Chuck Reed served as the 64th Mayor of San José. Chuck was sworn in to office in 2007 and served until 2014.
Chuck was born on August 15, 1948 and was raised in the small farming town of Garden City, Kansas. His family lived in a public housing project, teaching him from an early age the importance of government aide for working families. A strong work ethic was evident during childhood as he took jobs sweeping floors while still in elementary school. Chuck dug ditches, shoveled gravel, and worked in the fields before becoming a teenager. While in high school, Chuck worked part time operating a bull dozer and driving an 18 wheeler semi-truck.
Chuck left Kansas to attend the United States Air Force Academy and went on to serve in Thailand during the Vietnam War. He received a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from Princeton University and graduated from Stanford Law School. After passing the bar, Chuck began working as an attorney in San José handling environmental, employment, land use and real estate law, and commercial litigation.
Chuck’s success as an attorney gave him the opportunity to devote time to serving the community. He began offering free legal advice to tenants in housing disputes and helping local non-profit organizations. Chuck has served on more than 20 boards, commissions, committees, and task forces.
After two decades of civic participation, Chuck ran for City Council in 2000. Winning the seat, Chuck represented District 4 including Berryessa, North San José, and Alviso. As a councilmember, Chuck openly opposed issues that he believed were not in the best interest of San José’s long term future. He became the independent voice on the City Council and gained a reputation for his commitment to fiscal responsibility.
As Mayor of San José, Chuck was committed to improving the quality of life in the city, boosting the public’s trust in local government, and fixing the City’s structural budget deficit. The Reed Reforms, a comprehensive strategy to return honesty, fiscal responsibility, and open government to City Hall, were part of Chuck’s vision to make the political process more accessible to the general public. The reforms required further disclosure from elected officials, add restrictions on lobbyists, and increased the role of citizens in San José government.
Chuck and his wife, Paula, have been married for more than 40 years. Paula manages a medical clinic specializing in the care of cancer patients. They have two children, Kim and Alex, who both attended public schools in San José. Kim is a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force with more than 100 combat missions. Alex works in Washington D.C. to help prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.