Job Lopez, activist who was caught vandalizing political sign, dead at 75

Job Lopez. Screengrab from KMVT video.

BY SONYA HERRERA
Daily Post Staff Writer

Job Lopez, a Mountain View rent control advocate who stole and vandalized campaign lawn signs at a home, has died at the age of 75.

He died of natural causes on Friday at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Redwood City, according to San Mateo County coroner Robert Foucrault.

Former Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel said Lopez had suffered a stroke last month and had experienced complications. Lopez was caught on camera stealing and spray-painting re-election campaign signs for former Mayor John Inks at someone’s home in 2018. Inks was a developer-backed candidate who opposed the city’s rent control law.

Received probation, fined $1,000

Lopez agreed to pay $1,000 to the owner of the sign and was sentenced to two years of court probation and 80 hours of community service in March. Lopez frequently wrote letters to the Post and was a strong advocate for rent control, tenants rights and immigration reform.

Siegel, who’d worked with Lopez on local housing campaigns, said Lopez was “a stalwart, somebody you can count on.”

Owned gardening business

Lopez was born on Dec. 2, 1944, in the state of Durango, Mexico. He came to Mountain View in 1974.

Lopez started his own gardening business and helped create the Day Worker Center in Mountain View in 1996. The center connects laborers with employers.

Lopez’s nephew, Berto Lopez, said in a Facebook post that his uncle was a “passionate advocate for helping pass policy to assist the poor.”

Lopez is survived by his two daughters, Emily and Lilia Lopez, and two grandchildren.

Arrangements for a memorial service are in progress, said his niece, Lilia Araceli Lopez.

18 Comments

  1. Other header options:
    – Job Lopez, advocate for rent control, tenants rights and immigration reform, dead at 75.
    – Job Lopez, a stalwart, somebody you can count on, dead at 75.
    – Job Lopez, a man who started his own gardening business and helped create the Day Worker Center in Mountain View in 1996, dead at 75.
    – Job Lopez, passionate advocate for helping pass policy to assist the poor, dead at 75.

    You have no idea how easy it was for me to make a 4 different headers to honor the memory of someone who did so much for the community. And I don’t have a communication degree.

  2. I can’t believe you are reducing this man’s legacy and positive impact on the community this way. Please change the title and shed more light on his involvement creating the day worker center or advocating for human rights. The way this article is written is shameful.

  3. It’s unfortunate that, as of this writing, the headline for this electronic article as well as the print edition chose to give a negative spin to Job Lopez storied life.

    Allow me to remind the editors of this paper that the very screen grab they use as an image of Job, comes from a 30 minute 2018 KMVT program that highlights the 4 decades of accomplishments of this community activist. In that program he talks about how he came to this country, spent so much time improving himself learning English, fell in love, raised successful professional children. Along the way, he got involved in community advocacy though church groups. He was instrumental in helping start the Mountain View Day Worker center in 1995, was involved in the measures for the measure V effort, etc.

    Yes, his actions regarding the vandalizing of campaign signs were wrong and the community does not condone that. But Job moved past that and faced the penalty he had to pay for those actions.

    This same paper printed another article at the time with the letters that Job wrote during parts of his activist life, highlight the clear and concise thinking he was know for in advocating for those less fortunate in our community, not just immigrants.

    Since Job’s stroke, a large section of the local activist community had been praying for his recovery and his death came as a heavy blow. We haven’t even had a chance to bury him and have a memorial.

    It is in the context that we wake up to read the headline of his death in our local newspaper with such an unfortunate and negative spin, a conscious editorial decision.

    You can do better, a lot better to not continue to emphasize the same tropes that continue to drive our communities, and country apart.

  4. This is exactly the right headline for this story. Lopez should be remembered for his attempt to silence other people’s right to free speech. How dare he? And he made the decision to do this. He took the risk that his reputation would be tarnished by his actions. He choose to do this, so this is the appropriate way to remember him. Hopefully it will serve as a warning to others that engaging in criminal activity to silence your political opponents is a terrible choice.

  5. I can’t believe there are people defending a guy who did dirty tricks like this. Maybe his defenders do the same things, and they want to normalize this behavior?

  6. I’d respectfully ask the Daily Post to have their staff writer put in the time and effort to research Mr. Lopez’ biography and civic contributions. The next step should be to rewrite the article in a way that demonstrates more journalistic integrity. If the paper decides that a story is important enough to cover, we readers expect both nuance and context. I look forward to seeing the Post use this as an opportunity to show its reader that it can indeed do better.

  7. Thank you, Daily Post, for not sugar coating this story, as some in the community would have you do. It’s nice to know we have an independent newspaper that won’t succumb to political pressure.

  8. I’m sure Mr. Lopez’s supporters were furious that the Russians has bought $100,000 in Facebook ads to help Trump defeat Hillary. They were angry that somebody interfered in an election. So why are they OK with a guy who interfered with a local election?

  9. Being friends in mourning of Mr Lopez and attempting to highlight other aspects of his life does not make us vandals, as some people have already implied in the comments. At no point have we said that we condoned his actions during last year’s elections. We are saying that there were many other actions through his decades of community involvement that are also part of the story, his story.

    “vandals gotta stick up for each other” , “succumb to political pressure” , “Maybe his defenders do the same things, and they want to normalize this behavior”

    THIS is precisely why many of us felt the need to bring attention to the headlines used.

  10. If anyone had known this man for even a few moments beyond merely what they read or witness from a story about vandalism they know how absurd it is to judge him and diminishing him for that alone.
    In every other way he had been an upright model citizen who contributed greatly to his community, always helping those in need and acting selflessly for the sake of others. He was a man of true faith who didn’t preach about living a moral life and then cast stones and judgement as so many in this comment section feel qualified to do.
    He helped so many people in so many ways but he never so much as made a peep about it because he never did anything for self recognition or promotion he just did what he could because he cared, and out of that caring he grew angry at what he perceived to be injustices against those that had a more and more difficult time just making ends meat and being able to afford rent. If you want to think your self better and more moral than he was because you’ve never felt compelled to act in some sort of way against normal social convention to help others then great for you. Maybe one day you can have an article written about how you never broke any rules or laws and you were a perfect human being who saw fit to judge others from on top of your self righteous perch.

  11. It wasn’t Mr. Lopez’s fault that he got caught vandalizing campaign signs. It’s society’s fault. The innocent, law-abiding people in the community are to blame for his behavior. The law breaker should never take responsibility for their actions!

  12. The commenters above missed the part of the story that described Lopez as a “passionate advocate for helping pass policy to assist the poor.” Other kind things were written in the story, too. But it’s hard to get past the fact that Lopez voluntarily decided to torch his own reputation, cancelling out all of the good he might have done. I don’t know why we should celebrate such a person.

  13. Previous comment put it well. Job Lopez chose to vandalize campaign signs by night; now it’s what he’s most widely known for, thus the story’s natural emphasis. All his own doing.

    The problem of course with end-justifies-means mind-sets is that they can rationalize absolutely anything. Similar thinking but taken to extremes rationalized 20th-century mass murder. Fascists, National Socialists, and others maintained that they were just doing what they had to do. This is moral narcissism: a sense of accountability to your opinion alone.

    Traces of moral narcissism may even inform some of the comments criticizing this story’s forthright emphasis. Or, those commenters may be accustomed to the more sympathetic handling by our local paper, the MV Voice. Whose own Lopez obit last week buried the political-vandalism conviction inside the story. When online readers commented about the criminal act he became known for, comments were removed wholesale.

  14. Forget you internet talkers jawing about my uncle’s brother . He did more then you punks could ever do. Come over to the East side talk with our fist

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