San Jose city seal

Five San Jose Mayors to Speak at San Jose State

event poster

Free and open to the public, this will be the final Don Edwards lecture organized by Professor Terry Christensen, who will retire at semester's end after 42 years at SJSU.

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Five San Jose mayors spanning over 40 years of the city’s history will appear in conversation with Professor Terry Christensen 7 p.m. April 16 in Engineering 189.

“It would be rare in anywhere to be able to gather mayors spanning over 40 years of a city’s history, as it happens the same 40 years I’ve been following city politics,” Christensen said.

“We’re interested in their perspectives on how the city and its politics have changed over that period of time and of course on how well our local government structures suit the changing city.  Should we, for example, move closer to a strong mayor form of government?

“And we’ll be talking about some policy issues, too: pension reform; the perennial issue of development of Coyote Valley; police/community relations; adapting to diversity; the impact of district elections on city governance; the current political climate; and more.”

This will be the final Don Edwards Lecture organized by Christensen, a professor with the Department of Political Science who will retire at semester’s end after 42 years at SJSU.

“Terry was a great hands-on mentor,” Phil Trounstine told San Jose Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold. “He made local government understandable to generations of San Jose State students. That’s a real service.”

Trounstine, a former Mercury News political editor, co-wrote with Christensen “Movers and Shakers,” a 1982 study of political power in San Jose. He’s also a former Christensen student, one of many who went on to contribute greatly to our community and state.

In a column paying tribute to Christensen, Herhold summarized the legendary professor’s legacy:

“‘You should really think about doing an internship,’ Terry Christensen would tell one of his students at San Jose State. With those eight words — a seduction, a mantra, a challenge — he changed hundreds of lives.”