Councilmember Rose Herrera began her first term on the San José City Council after finishing first in a field of eight candidates in 2008. Councilmember Herrera ran on the platform of “Standing Up for Evergreen” and that’s what drives her tenacious “get it done” work ethic. Immediately upon taking office, Councilmember Herrera focused on saving the funding for the Lightrail project to Eastridge, secured funding for the 101/Tully Road highway project and the 101/Capitol Expressway/Yerba Buena interchange and saved Municipal Water from being privatized.
A native of East San José, Councilmember Herrera attended Overfelt High School and received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Santa Clara University. As a youth coordinator with the County Human Relations Commission under Jim McEntee she worked to prevent gang violence in the community. Councilmember Herrera served her country in the United States Air Force. She was named “Veteran of the Year” in 2011 by the San Jose Veteran’s Center.
An early supporter and advocate for women’s issues, she is a Founding Member of the Bay Area Military Women’s Collaborative, Founder and President of the League of California Cities Women’s Caucus. Councilmember Herrera is a much sought after Featured Speaker and Panelist for events focused on women’s issues including International Women’s Day, the Women’s and Girl’s Summit and the Women’s History Month Celebrations at San José State University. Rose was recently honored as one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 100 “Women of Influence for 2012.”
Councilmember Herrera is currently the Chair of the Community and Economic Development Committee, and the Vice Chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee. She is a board member of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board and Chair of the VTA’s Audit, Transportation Planning and Operations Committees and the Downtown East Valley Policy Advisory Board, and a member of the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, and a Voting Delegate for the League of California Cities. Additionally, she is an Alternate Board Member for the Association of Bay Area Government, the Santa Clara Cities Association and the City Council Liaison to the Advisory Commission on Rents.
Moving from a business entrepreneur to a civic entrepreneur was a natural transition for Councilmember Herrera who finds that both have goals that require collaboration to develop and organize economic assets. Her leadership in the arena of civic entrepreneurship has led to a binding of economy and community for mutual benefit. Councilmember Herrera was instrumental in working with community partners to save Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park from losing critical programming and staffing.
Councilmember Rose Herrera is married to Matt Wahlin. They both enjoy travelling and spending time with their children and two grandsons.