Carolina Camarena, Director of Communications
408-535-7777 (media line); Carolina.Camarena@sanjoseca.gov
Omar Let’s move on
New Deputy City Manager to Address Homelessness and Quality of Life Challenges
Omar Passons joins San Jose City Manager’s leadership team with the experience and ability to run transformative systems
SAN JOSE, CA. (May 25, 2022) – After nationwide recruitment, City Manager Jennifer Maguire has hired Omar Passons as the new Deputy City Manager to her leadership team. Passons assumes the role on June 12.
“The work of a city was once seen as providing basic services and solving an assortment of problems that seemed to be definable. With basic services generally supported, we need to turn our attention to much more difficult issues,” Maguire said. “Omar has the experience to successfully coordinate across the organization, with other government agencies, as well as nonprofit partners in our community to address homelessness and other challenges. quality of life, including keeping our city clean as well as reducing vehicles and enforcing the code. problems. Omar’s proven track record and ability to execute transformative systems will advance the city’s priority of ending homelessness and improving the quality of life for all San Jose residents.
“Omar Passons’ long career will bring to San Jose an expert perspective on public health, land use planning and housing,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. The City of San José is making significant progress in scaling our local housing solutions and aligning our program design with the overall needs of our neighborhoods. »
Deputy City Managers play an important role in running the City. Each Deputy serves as a key advisor to the City Manager, supporting Maguire in driving City Council priorities, coordinating a portfolio of service areas and departments, implementing City Council policy direction, achieving service delivery goals and helping the city achieve/address its corporate priorities. The City Manager and her deputies are also responsible for executing the new City Roadmap – a prioritized and endorsed tool by the Mayor and City Council to communicate, manage and measure change management and transformation priorities. city services and to build trust and be accountable to the public. Let’s Pass will lead the Ending Homelessness initiative and co-lead corporate priorities for a clean, vibrant and inclusive neighborhood and public life, which includes the following portfolio: Department of Housing (e.g., expansion of the housing system of emergency, improved coordination of safety net services, camp services, outreach and assistance, and coordination of advocacy for additional federal and state grants), the BeautifySJ initiative (e.g., projects neighborhood beautification, trash and graffiti reduction, and camp cleanup), vehicle reduction program, and code enforcement, among other missions.
After evaluating neighborhood revitalization efforts, Passons began his public health career in 2000 as a health policy analyst for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, where he used data and performance measures to analyze the success of government programs. In 2007, two years after being called to the California bar and starting a land use practice, he joined the California State Department of Transportation as an assistant attorney where he focused on litigation and land use issues. From 2011 to 2017, he held several positions in private law firms focusing on public entities and land use planning; he then joined the nonprofit Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation as vice president of community development and policy. In 2018, he joined the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency and held two director positions, the most recent being director of the Office of Homelessness Solutions in the Department of Homelessness Solutions. Homelessness and Equitable Communities (HSEC). Most notably, he laid the groundwork for the creation of HSEC – the first of its kind in San Diego County that seeks to align dozens of county departments, city governments, nonprofit organizations, philanthropic entities, businesses, unions and communities. residents with a focus on preventing and ending homelessness. Interdisciplinary teams examine land use, economic support, health care, housing and other areas to consider the needs of the whole person in addressing homelessness.
“I looked at the leadership of the City Manager’s office, the commitment of the mayor and council, the commitment of Santa Clara County, the strong housing authority, the leadership of Destination Home, and a community that embraced real solutions with local support and I realized this was an amazing opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people of San Jose,” Passons said. “I am excited to join the team and work towards holistic solutions to ensure that every resident can live with dignity and safety and addressing quality of life issues to ensure that all residents of San José enjoy this wonderful community.”
Passons earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy and her master’s degree in public health from the University of Arizona. He earned his Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia. Passons is an engaged member of the community and has served on several advisory committees and boards of directors for organizations focused on workforce and economic development, youth and homelessness, and served on the board of administration of its municipal council for ten years. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Management Committee for the San Diego/Tijuana area and Chair of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Sub-Committee, Past President of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association and former member of the California Association. black lawyers.
In 2020, Passons received the Chief Administrative Officer 2020 Leadership Award and the California State Association of Counties Innovation Award for his work on homelessness. Earlier this year, his team won the National Association of Counties’ Awards of Excellence for Housing Our Youth and Veterans Community Care Coordination, two system change efforts that provided housing and comprehensive support to people experiencing homelessness. Passons grew up in San Diego, entering the foster care system as a baby. He has had over 100 adoptive siblings and looks forward to learning and getting to know the San José community.
About the City of San José
With over one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse major cities in the United States and is the largest city in Northern California and the 10th largest city in the country. San José’s transformation into a global center of innovation has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the city adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets out a vision and comprehensive roadmap to guide the city’s planned growth through 2040.
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