Senator Jim Beall: Janet Gray Hayes, a Great Leader

April 22, 2014


SACRAMENTO – Senator Jim Beall, D-San Jose, released the following statement on the passing of former San Jose Mayor Janet Gray Hayes:

"She made San Jose a better city, not just a bigger city -- that was her slogan and it was really true. If it wasn't for her on the council, there probably would be urban sprawl and development stretching  from San Jose all the way to Gilroy and along the hillsides. She initiated city plans that made it over difficult to overturn. At the same time, she started the development of downtown and the convention center.

"I think she was an inspiration to many local women and got them into politics to play a bigger role and have a bigger voice in San Jose. She made San Jose the 'Feminist Capital of the World,' in a political sense. She knew how to get tough but she was very smart and understood exactly what she was doing. She had a way of being both firm but kind.

"She played a role in my career by appointing me to the San Jose Planning Commission when I was only 24 years old. Our city will miss her. She was a powerful role model for both women and men.''