About Me

I’m often asked, “Hey Jim you have an accent, where are you from?” And I’m happy to share my answer… In the very early 1900s both my mother and father’s parents came to America as immigrants through Ellis Island from Southern Italy. They settled in Brooklyn, where our families lived for the next 110 years. Combined, my mother and father had 18 siblings. Some did not survive through early childhood, and some expanded out into the greater New York area to start their own families, but my family stayed in Brooklyn and I grew up living within walking distance of many of my cousins.

As we grew up, some extended family chose to move from NY. And in 1980, with my freshly earned Computer Science degree, I moved to Colorado to my first engineering job. Then in 1984 I moved to San Jose to expand my career and earn my MBA. My move wasn’t as hard as my grandparents, but like them I moved to find opportunity in a place that welcomed newcomers from every corner of the world.

I’m a firm believer that hard work builds knowledge and character. At 12 years old I started earning money mowing lawns, and as a baker’s assistant and dishwasher. We need to make sure anyone who wants a job and wants to work hard can find one. I care deeply about equity and opportunity for all.

For most of my adult life I’ve worked in the high-tech field. For decades I was employed by the Perkin Elmer Corp as a systems & networks engineer, and then at Applied Biosystems as a global services manager. In 2009 my division was sold, and I became a Program Manager at AB Sciex, a division of Danaher Corp. These jobs instilled in me the urgency of finding real world solutions to real world problems, in real time. Being a lifelong learner is important to me. In my life, I have continued my schooling and earned several technical and managerial certificates in addition to my college degree.

I kept learning throughout my life because I believe education is the key to moving up in America. I am committed to making sure we have the best education system in the world right here in San Jose. That’s why I ran for and won a seat on the Evergreen Elementary School Board. In my ten years of service on the school board, I have worked to improve student performance, provide student enrichment opportunities, supported high quality teaching and mental health support services, and have always considered the practical needs of students who were often coming from other countries and cultures. In order to better understand the needs of both teachers and our students, three years ago I acquired my emergency teaching credential and began teaching middle school Math and Science at a Title 1 school in the Alum Rock district. A truly eye-opening experience.

Jim Zito with 8th Grade Class Attending Dave Cortese's Sacramento Bus Trip for Education, 2018
Jim Zito with DCP Teaching Staff, 2017 - 2018

After I got married and started a family, I became actively involved in community activities, helping to start our neighborhood block association. Since then I have served on a variety of city, educational and community boards, commissions and task forces. I am active in my church, and assisted with the formation of our St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish in Evergreen. Organizing locally gives us a voice at City Hall, and allows us to let them know what our community wants and needs. My parents instilled in me the core value of public service, and for 30 years in Evergreen I have demonstrated my ongoing commitment to community service and advocating for those in need. And because I learned early about the value of a dollar, I am committed to balancing the budget and ensuring that public dollars are spent wisely and effectively.

As your councilman you can be sure I’ll stand up loud and clear for our needs: for better streets, for better public safety, for better parks, for stronger neighborhoods and all the while I’ll respect that each dollar the city spends is a hard-earned dollar out of our pockets. I’ll be no-one’s councilman but yours.

Community Service

Jim is a highly educated, 30 year resident of Evergreen. His three children attended Evergreen Elementary School District (EESD) schools from K thru 8th grade. During the last 20 years Jim has committed 1,000's of hours to serving the District 8 and Greater San Jose community. He is an active member of the St. Francis of Assisi parish, serving as a Eucharistic minister and on the parish council.

After a successful 30 year career in Biotech, he now teaches 8th grade Math to first generation Title 1, college bound students in an Alum Rock area middle school.

His extensive knowledge includes: Education, Academic Teams Coaching, Education Foundations, Business & Project Management and Urban Land Use. Jim has received numerous commendations from past and present Mayors, Council Members and City Groups for his keen business sense, selfless dedication and commitment to improving the quality of life in Evergreen and greater communities.

What has Jim Zito done for District 8 and the Greater San Jose Community? (Partial list)

  • Is an 8th Grade Math teacher at an East-side Title 1 school, 2017 - Present.
  • Served the last 9 years on the Evergreen Elementary School District School Board, 2010 - Present (twice as President).
  • Created the current EESD Facilities Joint Use and Land Use Subcommittees, 2017.
  • District 8 Committee Round Table, Founding Member and Past President, 2006 - Present.
  • Served 6 years on Santa Clara County’s Measure A Oversight Committee, 2012 - Present.
  • Coached & Judged 7+ yrs of EESD Odyssey of the Mind & Science Olympiad competitions, 2008 - 2017.
  • District 8 Day in the Park Committee, 2005 - 2016.
  • Served over 5 years on San Jose’s 2040 General Plan Committee, 2007 - 2011.
  • Served 8 years on the San Jose Planning Commission, 2002 - 2010 (Chairperson & Vice Chairperson).
  • Served on past EESD School Boundary and Consolidations committees, 2007 - 2009.
  • Evergreen Valley Site Council, 2005 - 2008.

Commendations

Jim has received numerous commendations from past and present Mayors, Council Members and City Groups for his keen business sense, selfless dedication and commitment to improving the quality of life in San Jose District 8 and the greater San Jose communities.

"Community Volunteer of the Year" Commendation from Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Former D8 Councilmember Dave Cortese, 2008
City of San Jose, District 8 Honoree of the Year 2009
Service to San Jose Planning Commission City Counsel Commendation, 2002 - 2010
Service to San Jose Planning Commission from Councilmember Ash Kalra, 2010
Envision San Jose 2040 Task Force, 2007 - 2011
Community Service Commendation San Jose Mayor and City Council, 2016