Los Gatos Planning Commission Chairwoman Marcia Jensen announced this morning she will enter the race for a seat on the Los Gatos Town Council this coming November.
Jensen, 55, who's serving her second four-year term on the Commission, said her decision to run was based on her belief that recent decisions made by the Council majority have taken Los Gatos in the wrong direction, and her commitment to assuring that the Town remains a great place to live.
“Los Gatos residents are entitled to a Council whose members will consider all consequences of the decisions they make and follow the policies already in place which are designed to insure that our schools, infrastructure, natural setting and small Town character are preserved,” Jensen said in a written press release.
Jensen, who also serves on the Los Gatos General Plan and North 40 Advisory Committees, will run against Los Gatos Mayor Steve Rice and Vice Mayor Barbara Spector, whose four-year terms are up this year.
During her service, Jensen assisted in developing Town policies and guidelines, including the Los Gatos Boulevard and Downtown Streetscape plans, tree protection and the Blossom Hill Open Space Study. At the end of Jensen’s initial tenure on the Commission, the Town Council, in 1999, commended her “well-reasoned decisions ... for Los Gatos as a community that provides an excellent quality-of-life for all its residents.”
Jensen said she has never run for elective office and has several endorsements she wasn't ready to announce.
In 2003, Jensen volunteered as a Raymond J. Fisher Middle School parent representative to the Excellence in Education Task Force. In 2010, she was selected to be a member of the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury, acting as Chair of the Cities and Special Districts Committee.
Jensen has been part of the Los Gatos community since 1985, living here with her husband, Leo Cunningham (Los Gatos High School Class of 1978), her children Ryan and Alexandra (Los Gatos High School Classes of 2007 and 2009) and more recently, the family’s mischievous, but beloved Westie and Nellie.
Jensen worked as assistant United States Attorney for the San Jose division from 1987 to 2003. She was responsible for the investigation, motion practice, trial and appeal of federal criminal cases. She tried more than 35 cases to jury verdict, including first-degree murder, bribery and financial fraud. She also litigated more than 15 appeals and argued in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.
Jensen also worked as a litigation associate for the San Jose law firm of Robinson & Wood from 1985 to 1987 where she specialized in insurance defense and she was a deputy district attorney for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office from 1981 to 1985. She was responsible for pretrial law and motion, misdemeanor trials, felony prelims and trials. She participate in more than 30 jury trials of misdemeanor and felony crimes ranging from drunk driving to rape and kidnap.
In her free time, Jensen loves Sharks hockey, yoga and fitness training, her vegetable garden, and everything Los Gatos has to offer.
According to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voter's Office, the filing period for the non-partisan race begins July 16 with the deadline to file all required nomination papers ending Aug. 10. The election is Nov. 6, 2012.