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Santa Clara County, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Joe E. Coto

Candidate for
Member of the State Assembly; District 23

This information is provided by the candidate

Joe Coto was elected to the California Assembly in 2004. His agenda in the Legislature is focused on making California's schools the best in the nation. It is also to ensure that all of California's children have health insurance and are provided with the ability to experience the American dream. This dream includes securing good paying jobs, owning a home and sending children to college.

Mr. Coto, a lifelong Democrat, proudly represents the 23rd Assembly District in San Jose. The District includes the east side, downtown and the Monterey Road corridor. The 23rd District represents about half of the city of San Jose.

Soon after his swearing in December of 2004, Mr. Coto was elected Vice Chair of the 27 member Latino Legislative Caucus. He was also appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly to the Rules, Budget, Education, Human Services, Governmental Operations, Education Budget Subcommittee and Joint Rules Committees. He was recently appointed Chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee. Mr. Coto also chairs the Select Committee on Urban Education.

During his two years in the legislature, Mr. Coto has introduced bills which were chaptered into law to provide support to underachieving schools, English learners and blind students. In the area of health, Mr. Coto authored a bill that provides cultural and linguistic training for physicians so that they can serve their patients more effectively. Another bill he authored extends the Healthy Families program to provide health insurance to all of California's children and another estalished a task force to look at ways to address the increase in diabetes and obesity.

Joe Coto began his career as a teacher in the Oakland Unified School District. There, he experienced first hand the influence of public policy on education. He was promoted into administration and directed the State and Federal Programs. He served on the Oakland City Council. In 1984, he was asked to become Superintendent of the Oakland schools. In 1988 he accepted the position of Superintendent of the East Side Union High School District in San Jose. He has a lifetime commitment to the advancement of all students and their families. In recognition of his contributions as superintendent of the East Side Union High School District, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) named him the 2003 'Superintendent of the Year'.

During his fourteen year tenure as Superintendent of East Side, Mr. Coto used his leadership and experience to craft policies that reached beyond the high school district. Coto organized the East Side Consortium of school districts which led to the approval of SB 1051, the Voluntary Integration Program. Since its inception, the program has brought over $80 million for participating districts and contributed to increased diversity and integration in East San Jose schools. During his tenure in the East Side Union High School District, Mr. Coto was able to bring nearly half a billion dollars in grant monies and improvement bonds to East San Joe.

In addition to his commitment to excellence in education, Mr. Coto has continued to serve the community by serving as Chair of the Mexican Plaza Cultural Arts Center in San Jose and as President of the Latino Democratic Forum. He has served on the boards of Joint Venture Silicon Valley and the Lucille Packard Children's Hospital.

A healthy community is one that builds on the strengths of all its residents. Joe Coto has demonstrated through a life of service and commitment, that he will empower and defend the people to maintain the building blocks of a strong and healthy community: jobs, quality education and affordable housing.

Joe and his wife, Camille, have been married for 37 years and have 2 daughters.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 23, 2006 17:56
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