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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
Party Committee

Santa Clara County Democratic Party — Democratic PartyCandidate for County Central Committee, Assembly District 24

Photo of Bill James

Bill James

20,839 votes (14.43%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ensure the Santa Clara County Democratic Party has the people, organization, funding, and other resources it needs to be effective
  • Recruit and elect progressive Democrats at all levels of office, in both partisan and non-partisan races
  • Support an active, progressive policy agenda to address pressing social needs, such as income inequality, homelessness, affordable housing, and access to healthcare



Patent attorney, Van Pelt, Yi & James LLP (2001–current)
Member, Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committe, AD24 — Elected position (2012–current)
Member, Parks and Recreation Commission, City of Los Altos — Appointed position (2013–current)
Member, Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee, AD21 — Elected position (2008–2012)


Stanford Law School Juris Doctor (J.D.), Law (1994)
United States Naval Academy Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Mechanical Engineering and History (dual major) (1986)

Community Activities

Board Member, CHAC (formerly Community Health Awareness Council (2013–current)
Board Member, Community Services Agency of Mountain View, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills (2006–2012)


I grew up in Detroit and attend the United States Naval Academy.  I served in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, including an extended tour of duty on ship based in Yokosuka, Japan.  After leaving the Navy, I attended Stanford Law School.  I worked as an intellectual property litigation attorney for a number of years prior to taking a year off to live in Mexico City as a Fulbright Scholar.  I'm proficient in Spanish.  In the years following our return to the Bay Area, my wife and I adopted three children.  I've been active as an AYSO soccer coach and in raising money for our school PTA.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters (3)

What would you do to increase the number of registered voters?
Answer from Bill James:

The Party recruits and sends volunteers to famers markets, festivals, and other events.  More importantly, however, we should continue to ensure that Government works for all people, including young people and recent immigrants eligible to become citizens, so that they will feel its worth it to participate in the democratic process.  Refinements adopted in recent years to improve the "motor-voter" rules and procedures, which enable citizens to register when the apply for their drivers license, etc., have been very helpful.  We also should keep a close eye on jurisdictions that are experimenting with allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote, in the hope they will develop the habit of voting prior to leaving high school.

How would you work to promote your party with the electorate?
Answer from Bill James:

I believe our Democratic Party has been so successful in Santa Clara County and throughout California because we have recruited and elected highly talented individuals who have been effective in making our Government work for the people.  We should continue to elect good Democrats, and to promote a progressive policy agenda at all levels of Government.

Why did you become a member of this political party?
Answer from Bill James:
I've been a Democrat ever since my earliest days. I believe in Government and its power to make people's lives better and our society more just. As a child I marched through the streets of my neighborhood in Detroit, carrying a sign and chanting that Nixon had to go. Later, still as a child, I worked as a volunteer for the Jimmy Carter for President campaign. I admired President Carter, and my decision to attend the Naval Academy was a result in part of the respect I had for him. It was not considered proper for active duty military personnel to be active in politics, but as soon as I left the service I returned to Democratic Party politics, founding a student club to support the election of Bill Clinton, Barbara Boxer, and Diane Feinstein in 1992. I've been active locally in Democratic Party politics ever since.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am a progressive Democrat.  I believe the Democratic Party should speak for working people and the underprivileged, and should work to ensure a fair society in which everyone's basic needs are met.  Government should create the conditions to allow all who work hard to succeed.  Our Government should ensure that all have basic access to healthcare and education.  Young people shouldn't have to sign up for a lifetime of debt to be able to attend college.  The rights of women to choose whether to carry a pregnancy to term, and to make other decision about reproductive health, must be guaranteed and protected.  No American should live in fear of their lives or safety due to violence, crime, unregulated access to guns, discrimination, racism, sexism, or hate.

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