Date of Birth:

December 21, 1938, Altadena, CA

Date of Death:

March 7, 2020, San José, CA


Social Justice & Community


Before being the second female mayor for the City of San José, Susan Hammer was a grassroots activist and city council member. Hammer was a committed leader for the arts and diversity in the city and was responsible for passing a living wage ordinance ensuring that workers could live and work in San José. During her tenure, four of the city’s most significant public buildings were commissioned, under construction, or completed: San Jose Repertory Theatre (renamed Susan and Phil Hammer Theatre Center), the Mexican Heritage Plaza (made possible by Vice Mayor Blanca Alvarado and financed by the San José Redevelopment Agency), the SAP Center, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, which was the result of a partnership she began between the City and San José State University. Susan Hammer fought for inclusiveness, accessibility, and women’s rights before her work began in the City and it continues today through the strong women in San José.

Honoree Photo Credit:
John Harding
The Life Images Collection Via Getty Images/Getty Images


Tamiko Rast