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  Podesto, Gary A.
NameGary A. Podesto
Stockton, California , United States
Website [Link]
Born Unknown
ContributorSummer Intern
Last ModifedSummer Intern
Sep 05, 2004 10:57am
InfoLocal businessman Gary Podesto was first elected as Stockton Mayor in 1996, and he was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2000.

Gary Podesto has since become one of the Central Valley’s most popular local elected officials, helping to revitalize Stockton’s business climate while cutting government bureaucracy and attracting new jobs.

Having run unopposed in his last term for Mayor, Gary Podesto now stands as the Central Valley's most formidable candidate for higher office in the Central Valley.


Gary Podesto was born and raised in Stockton. He attended local schools and earned a degree in Economics from Santa Clara University.

After college, Gary went to work alongside his father in the family's grocery store business, managing operations for a chain of eleven stores. In 1984, Gary started his own company, opening a "Food 4 Less" grocery store in Stockton, the first of three stores that would eventually employ over 400 local residents and generate $120 million in annual sales. In 1996, he sold his businesses to run for mayor of Stockton.


When Gary Podesto was first elected, Stockton was running chronic budget deficits, taxes were high, crime was on the rise, and businesses were leaving the city.

Mayor Podesto went to work. He cut city staff, pruned inefficient programs, balanced the budget and sought to improve the city's business climate by gradually lowering the utility and real estate transfer taxes.

Under his leadership, the city of Stockton has undergone a dramatic revitalization.

In 2002, Stockton was one of only two California cities to show a net job increase, and CEO Magazine listed Stockton as one of the most business-friendly cities in California.


As mayor, Gary Podesto serves on many vital committees:

* City Council Intergovernmental Liaison Committee
* Fox Theatre Ad-Hoc Committee
* San Joaquin City Council of Governments
* San Joaquin Partnership
* Regional Rail Commission
* Auburn Dam Coalition
* California State University, Stockton Center Site Authority
* Urban Area Water User's Committee
* City of Stockton/Stockton Unified School District "3x3" Joint Committee
* City-County Transit District Liasion Committee
* League of California Cities, Board of Directors

Gary Podesto has also donated his time to various community and charitable organizations:

* Crime Stoppers and New Directions, Founding Director
* San Joaquin County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Committee, Past Member
* Su Salud Health Fair, Past Director
* University of the Pacific Board of Regents, Former Member
* Boys and Girls Club
* Business Leadership Summit

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