San Jose City Councilmembers made a bold and much needed move last night toward providing more affordable housing with the passage of a Housing Impact Fee. The $17 per square foot fee charged to market-rate housing projects will take the place of dried up redevelopment funds that used to go toward affordable housing projects. Read moreTweet
The San Jose Police Department projects it’s staffing level of officers will be its lowest since 1985, according to a report the department prepared for City Council. At the rate offices are leaving, either through retirement, or because they can find a department elsewhere that will offer appropriate retirement and disability security, the force will dip below 1000 officers by the year 2017, for the first time in 30 years. Back then, there were 300,000 fewer people to protect. Read moreTweet
Santa Clara County
Living Wage Policy
The County Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to adopt a living wage policy for the County’s procurement process. The proposed policy will be the most comprehensive living wage for the $2.5 billion in contracts and around 16,000 workers employed by the County.
While the Administration is still working out a plan to review the various contracts (innumerable according to the County at the moment, see next item) that would need to incorporate the living wage provisions, the Board of Supervisors are poised to move forward. This is substantial progress for workers in Santa Clara County and will be a national model for fairness in employment by government and private entities. Read moreTweet
I attended private Catholic schools in Ohio for 18 years. I have taught in public schools in California for 20 years. Each year I take students from Live Oak High School to a three-day program, Camp Everytown, during which we participate in a privilege exercise. In this exercise, you move up if you have received some sort of privilege (such as having books at home or having parents that graduated from college) and you step back if you received some sort of deficit (a parent who has been out of work or having to stay home from school with siblings who are sick). Each year, I turn around from my place in the front of the line and am confronted with the real gap we expect education to close. Read moreTweet
The polls are closed, ballots cast, and votes tabulated, and I am proud to say California Public Education won two major victories on Election Day both statewide and locally.
At the state level, Tom Torlakson was successful in his reelection bid as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. On a personal note, the portion of Tom’s message that resonated most with me was, “Every single public school in California is worth investing in, but none are for sale!” Read moreTweet
A new ruling is out requiring the City of San Jose to rescind Measure B. An administrative law judge for the California Public Employment Relations Board, ruled that the City violated the law when it failed to meet and confer in good faith with at least one city union (IFPTE Local 21) over placing Measure B on the June 2012 ballot. The ruling details the numerous attempts Local 21 made to reach an agreement with the city over lawful pension cost savings. Read moreTweet
A number of blogs have called attention to the precinct map of San Jose from the Election for Mayor on November 4th. That visual presentation reveals a harsh reality better than any lengthy text.
The image shows a city as divided as if a Berlin Wall had been constructed down its center. Almost all of the precincts in the whiter and more affluent West half of the city voted for Sam Licardo. The lower income and more diverse East overwhelmingly backed Dave Cortese.
The divide represents something other than geographic parochialism. Voters in District 7 or in District 9 don’t identify themselves as part of East or West San Jose. What the image shows is divisions based on race and class.
Several critical comments need to be made about this stark division. Read moreTweet
A statement from SJ Mayoral candidate Dave Cortese -
First, thank you for the role you played in helping us mount a campaign where thousands came together, calling for a new culture at City Hall. Thanks to our efforts, I’m confident that you will see a more conciliatory approach by the City’s new leadership than we would have seen had our voices been absent from this election.
Out of respect to our supporters and the voters, we have waited until the final outcome was clear and all mail ballots have been counted before putting out this statement. We missed a majority by less than a 1.08 % margin, which clearly means our message was heard by voters. While I was certainly in this race to win, in a larger context my duty was ultimately to carry the torch for a new conversation at City Hall, standing for equity and fair play. That was my job and I did it—we did it. For that we can claim victory. Read moreTweet
Police Department Operations and Performance
On September 17, 2014, in response to Councilmember Rocha’s memo, the Rules Committee directed staff to prepare a written report on Police Department operations and performance. Tuesday, the council will discuss: current staffing levels, as well as historical staffing levels, in the past five years, any projections as to future staffing the department may have developed, an update on recent academy class size and a discussion as to what the PD targets are for class size, an analysis based on vacancies as to how much finding is available to contract out for services with other agencies and the crime trends and deployment strategies.Tweet
Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey is asking the California Secretary of State for a post-election review of the Registrar’s “systems and processes”, according to this letter sent today. Read moreTweet