned to San Jose State and earned a Masters in Public Administration, Summa cum Laude in 2013.

Through the mid-1990s, Rod was a substitute teacher at Lincoln High School in addition to consulting for and managing political campaigns. Diridon then worked for six years in high-tech industry for 3Com Corporation, serving as their Global Community Relations Manager. Following this, he became the General Manager for the regional start-up of the FlexCar car-sharing company.

First elected in 1996 at the age of 27, Diridon served two terms on the Santa Clara City Council, and a term as Mayor Pro Tempore and Chaplain. Here, Diridon focused on policy work consistent with good government, the environment and job creation. Setting the stage for future policy, Diridon self-limited contributions to his own campaign for City Council and emerged as one of Silicon Valley’s most effective and creative policymakers.

Diridon was a founding member of the City’s Ethics Ordinance Committee and the Campaign Finance Reform Committee, which he Chaired. He proposed and guided into law an anti-revolving door lobbying policy to protect the fair consideration of issues. He then proposed and saw to a successful election, a thorough review of the City Charter to eliminate gender biases and conform to the Brown Act. As a member of the City’s Ethics Ordinance Committee, Diridon helped create a set of best practices and standards for employees, commissioners and City Councilmembers.

Diridon also proposed the creation of Santa Clara’s unique campaign Finance Reform Act that reduces the influence of money in elections, educates and engages voters, and provides a more level playing field for all candidates. The Act limits contributions and expenditures, provides late campaign fundraising blackout periods, reveals the source of campaign funds to voters and has sanctions against offenders.

In 2004, Diridon was elected City Clerk of Santa Clara where he serves as a member of the City’s core executive team. Here, he worked with City and community partners to fully implement the best practices set by the Campaign Finance Reform and Ethics Ordinance Committees through a robust 2006 Vote Ethics program. This program engaged voters to be more educated about politics and to hold candidates and politicians accountable to be at their best. Diridon was appointed to the additional role of City Auditor in 2007.

In recognition of the 2006 Vote Ethics program, the City of Santa Clara received the International Institute of Municipal Clerks’ first inaugural Program Excellence in Governance Award. Rod also received a City Clerks Association of California Award of Distinction for Voter Outreach and a Character Award from the Boy Scouts of Santa Clara County in 2007. Diridon has received a number of awards for his good government efforts, seen here.

He has shared this good work as an instructor in the practical application of ethics programs at UC Riverside’s master-level Technical Track for Clerks.  Diridon has also served on the Board of Trustees of the City of Santa Clara Library, the Board of Directors of KTEH public television, the Board of Fellows of Santa Clara University and the Board of Directors of the San Jose Symphony. He Chaired the County’s Young Democrats and was a member of the Democratic Central Committee for nine years. Diridon founded and was President of Opus 21, a non-profit corporation for young community leaders to support and fund the arts in Santa Clara County. He also Co-chaired a successful school bond measurer, and helped found and later Chaired the County’s successful Saratoga/San Thomas Streamside Trail Committee.

Diridon is 47 years old and owns a home in Santa Clara.  He and wife Sabra have two children, Avery and Rodney.  He enjoys writing and playing music, restoring vintage automobiles and volunteering for important community causes.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

City Clerk is more than just a job. It is an elected post that involves public trust. I have always honored the trust you have placed in me, and will continue to do so as your City Clerk.

I’ve been honored to serve as your City Clerk for the past twelve years and prior to that as a City Councilmember and community volunteer. In that time, I have seen the best and the worst of what government has to offer. As your City Clerk, I will continue to hold people accountable and expect the best for Santa Clara.

My vision is for a City Clerk and Auditor’s Office that continues to be well run, accurate and protects your public record. One that is responsive to our residents and takes the extra steps to look for efficiencies and save taxpayer dollars. And, one which has truly engaged the public through transparency and good government efforts, empowering people to make educated choices that best reflect their own ideology.

Santa Clara deserves a City Clerk who has a record of answering to the voters. Someone who will serve without a sense of bureaucratic entitlement, but with a drive to keep Santa Clara the all-American City that it is today.

As you consider who will best serve our City, please look at my record. It is important to know where I have been, so you know where I will go.

Thank you for your time. I would be honored to again have your trust and your vote in November.

    My best to you and yours,

Rod Diridon, Jr., MPA/MMC
City Clerk and Auditor

 

VISION FOR THE FUTURE

 

Innovation – Enhance Transparency, Fairness and Accountability

·       Fully implement, assess and improve compliance for the already successful new lobbyist registry and open calendar ordinances. 

·       Post statements of economic interest online for easier public access. 

·       Help provide higher definition online video streaming. 

·       Re-format the City Council minutes to make them easier to read and research.

 

Impartiality – Value and Respect our Community

·       Continue to involve residents and improve the award-winning Democracy Santa Clara program.

·       Enhance programs focusing on neighborhood engagement, citizenship outreach, board and commission recruitment, voter registration and voter engagement and education.  

·       Look for additional sustainability practices, such as the recent elimination of +85,000 photocopies per year.

 

Experience – Work Hard and Smart for Santa Clara

·       Replace the City’s aging agenda management system to support the earlier posting of agendas.

·       Enhance online search abilities and support the streaming of commission meetings. 

·       Look for opportunities to provide expanded access to City Hall. 

·       Consistently and systemically look for ways to improve the operations of the office.

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