Johnny Khamis, who has served as San Jose City Councilmember since 2012, announced in front of a crowd of several hundred people last night at the Campbell Community Center, that he is running for Californias Senate District 15. He is running as an Independent.
Khamis immigrated to the U.S. as a Christian from Beirut, Lebanon when he was eight. He shared how his family chose the U.S. because they loved the idea of the American dream, where if you work hard, you can get ahead regardless of your religious background or political party. Today he works in a unifying capacity and leverages his experience of bringing people together for the betterment of the community.
As Senator, Khamis will focus on a few key issues:
- Homelessness “ he has voted for all housing projects presented to him to resolve this issue, after carefully considering the merits of each one. He also worked on legislation to allow churches to house and feed the homeless, and vouchers that will help people on the edge keep their homes. On top of this, he is working for solutions for the mentally ill. He expressed that we cant let people who cant help themselves stay on the streets.
- Crime/Public Safety “ Khamis noted that the pendulum has swung too far to the side of criminals when it comes to offenses ranging from date rape, to serial burglary to assaulting police officers. Current legislation minimizes the amount of time these offenders spend in jail, and places them back on our streets to further victimize the community. He is working to rectify this by supporting common-sense criminal justice reforms and, if elected, will introduce legislation to remedy these loopholes.
- Fiscal Responsibility “ In San Jose, Khamis worked with his colleagues on reforms to refinance $2B in debt and save $32M in interest per year. While serving on the board of the VTA, he insisted on an audit that uncovered $3M annually in unsubstantiated reimbursements to one vendor. Known as the money guy, he is focused on watching how taxpayers dollars are spent.
Khamis has served as Councilmember for San Joses District 10, encompassing the Almaden Valley and Blossom Valley areas of South San Jose, since 2012. During his tenure as Councilmember, Khamis has been actively engaged in improving public safety, making it easier for individuals and companies to do business in San Jose, growing the San Jose economy, and keeping San Jose a great place to live, work and raise a family.
In 2017, Khamis was recognized by the Silicon Valley Organization as San Jose’s Business Advocate of the Year. Prior to serving as Councilmember, Khamis was CEO of Western Benefit Solutions, an employee benefit brokerage and consulting services company that he founded. Before this, he was a financial advisor and personally managed over 200 individual and business accounts. Khamis received a B.S. in Business Management and Communication from San Jose State University. He, his wife Joulyana, a teacher at Dartmouth Middle School in San Jose, and their two teenage sons live in South San Jose, where Johnny grew up after coming to the USA.
State Senate District 15 encompasses a large portion of Santa Clara County, stretching from Cupertino east to Mount Hamilton and from Los Gatos north to San Joses Alum Rock District. It includes Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, the San Jose communities of Willow Glen, Almaden, Evergreen, East San Jose, and Downtown, and unincorporated areas that extend to the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Stanislaus County border.