San Jose Mourns Passing of Former Councilwoman Patricia Dando

Former San Jose Vice Mayor Patricia Dando is being remembered by friends and colleagues as a tireless community and political leader but, most of all, as a loving wife and mother who always put her family first. Dando passed away on July 16 from lung cancer. She was 71.  

Dando started out as a schoolteacher in Schenectady, New York. Her political career began in the 1980’s after she’d moved to the San Jose area and took a job with Mayor Tom McEnery’s office. She later worked for the city’s redevelopment agency. In 1995, she joined the San Jose City Council, serving as vice mayor for two years and even launching an unsuccessful bid for mayor herself in 1998.

“If you look at what she accomplished in her tenure — she came very close to being elected mayor when nobody gave her a chance,” McEnery said. “But the things she accomplished were as significant as most mayors.”

Among her long list of accomplishments: spearheading the 1988 campaign to finance what would become the HP Pavilion (now the SAP Center) and co-founding the Almaden Valley Youth Counseling Center, the Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival, and the Stroke Awareness Foundation.

Dando left the Council in 2005 and began serving as director of Local Government Affairs for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. She soon joined the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, serving as president for six years.

Dando is remembered fondly by political foes and allies alike. 

“Pat was a great leader, a great person and role model in how she conducted herself in politics,” said former Mayor Chuck Reed. “The policy and politics are less important than the person — and she was just a great person.”

Dando is survived by her husband Bob, their three children and spouses, and nine grandchildren. 


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