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Pamela Campos

Running for: 

Council District 2

Campaign Website: 

1) PAC*SJ recently released its second annual “Endangered Eight” list of the most threatened historic places in San José. Which of these places (including those from our 2022 “Endangered Eight” of which some remain endangered) most resonates with you personally? Which of these would you use the power of your elected office to address, and how? 

The Endangered Eight list is an incredibly helpful tool for advocacy to identify buildings that need community support to protect. From the 2022 Endangered Eight list, there are several buildings that have been part of my upbringing in San José, including San José Flea Market on Berryessa Rd, the Former San José City Hall, Diridon Station, Downtown Commercial Historic District, and from the 2023 list, the IBM Building 11 which is located in District 2, the community I hope to serve on City Council. I plan to work with our community and ensure we are preserving the historic buildings throughout our City that pay homage to the rich, diverse, infrastructure that tells the story of San José from its time as an agricultural hub, to the technological boom that put us on the map.

2) Is there a historic place or preservation issue not on our 2022 or 2023 “Endangered Eight” lists that you would nominate to be added? If so, what solutions would you offer as an elected official to address the issue/threat?

The overall history of San José as the Valley of Heart's Delight has been long gone and forgotten. I will work to ensure our City parks and open spaces acknowledge this history during my time on the council.

3) In the past three years alone, at least six vacant historic buildings in San José have been lost to fire, and many more have suffered from chronic neglect and vandalism. Often, these properties were left vacant after former tenants were displaced in anticipation of future development that never materialized.  How would you propose more effective code enforcement and security measures to encourage better stewardship and to prevent the continued loss of our historic resources to neglect? What additional solutions would you propose to address these systemic problems?  

I support streamlining our development processes to ensure we are not leaving buildings abandoned and at risk of decay. Especially for buildings located downtown, with the extension of BART we can take this as an opportunity to revitalize our buildings in a manner that preserves their historic significance and livens up the architecture with retail, housing, and other essential uses. I’ve traveled to other countries, especially Mexico, where I have seen historic architecture repurposed for modern-day use. This is what I propose to ensure we are avoiding neglect and vandalism of our historic infrastructure.

4) Do you believe the City should require compensatory mitigation fees and/or surety bonds from developers who request and receive entitlements to alter or demolish historic resources?  If such policies are instituted and enforced, how would you like to see those funds directed? 

Yes, I agree that surety bonds would be helpful for our community to guarantee the work they are beginning gets completed. In my opinion, those funds should be redirected to our parks and open spaces.

5) The City has long acknowledged that its Historic Resources Inventory-- a citywide survey of historic sites intended to proactively guide development decisions-- is incomplete and out-of-date. Do you support increased City funding and staffing levels to ensure that the HRI is an up-to-date and effective planning tool for communities and developers alike?

Yes, I agree that our city must fund the HRI and I support increased city funding and staffing to ensure HRI is a transparent and effective resource that is kept up to date for community members and developers to use when making land use decisions.

6) San José has yet to receive final approval for its State-mandated Housing Element, and is therefore currently subject to the “Builder’s Remedy” law requiring streamlined approval of otherwise non-conforming residential development projects. How would you help ensure that citizens continue to have a voice in developments that might threaten the character and livability of their neighborhoods, particularly if there are historic resources at risk? 

I would work with state legislators to ensure they are aware of the implications of the SB35. TO address the concerns with development projects, I will work with residents and write opinion pieces that engage our community to take action.

7) City park lands are a critical resource for the people of San José and are potential receiver sites for distinctive historic buildings that must be relocated to make way for new developments.  Would you support this as a mitigation measure for new developments with historic resources that would otherwise be demolished? How do you envision that these resources could be best utilized within the parks for the benefit of the public?

Access to green spaces is incredibly important, especially as the city is being developed with more buildings and infrastructure. I don’t agree that city parks would be the best location for holding historic building, however, in partnership with county, state, and our national park system, I believe we can find land where more visitors can appreciate our historic buildings when they must be transferred from their original site.


8) In 2022 California passed SB9, which allows by-right redevelopment of up to four new units on most R1 (single-family-zoned) parcels statewide, but exempted historic properties, historic districts, and R2 (duplex-zoned) neighborhoods from eligibility. In 2024, City Council will consider expanding SB9-type entitlements to include historic properties and R2 districts. Do you believe this type of development is appropriate for historic homes and older neighborhoods? Why or why not?


I am in agreement with the policy to expand parcels on .25 acres of land or more. Any parcels with less than a quarter of an acre will not have enough space to develop additional properties on site. Whenever possible, I propose we reserve our green open spaces (including backyards) by building up instead of out, which is what makes this rule difficult to implement as a general rule, and will truly require a case-by-case decision to confirm the best solutions to our land use.

9) What role do you believe that historic preservation should play in creating and sustaining a vibrant and culturally diverse future for San José? Is there a particular project or effort you have undertaken or would propose to undertake--either professionally or personally-- that best embodies your vision for historic preservation in San José?

The best way for future generations to know about the rich history of San José, we must preserve our legacy through story-telling and site visits to historically significant zones. One of the pieces of history that we don’t talk about enough is the multi-generational changes that occurred throughout out city, from once being the state capitol, to the supreme court case that involved President Abraham Lincoln and our Almaden Quicksilver mines. As a City Council member, I want to ensure every student has access to the diverse history of San José by taking field trips to our local history museum and Casa Grande, where they can learn about the mining that helped put our city on the map before the tech boom of the 1980s. In my personal capacity, I hope to one day produce a film about the history of San José to help current and future generations understand how much has happened to get us to the point in time where we find ourselves today.

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