Meet My Staff: My Eyes and Ears to the Community When I Can't Be There
Don Rocha, Chief of Staff
Issue Areas: Land-Use, Closed Sessions, Labor Issues, Budget, Fire Districts, Sheriff's Office, Facilities & Fleet
Donald Rocha is Chief of Staff and oversees issue areas such as Land-Use, Labor, and Property Management and Acquisition. He was born and raised here in San Jose and graduated from SDSU with a degree in Political Science, including a Minor in Philosophy. Don has been working in public service since 1994, also serving as a San Jose City Councilmember from 2010 to 2018.
Joshua Bourekas, Policy Aide
Issue Areas: Correspondence
Joshua Bourekas is a policy aide who specializes in dealing with external correspondence with county constituents and supports staff in miscellaneous areas of policy. Joshua was raised in Evergreen and has lived in a variety of neighborhoods within the County. His experiences with the schools and neighborhoods in the County helped foster his admiration in education and community service, and he aspires to pay it back to the people. He is currently a student at San Jose State University, majoring in History and Social Science Teacher Preparation.
Michael Franzino, Program and Policy Coordinator
Issue Areas: Office Mail, Billing and Budget, Boards and Commissions, Newsletter and Email Distribution, Education, Contracts, Water & Energy, Alviso
Michael has spent most of his life and career in Silicon Valley. He graduated from UCD with an Electrical Engineering degree and spent nearly 30 years working on software design for several start-ups and several large corporations. Michael then transitioned to public service. He completed the teaching credential program as SJSU and then accepted a staff position with Supervisor Cortese. Since then he has been performing operational office roles, such as billing, Boards & Commissions, and constituent communications, as well as assisting with policy work in areas related to his management, technical, and education experience.
Kian Lechner, Policy and Outreach Aide
Issue Areas: Social Media Director, Videos, Outreach, Strategy, First Response, Public Safety, Education
Kian manages the office's Social Media, Video Series collections, and Graphic Design. He is also responsible for legislative items revolving around Education, Public Safety and First Response. He is a former first responder and current two-term student trustee at West Valley College.
Kevin Lee, Policy Aide
Issue Areas: Immigration, Transportation, Social Services, Youth Task Force
Kevin Lee works on immigration, transportation, and social services on behalf of Supervisor Cortese. He also serves as a clerk for Santa Clara County's Youth Task Force. Previously he has been employed at Santa Clara County's Office of Immigrant Relations, served as a New Americans Fellow for Santa Clara County District 2 Supervisor, Cindy Chavez and worked within the automotive industry in the private sector. He has also assisted with the first ever research on how DACA-eligible Asian and Pacific Islanders interact with health care in the Bay Area from the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Los Angeles. Kevin holds a B.A. in Media Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Joanna Molia, Policy Aide
Issue Areas: Outreach, Juvenile Justice, Women's Policy, Domestic Violence, Neighborhood Safety Unit
Joanna Molina is bilingual and has a background in working with youth at risk. In the office, Joanna focuses on juvenile justice, women's policy issues, domestic violence and the Neighborhood Safety Unit. She has also worked for local non-profits, including Next Door Solutions, Abode Services and the Bill Wilson Center.
The-Vu Nguyen, Policy Aide
Issue Areas: Community Outreach, Community Events, Commendation & Certificates, Invocation
If a member or a group has done great thing(s) for the community and you wish to recognize them, please do not hesitate to contact The-Vu Nguyen. He also coordinates with community groups to host events and helps coordinate Supervisor Dave Cortese's attendance at community events.
Janice Rombeck, Communications Manager
Issue Areas: Newsletter/Columns, Media Relations
After spending 22 years in local journalism, Janice Rombeck began working for Dave as communications manager in 2013. At the San Jose Mercury News, she was an editor and reporter, covering neighborhoods and City Hall. In the District 3 Office, Janice is Communications Manager working with the media and keeping the public informed through eblasts, newsletter and the District 3 Webpage updates.
Tara Sreekrishnan, Policy and Outreach Director
Issue Areas: Open Government, Climate/Sustainability
Before joining Supervisor Cortese's staff, Tara taught piano for five years, worked on four political campaigns, and served as a legislative staffer for the City of Berkeley.
Vanessa Connell Turner, Policy Aide
Issue Areas: Climate, Environment, Sustainability, Parks and Recreation, Agriculture, Open Space, Trails, Water, Fire, Cannabis, Government Operations, Consumer and Environmental Protection, Day on the Bay
Born and raised in East San Jose, Vanessa Connell Turner began working for Dave as a policy aide in 2001. She went on to become a journalist working for newspapers and radio covering government and politics. Since 2015, she's been back with Dave advising him on environmental policy and sustainability related issues. She helped create the County Climate Coalition and facilitated a county partnership with former Vice President Al Gore's Climate Reality Project. Vanessa also wrote the first draft of the county's 100% renewable energy policy, which will be accomplished by the end of 2019.
Suzanne Wheaton, Executive Assistant
Issue Areas: Office Management, Scheduling
Suzanne Wheaton is the air traffic controller of the District 3 Office. Through phone calls, emails and letters, she sorts through thousands of requests a year for the Supervisor's attendance at meetings and events and consults with him on scheduling as many as we can fit into any given month. Suzanne also keeps track of the Supervisor's membership on regional committees and commissions. She answers many of the office phone calls, keeping the Supervisor and the staff on schedule, doing all this with patience and calmness under pressure.