Pat Dando, president and CEO of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, left, Sunny Claggett, newly-appointed Chairperson of the Chamber, middle, talk with State Controller John Chiang, right, during the annual gathering of the South Bay's leading business group, the San Jose Silicon Valley (SJSV) Chamber of Commerce, at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. (Karen T. Borchers/Mercury News)

SAN JOSE — Patricia Dando, ex-vice mayor and head of the former San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, has died of lung cancer. She was 71.

Former City Hall colleagues, political leaders and close friends on Monday remembered Dando as a fierce leader and a fearless advocate who never stopped working.

“If she saw a problem, she wanted to solve it. If she saw a need in the community, she wanted to fill it,” said consultant Erik Schoennauer, who worked as Dando’s chief of staff for five years and ran her political campaigns. “And she would not stop until she got results — she certainly never took no for an answer.

“It was not uncommon to get a phone call at six in the morning or at midnight because she had an idea about a new policy we could initiate or wanted to make sure projects were getting done,” Schoennauer added.

Dando’s family members declined comment Monday, but confirmed her passing in an email to friends.

Dando got her political start working for former Mayor Tom McEnery during his second term from 1987 to 1991. She then she worked for the city’s redevelopment agency for three years before running for the city’s District 10 council seat in a special election.

Dando served 10 years on the San Jose City Council beginning in 1995, and was vice mayor for two years during the administration of former Mayor Ron Gonzales. Dando unsuccessfully ran for mayor against Gonzales in 1998 — losing by a razor-thin margin.

“I found her to be a formidable opponent, but I was always pleased that we could develop a working relationship soon after the election was over and I became mayor,” Gonzales said. “She was a dedicated public servant and very supportive vice mayor.”

Former Mayor Tom McEnery credits Dando for spearheading a successful 1988 …read more

Source:: East Bay – Politics

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