Jim Beall's (pronounced “Bell”) vision and experience has provided Silicon Valley with 30 years of leadership, making a difference in the lives of working families, seniors, foster care children, and people with disabilities. As a State Senator, Jim has delivered for the people of California’s 15th District – taking on government inefficiency, traffic problems, and taking care of our community’s most vulnerable citizens.
Jimʼs roots in Santa Clara County run deep. Born in San Jose, he has lived his entire life in the city. As one of ten children, raised in a loving home where money was tight, Jim learned values like responsibility, hard work, self-reliance and the importance of giving back to the community to improve peopleʼs lives. Working in the fields picking crops as a teenager, Jim learned the true value of hard work, a dayʼs labor and the value of every dollar.
Jimʼs parents always stressed the importance of a quality education and Jim took that lesson to heart, graduating from Bellarmine College Preparatory and earning a degree from San Jose State University in Political Science. At the age of 24, Jim went on to serve on the San Jose City Planning Commission before becoming the youngest person ever to be elected to the San Jose City Council, at age 28. After 14 years on the city council, Jim was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in 1994.
As a supervisor, Jim Beall balanced budgets in an era of dwindling revenue while managing to pass break-through programs that have been copied across the nation. He launched the county's Children's Health Initiative, resulting in affordable and comprehensive health coverage for 154,000 low-income children and saving taxpayers millions in public medical costs. He brought relief to Santa Clara County commuters by championing major traffic improvement projects like Highways 85 and 87 and then getting them built on time and under budget. Jim also laid the foundation for bringing BART to the South Bay.
As an Assemblyman, Jim maximized state dollars by working to make state programs more efficient and effective. He partnered with food banks to pry $1 million in forgotten funds from an overlooked state emergency account to buy thousands of pounds of food to feed the hungry. He also helped find jobs and transitional housing for emancipated foster care youth and made it easier for financially beleaguered foster care parents to keep their homes open for California's neglected and abused children. And Jim secured millions in funding over the past two decades for day care centers, parks, and hospitals, as well as to preserve our open space.
In the State Senate, Jim has worked tirelessly to improve regional transportation, increase educational funding, and support foster youth. As chair of the Senate Transportation committee, Jim brought Republicans to the table to address the $59 billion backlog in deferred maintenance for roads. And he wrote the bill allowing youth in foster care to stay with their families through their college years. Over his three years in the State Senate, Jim has authored bills to improve California’s air quality, provide long-term funding for the Cap & Trade program for projects like BART to San Jose, and to protect foster care youth from being overprescribed psychotropic drugs.
Jim has been married to his wife, Pat, for 33 years. They have two stepsons, Greg and Mark.