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West Alumnus Dr. Jeffrey Lease Elected Board Trustee in SJ Community College District

11/24/2010 (Archived)

ca - dr. jeff leaseWest Campus alumnus Dr. Jeffrey Lease, ’00, has been “InMotion” for more than a decade, providing care to patients via a mobile practice that travels to companies, colleges, and other businesses throughout Santa Clara County.

However, when Dr. Lease made the decision earlier this year to run for Board trustee in the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District (SJECCD), the San Jose native knew in order to achieve his goal of unseating a 16-year incumbent, he’d have to travel “in motion” the old-fashioned way – by foot.

Dr. Lease literally wore out a pair of athletic shoes during the marathon course of his six-month campaign, knocking on the doors of more than 2,500 homes, placing more-than-10,000 campaign door-hangers (with other volunteers, including both of his 80-plus-year-old parents), and meeting with hundreds of constituents in the district of his neighborhood.

After years of being a participant in the voting process, and wondering what it must be like to “be in their shoes” anxiously awaiting each vote-tally update, this time around he was a candidate.

The outcome was not determined election night, so Dr. Lease had to patiently wait a few more days to learn the final outcome. But when the last ballot was officially tallied a few days later, Dr. Lease emerged victorious, by a count of 14,788 to 13,970.

“I’m humbled; I’m honored; and I’m appreciative for the many family members, friends, and colleagues who figuratively and literally supported me, and stood by my side at every step of the campaign,” said Dr. Lease, who raised approx. $20,000 to support his campaign costs.

“I feel blessed for their support. I am inspired and energized by their volunteer efforts, and share this victory with each of them.”
Although Dr. Lease does not have prior political experience, he brings an academic pedigree (his father has been a professor at San Jose State for 60 years, and his mother worked in the San Jose/Evergreen school district for 33 years), and a “can do” commitment that earned him endorsements from several Santa Clara County elected officials, including State Senator Elaine Alquist, San Jose Councilmember Nancy Pyle, and Santa Clara County Supervisor President Ken Yeager, as well as the San Jose Mercury News.

A past president of the West Campus Sports Council, Dr. Lease steps into his new position under particularly challenging circumstances. State investigators recently released the results of an investigation that revealed San Jose –Evergreen CCD trustees had been negligent in their oversight and management of tax dollars. And an investigative news report by a local TV station showed particularly egregious improprieties by the former district chancellor.

“I have treated many of the faculty and staff at the district as patients for a decade, and I would hear their frustrations and concerns, which got me to thinking – maybe I can make a change,” said Dr. Lease, who averaged four to six hours a day of walking through the 134 precincts within his district until election day.

“That was the focus of my campaign – showing that we must restore ‘trust’ to the office of Trustee,” said Dr. Lease, who for the first time in 10 years had to “ground” his “InMotion Chiropractic” mobile practice, and for 45 days prior to the election asked patients to come to the “office” – which was parked at his home.

Dr. Lease recognizes a busy mobile practice, and a family (wife Gabriela and two-year-old son Logan), will require some rather astute time management to now also include monthly Board meetings. But he says he’s up to the challenge, and credits his West Campus experience as a big reason why he feels so prepared.

“At Palmer, you had to put in a consistent amount of effort on a daily basis in order to succeed,” said Dr. Lease, whose role as Board Trustee will have oversight of budget management and policy development for the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District.
“I felt everyone associated with my campaign gave it our all, like studying for an exam, and the outcome of our effort earned us an ‘A’.”

Dr. Lease, a certified kinesiotaping instructor, who despite his busy campaign schedule still managed to also teach two kinesiotaping seminars per month, and also had one particularly memorable encounter during the course of his door-to-door campaigning.

“When meeting people I would provide my background, and tell them my primary profession is chiropractic. One night I had a woman tell me that she had suffered from chronic back pain, and was a candidate for spinal fusion surgery.

“I told her I would be happy to evaluate her condition from a chiropractic perspective. She came to my home office, and after her first visit she called to tell me that hadn’t felt this good in six years. And that she couldn’t wait for the campaign to end, so she could become a full-time patient.”

In addition to the primary duties associated with his role as a Board trustee, Dr. Lease sees his new position providing an opportunity to serve chiropractic in another hands-on capacity.

“Although the chiropractic profession has made significant advances, and is now seen more as ‘complementary’ healthcare rather than ‘alternative,’ we still have some work to do with regard to educating the public about the years of study involved with becoming a doctor of chiropractic.

“As a Board trustee, I can also serve as an advocate for chiropractic, as I will be interacting with political leaders and educators at local colleges, thus raising awareness about the health benefits of chiropractic, as well as great career opportunities in the chiropractic profession available to community college students.”

Dr. Lease, a former competitive bodybuilder, is looking forward to serving the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District, but says he has no plans, at this time, to pursue higher political office, like the former competitive bodybuilder completing his term as California governor.

In fact, with the hours and hours of campaigning reaching a conclusion, Dr. Lease says he looks forward to returning to a less-hectic schedule – and spending more quality time with his family, especially his young son.

“Although he’s too young now, when Logan grows up, I want him to know that ‘dada’ stood up for something he believed in, and that he stood up for people who asked him to help.”