Political first-timer Joaquin Jimenez won a seat on the Half Moon Bay City Council in the Nov. 3 general election. He garnered 61.4 percent of the votes for the District 3 seat, beating incumbent Mayor Adam Eisen.
On the campaign trail, Jimenez said he would govern from his first-hand experience providing services to essential workers and offer a perspective rarely represented on City Council. His leadership comes amid nationwide calls for equity for working families and people of color who have been especially hard hit by the pandemic.
“I feel very honored to be elected as the first Latino, Mexicano, to the City Council. I feel very grateful for all the support across the community, and it was support from not just the Latinos but from everybody.
“That tells me that we have una comunidad unida — a very supportive community,” said Jimenez by phone minutes after learning that the city clerk called the election.
Jimenez campaigned on the promise to advocate for the city’s essential workers. With his election, he hopes to champion more affordable housing and the preservation of open space by concentrating development downtown.
“People can expect the same things that I’ve been doing,” he said. “I’m still in the community.
“I’m around on my daily walks. I still want to meet with community members and address questions they have about my campaign,” he said.
Throughout his career, Jimenez has closely allied himself with a community he understands intimately: the city’s Latinos, who make up more than 30 percent of the city’s population. For the last two years, he’s worked as a community liaison to farmworkers through the nonprofit ALAS’ Labor Force Program. He co-founded the city’s Latino Advisory Council and, as a member, kept
Half Moon Bay City Council informed about issues in the Latino community, from affordable housing to the need for economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
His roots in Half Moon Bay go back to childhood. His family immigrated to the city from Mexico when he was a child. He attended Chico State University, where he received a degree in sociology. Since returning to the city, he has taught in the Spanish immersion program at Hatch Elementary School and worked as a juvenile correctional officer with San Mateo County.
Several members of the City Council endorsed him, including Vice Mayor Robert Brownstone, Deborah Penrose and Harvey Rarback, who was unchallenged in his reelection bid in District 2.
The city clerk called the election late Monday afternoon. San Mateo County will certify its count by Dec. 3 and the City Council will certify the canvass on Dec. 15.