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Apple Employees are Pretty Smart, But Do They Know About This?

By Jane Martin

Apple, Google and other tech giants in the Silicon Valley are booming.  Those companies are filled with brilliant people, many getting rich from the fruits of their labor.  And they deserve it.  Engineers and designers and other professionals who bring us the devices that make so many lives easier and more productive, work hard at what they do.

But there is another segment of that high tech worker population that’s missing out.  The security officers who make sure the employees at the other end of the spectrum are safe and secure and that their work product is protected, are getting a raw deal.

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Today’s Big Business Can Learn From the Past to Expand the Middle Class

By Ben Field

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country,” he expressed a view shared by many business leaders.  In today’s business climate it seems incredible, but through much of the 20th century business leaders supported workers’ rights.  Why did leading businessmen advocate laws like the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which created the right to collective bargaining, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, which created the minimum wage?

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Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

By Dennis Raj

Readers: It’s another light agenda week. Please enjoy some summer reading inequality and the minimum wage.

Paul Mason writes in the Guardian that the best of capitalism is over for rich counties by painting a bleak picture of what a continuation of “more of the same” means by 2060.

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Dealing with the Central American Refugee Crisis As People of Conscience

By Nichole Lamarche

My daughter, Eliza, has forever changed my view of what it means to feel vulnerable. As Elizabeth Stone says, “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Since Jeremy and I welcomed her into our world three years ago this month, we have felt a new kind of tenderness, that is the most amazing joy and also a tremendous risk of the heart. Her presence in our lives has often made me think of how Jesus told his friends that children were onto something- they can teach us about the Kingdom, they are the Kingdom.

The events of the past few months, with the growing humanitarian crisis at the southern border with children fleeing violence from Central and South America has made my heart ache anew for children all over the globe. How would we come out as people of conscience if the measurement was how we have treated our children? Perhaps we avoid asking the deeper questions because it hits too close to home.

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Recent Articles


How to Get San Jose’s Groove back

By Michelle Hatfield

Neighborhood safety in San Jose has deteriorated. Potholes riddle our streets. Businesses struggle to have their applications and permits processed. Libraries are shuttered more hours than they’re open. In the video above, San Jose engineers, architects, supervisors and mid-managers detail the challenges that they and their coworkers face as residents question why city services have been cut. Check out the video and learn more. Read more »


Willow Glen’s 2016 Council Race Will Be One to Watch

By Steve Kline

When most politicos say “2016”, they are talking about the Presidential race to succeed Barack Obama.  But in the neighborhoods of San Jose Council District 6, the jockeying for position to replace Pierluigi Oliverio after his 10-year reign of error has begun in earnest.

District 6 is one of the most, if not the most politically active areas in San Jose.With involved citizens from Willow Glen, the Rose Garden, Shasta-Hanchett, College Park, Cory, Canoas Garden, North Willow Glen, Buena Vista, Pamlar and Sherman Oaks neighborhoods often appearing before commissions and the Council.  The number of people who may enter this race is staggering if the early rumors are even half true.

So who are these folks?

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Liccardo Would Add Insult to Injury in Mayor’s Office

By Ben Field

My friends in the Liccardo-for-Mayor camp keep telling me that Sam will not be like Chuck Reed.  It’s hard to believe.  Sam has voted with the Mayor on every major economic justice issue.  The two of them opposed the minimum wage increase, voted to undermine the City’s living wage policy, imposed work conditions on most of the City’s employees and supported illegal, draconian pension changes.

And it’s not just that Sam acts like a conservative Republican on economic justice issues.  Read more »

green eye

Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

By Dennis Raj

Santa Clara County

Human Relations Commission leads forum on Living Wage

The Resource Development and Outreach Committee of the Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission will hold a special meeting regarding its role in the Living Wage proposal. Specifically the Committee wants to host a forum in August to gather input and feedback from the public on the proposed concept of developing a living wage policy for the county. Read more »


Leveling the Playing Field With the Likes of McDonald’s

By Kathryn Carter

Last Sunday at 7pm, the small business my family spent 30 years building was taken away from us. We lost our retirement security, dozens of our employees lost their jobs, and the government lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue when McDonald’s forced us to close our franchised restaurant.

McDonald’s says it did not renew our franchise agreement because we did not attend corporate meetings, even though I was at nearly every one. But I think our restaurant’s closing had something to do with my public support for reform to put fairness into the franchise system, which the company opposes. Read more »


San Jose By The Numbers

By The Left Hook

The Registrar of Voters recently reported numbers from the June 3 Primary and if you’re a political junky (and we know that you are) they’re pretty interesting. The big takeaway is that Mayoral candidate Sam Liccardo is in trouble. Read more »


SCOTUS Ruling Adds to Income Inequality Trend

By Luisa Blue

Weakening workers’ power has been a key tactic by those who want to perpetuate the greatest economic gap in our nation’s history.  The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Harris v. Quinn was one more setback for working families whose labor and collective strength helped build America’s Middle Class. Read more »


Give Alum Rock Schools a Chance

By Brian Wheatley

On June 18, the Santa Clara County Board of Education voted unanimously to overturn the decision of the Alum Rock School Board and approve Rocketship #9. Under the guise of parental choice, county trustees have further endorsed and supported what amounts to a hostile takeover of a local education agency. Ignoring the valid concerns of ARUSD, they have succeeded in undermining local control – a key element in the state’s new funding system.  While condescendingly praising Alum Rock’s significant improvement over the past several years in raising achievement, they’ve actually crippled its ability to continue this promising trend by virtually ensuring a steady reduction in funding through the loss of ADA (average daily attendance) for years to come. I’m sure the individuals and corporations behind the movement to privatize public education will rejoice over this misguided decision. Read more »

Key teacher job protections violate California's constitution, judge rules

Vergara Ruling: Constitutional Rights for Some, But Not All

By Jennifer Thomas

The recent  California Superior Court ruling of Vergara vs. California addressed the constitutional rights to an equitable education.  But what about the constitutional rights of teachers to due process? On June 10th, a judge in southern California decided that legislation created to prevent teachers from being victimized by unaccountable and capricious employers in a highly politicized profession is now a violation of the Constitutional rights of children. Read more »


Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community.

By Dennis Raj

Summer’s here and many of our elected officials are on recess. With the exception of Cupertino’s Master Plan Study Update (7/7) and Mountain View’s study session on the San Antonio Precise Plan (7/8), not much is on deck in the way of policy.  The picture of Clint Eastwood is just cool.  Ahhh, summer!




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