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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election

City of Chula VistaCandidate for City Council, Seat 2

Photo of Max Zaker

Max Zaker

Businessman/Planning Commissioner
579 votes (5.6%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Fund police and fire services to national and state standards.
  • Accelerate the implementation of the Bayfront Master plan. Negotiate community benefits agreements to ensure revenues generated in Chula Vista, stays in Chula Vista.
  • Create new jobs by providing competitive tax incentives to attract larger employers in the field of science, medicine, education, and biotech industries. Support the growth of small businesses by partnering with local business and trade associations.



Profession:Business owner, Planning Commissioner
President, Southbay International Partners (2013–2018)
President, Marina Vista Escrow (2014–2018)
Planning Commissioner, Chula Vista City Council — Appointed position (2016–2018)
Growth Management Oversight Commissioner, Chula Vista City Council — Appointed position (2017–2018)
Board Director, Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors — Elected position (2016–2018)
Government Affairs Committee Chair, Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors — Appointed position (2015–2017)
Housing Commissioner, Chula Vista City Council — Appointed position (2015–2016)


National Trust For Historic Preservation Certified Practitioner, Historic Preservation (2002)
San Diego State University Certified Practitioner, Community Economic Development (1999)
London Business School Bachelor of Science, Industrial Management (1977)

Community Activities

Board Director, PSAR (2016–current)
Member, Chula Vista Democratic Club (2017–2018)
Member, Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce (2017–2018)
Government Affairs Committee Chair, Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (2015–2017)


I believe that my 25+ years of community economic development experience can be a valuable asset as Chula Vista enters a period of exciting opportunities with a major bayfront development effort and downtown 3rd Ave. beautification planning well underway. 

I have been an entrepreneur starting and building several small-to-mid size companies and, for more than 15 years, a community developer and small business advocate.  My experience includes a prior role as the former director of the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP), a non-profit business organization that assists with the revitalization of Downtown San Diego. I oversaw implementation of San Diego’s first property-based business improvement district (PBID) while serving with DSDP, also known as Clean & Safe program.  Clean and Safe improves Downtown's appearance and enhances public safety. 

Additionally, I served on the leadership team at the Jacob Center for Neighborhood Innovation, a San Diego non-profit that partnered with residents in Southeastern San Diego for community change. As the Jacobs Center’s business development director, I was part of San Diego’s largest social enterprise designed to create jobs for local residents and serve as a destination business model. I was involved with the development of several office, retail and industrial properties, including Market Creek Plaza commercial center, which created local business, jobs and resident ownership opportunities. I also served on the board of the Southeastern Diamond Business District, serving as 2011-2012 chair.

 As a co-author of the City of San Diego's first Micro-Lending program, during President Clinton's administration, I was awarded the highest recognition by the Federal Government for my significant contributions to the U.S economy. 


I am no stranger to public service.  I currently serve on the Chula Vista Planning Commission and Growth Management Oversight Commission.




Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (2)

  • Kevin Marshall, President of the Southbay YMCA
  • Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors

Elected Officials (2)

  • Pamela Bensoussan, former Chula Vista Councilmember
  • Patty Davis, former Chula Vista Councilmember

Individuals (4)

  • Javier Nava, Chula Vista Planning Commissioner
  • Dr. Hamid Mani, Co-founder of California Retina Associates
  • Bill Hall, Port Commissioner Emeritus
  • Dita Yamane, National City Planning Commissioner

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As an immigrant to our great country, I have decided to run for City Council because I believe it is our civic responsibility to invest our time and talents in the community where we live.  Chula Vista has been my home for 15 years.  It is where my wife Claudia and I launched and operate our businesses and I have served on multiple appointed public positions. 

I want to use my experience to assure that the Chula Vista development opportunities are socially and environmentaly responsible and honor the past while embracing a vision of the future created in collaboration with its citizens.  I want to engage residents and business owners to determine the kinds of businesses we want and need that build on the history and heritage of Chula Vista.

I believe local governments need experienced leaders to remain relevant, be financially responsible, and provide high-level city services to support growth. I am a problem-solver by nature and my personal journey as an immigrant has taught me that we earn every opportunity and have a responsibility to care for each other and our environment.  I would bring with me to my role as a City Councilmember an innovative spirit, a passion for economic & community revitalization and a belief that citizens should take ownership of change.

Position Papers

Chula Vista's population is projected to grow to 350,000 by 2035


What is ahead for Chula Vista …

Chula Vista’s population is projected to grow to 350,000 by 2035.  To prepare Chula Vista for this significant growth, we must implement policies that improve the economic well-being and quality of life for our residents.  Create new revenue sources to support highly responsive, fully-staffed, and well-equipped public safety agencies.



Our Call to Action

·        Market Chula Vista as a world-class destination to large employment-based companies

·        Streamline the City’s regulatory and permitting process

 ·       Elect visionary leadership with relevant experience to the city council to get the job done

·        Enact policies that are in the best interest of our residents and protect our community assets 


How do we prepare Chula Vista for this time of economic growth?

As your Councilmember, I will use my decades of experience in business management, economic development, and community building to:

  • Fund public safety services to state-level standards
  • Spruce up our aging infrastructure
  • Fully support our growing small business community
  • Grow our local economy
  • Advance the development of our Bayfront masterplan
  • Advocate for a University in Chula Vista
  • Promote Chula Vista as a destination city within our region

That is the Chula Vista I want to help create!

Together we can bring a strong vision to Chula Vista.  I invite you to join me to move us forward towards our goal.

Videos (5)

— April 5, 2018 Zaker for Chula Vista Council 2018

Max sharing his personal journey and vision for Chula Vista.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- The city of Chula Vista is hoping "Granny Flats" will help ease the county's affordable housing crisis.

— May 27, 2018 Candidate

Why I'm running ...

— May 27, 2018 Candidate

Public safety is the core function of our city government.

— May 27, 2018 Candidate

Your voice, your feedback, and your comments resonated me.  I'm ready to go to work for you.

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