Getting to know the Santa Clara City Council candidates
The Santa Clara Weekly is running a series of profiles on political candidates in the November election -- this article focuses on city council Seat 4 candidate Markus Bracamonte.
By David Alexander

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Getting to know the Santa Clara City Council candidates

Markus Bracamonte wants to represent you on the Santa Clara City Council.

A newcomer to the political scene, Bracamonte, 22, is a graduate of Santa Clara High School. He works as a groundskeeper for the city of Sunnyvale and has finished his first year pursuing an Associate’s degree in political science and government from De Anza College in Cupertino.

Bracamonte is one of four candidates vying for the seat vacated by Councilmember Jerry Marsalli, who will not seek re-election following his cancer diagnosis.

His impetus for running, Bracamonte said, is to get involved in politics early to ensure “his generation has a place” in Santa Clara.

“Our voices aren’t being heard,” he said. “I feel like our voice should be heard now. So, if I can get in there and voice our opinions, just the opinions of all people, that’s where I will get my experience.”

“I feel like I have failed my city by not doing my part to ensure a great future for our city. I want to change that,” he added. “Change is good. Progress is good.”

However, his focus isn’t only on Santa Clara’s youth; he said understanding the city’s history is important too. As a third generation Santa Claran, he said he wants Santa Clara to be the kind of place where people want to retire. Members of the older generations don’t likely understand the struggles of Santa Clara’s youth, he said.

With the Bay Area’s cost of living soaring, he said there are many “roadblocks” to young people establishing themselves as members of the community. It is harder for them to be free of debt if they attend college. It is harder to buy a home. It is harder to provide for a family.

“I want to get that on the table. I want to work together as a Council -- open their eyes. I want to kind of get those ideas jogging in their heads and work on solutions,” he said.

He said thinks there are three areas the council should focus on: entertainment, housing and business. Those three elements help “harmonize” a community, and Bracamonte said those three areas are currently at an “imbalance.” Right now, rezoning has created too much housing and too little affordable entertainment, he said.

The Council should increase the amount of mixed-use developments, he said. He said he is “working on a plan” to balance these three aspects of the city to ensure the city can add housing to bring costs down without sacrificing the other two aspects of development. When people live, work and play in the same area, it also helps reduce the impact traffic has on the city and the environment, he added.

As the former captain of the Santa Clara High School hockey team, Bracamonte said he has always wanted to be a leader. He knows what it’s like to persevere through adversity. Losing his eye to cancer has colored how he sees challenges.

“I have a different perspective on life itself. I have a different outlook on life. I appreciate it more,” he said. “Every decision you make affects the residents, affects the city, environment somehow. You have to be extra cautious.”