About David Cohen
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 the past two decades, David has called District 4 his home where he has been blessed to raise a family and does what he loves - making the community a better place for all. For the past 13 years, he has served on the Berryessa Union School District Board as an elected trustee, where he focused on building strong relationships with local families, teachers, staff and students.
With his leadership on the board, he helped the district weather a protracted recession and positioned the district to take advantage of an improving economy.
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.
Just a few of his accomplishments on the board: started dual-immersion, programs in Mandarin and Spanish, 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, and secured additional dollars for the local schools through leadership on numerous measures.
Besides the board, David has also served on the San Jose Library Commission, where he led as Chair for two years. He worked tirelessly to be a voice for local libraries and helped lead the passage of funds to ensure our local libraries stay open for the community.
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 earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his Ph.D from U.C Berkeley. David works as an engineer in high tech and continues to serve on the school board while attending local neighborhood association meetings (i.e – Berryessa Citizens Advisory Council, etc) to always keep up to date with what’s going on and making sure residents voices are heard.
Besides service life, David lives with his wife and their two kids, both products of the Berryessa schools. He enjoys watching baseball and practicing his photography and most of all, attending his kids' sporting events, cheering them on embarrassingly (for them) in the bleachers.
Huy Tran was born in Hawthorne, California to Hai Tran and Kim Ho, refugees who escaped Da Nang by boat. They made the incredibly difficult decision to leave their families behind, including their first-born daughter Doan Tran, to find safety and security in America. They moved to the Bay Area in 1986 to build their family.
Huy graduated from SJSU in 2005, but like many young people, he struggled-he was working, but became unhoused. After working shifts as a bellman or bussing tables, Huy’s housing stabilized and he returned to community organizing, including with Vietnamese youth and families in North San Jose, and eventually law school, graduating from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2012.
In 2013, as a former service worker understanding the legal challenges that many workers face, Huy and Tomas Margain founded Justice at Work Law Group, dedicated to fighting for San José’s and Santa Clara County’s working families on employment issues, including wage theft, harassment, and discrimination. Their firm’s reputation grew, earning a distinction as the 2016 California Senate District 15 Small Business of the Year Award.
Currently, he is a Steering Committee member for the Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition, Board member and past-President of the Vietnamese American Roundtable and served as an appointed member of the Housing and Community Development Commission for the City of San José.
About Jamal Khan
Jamal Khan completed his K-12 education in public schools right here in District 4: Laneview Elementary School, Morrill Middle School, and Independence High School, where he graduated as a valedictorian.
Jamal attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he triple majored in Economics, Political Science, and Rhetoric, and minored in Global Poverty and Practice. During his time as an undergraduate, Jamal interned for Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district office, the nonprofit transparency organization MapLight, and a bankruptcy attorney. He also completed a social entrepreneurship scheme in South Asia in a partnership between Tata International and UC Berkeley. Jamal had honors standing eight out of eight semesters, and was awarded the Travis Scholarship in Politics and Ethics. He graduated with High Honors in Economics and High Distinction in General Scholarship.
Jamal attended Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He served as the Managing Technical Editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal. He was also the Communications Chair of the South Asian Law Students Association and the President of the Muslim Law Students Association. During the summer breaks, he interned in Washington, DC for the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and the Office of Government Ethics.
After graduating from law school, Jamal was accepted into the Presidential Management Fellowship program. He worked for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the Food and Nutrition Service. Jamal worked on several policy priorities of the Obama Administration at the state level, including minimum wage, paid sick and family leave, voting rights, gun violence prevention, occupational licensing, and the opioid crisis.
Jamal was an Access Control Volunteer at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. He worked for the Kamala Harris for Senate campaign in its Los Angeles headquarters, and then accepted a position as the deputy digital director for the Catherine Cortez Masto for Senate campaign in its headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jamal moved back to the Bay Area and worked for SCN Strategies (now known as SCRB Strategies), a political consultancy. Last electoral cycle, Jamal served as the finance and data director for San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo's reelection campaign.
Jamal is the founder and executive director of the American Opioid Project, a crowdsourced encyclopedia of the opioid crisis that will help the public understand how the crisis was experienced in all 50 states from a variety of perspectives (www.americanopioid.org). He is the writer and narrator of the American Opioid Podcast, a research-backed fictional narrative that follows a single mom who becomes addicted to opioids after an automobile accident. A second podcast, Opioid Voices, will feature interviews with real-life individuals who are studying and/or working to alleviate the opioid crisis and save lives.
Jamal has worked in a variety of areas, but one unbroken thread runs through it all: public service. He is excited by the opportunity to represent District 4 in the San Jose City Council, and hopes you will join him.