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The Left Hook’s Inaugural Year in Review 2014

The Left Hook will take a break over the holidays, but we wanted to give you a brief look back at our inaugural year.  From the launch of this now “go-to” source for local progressive news, to the wins for working families, 2014 was a fascinating and hopeful year.

January, 2014: TLH kicks off and the Rise of Citizen Journalists in Silicon Valley is off and running.  Now, political insiders who need to know what’s going on check sources like The Left Hook daily. Read more »


Holiday Party 2014

Even after 26 years, the feeling of giving holiday gifts to thousands of children in need never gets old.  “You just can’t match it,” says Steve Preminger, Director of Working Partnerships USA’s Community Builders program and the Ring Leader of the  Holiday Party for Kids. Read more »


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

Most government offices are slowing down or closing down for the holiday week, but here’s what’s coming up after the holidays:

San Jose

Special holiday closed session

The San Jose City Council loves working together so much, they’ve scheduled a special meeting for December 30th, when they would ordinarily be snowboarding or something cool like that.  The special closed session meeting was called to discuss the appointment of an interim city manager now that City Manager Ed Shikada plans to make Dec. 31st his last day with the city.  Shikada resigned last week after seeing the writing on the wall that his days were numbered with Sam Liccardo in charge. Read more »


Surprise! Council Appoints Pre-Approved D4 Replacment

After five hours of what many called a “charade”, 6 San Jose City Council members decided to appoint former City Council rep. Margie Matthews to fill the vacant District 4 seat.   Council Member Pierluigi Oliverio surprised many in the audience ready to object to the anti-democratic, unethical process of rushing through a pre-determined appointment with his own version of torture for his fellow council members to let them know just how peeved he was for ignoring the democratic process.  Read more »


SJ City Manager Bids Adieu…by Force

This just in…It looks like Mayor-elect Liccardo is continuing with his power play.  The latest victim is City Manager Ed Shikada, who tried to put forth an effort to repair the destroyed relationship between City leaders and workers.  Shikada released this letter to City workers today, leaving the way open for Liccardo to hand pick his own City Manager in the New Year. #ForcedOut

Dear San José Employees,

 Earlier this afternoon I officially informed Mayor Reed and the City Council of my decision to resign as San José City Manager, effective January 1, 2015. Read more »


Liccardo, Allies, Forge Through Brick Wall of Protest on D4 Appointment Process

There was an eloquent and well thought-out argument by Council Member Ash Kalra.  A substitute motion by Council Member Don Rocha to hold off on an appointment until January even drew the support of oft-opponent Council Member Pierluigi Oliverio.  But Mayor-elect Sam Liccardo was determined to ram through his plans to appoint a campaign supporter as a temporary replacement for the vacant District 4 Council seat with almost no community outreach and little notice of his intention.

“The issue is process,” said Kalra, speaking in support of Rocha’s motion to delay an appointment until January, when the residents of District 4 have a chance to more fully consider a wider range of candidates. “This is not the kind of process that anybody should be proud of,” said Kalra, referring to Liccardo’s defiance of the democratic process of complying with Sunshine rules and government transparency. Read more »


Comprehensive Living Wage Law Passes, a Model for the Nation

After months of research and public discussions, Santa Clara County Supervisors have officially passed the most comprehensive Living Wage ordinance in the nation. A week ago, Supervisors approved the progressive details of the newly proposed law, which include: requiring county contractors to pay employees a living wage, with health and retirement credits, paid sick leave, a voice on the job without fear of retaliation, and groundbreaking fair workweek provisions including full time work and flexible hours . Read more »


Liccardo Backpedaling Along

Bowing to pressure from those who support an open, Democratic  and transparent government, San Jose Mayor-elect Sam Liccardo is now pulling the reins, a tiny bit, on rushing to appoint a campaign supporter of his as a replacement for the open District 4 seat.  But it’s not enough.  Community leaders and good government advocates are outraged at the way the Mayor-elect seems to be starting off his mayoral career with hard ball, power-grabbing tactics that go against everything democracy stands for.

Liccardo filed this memo on tomorrow’s council agenda asking the council to conduct the appointment vote at a special meeting Friday December 19th, adding an extra two and a half days’ notice (to the two days already given)  of the open seat appointment. We’re not sure we can say it any louder in print: THAT DOESN’T HELP.   Read more »


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

San Jose:

Reed/Liccardo seek to ram D4 Council replacement through, waiving Sunshine rules.

As recommended by the Rules and Open Government Committee on December 10, 2014, the council is being asked to appoint an interim representative for Council District 4 to serve until a new council member has been elected. (Mayor/Liccardo).

Reed and Liccardo recommend appointing former Council member Margie Matthews to the vacant seat, effective January 13, 2015 and concluding with the seating of an elected council member in August 2015. Read more »


Dueling Memos Debate D4 Replacement Process

UPDATE: Memo madness.

Two more memos were added to Tuesday’s San Jose City Council agenda, in an attempt to pull the reins on Mayor-elect Liccardo’s rush to appoint an ally on the dais.

While nevertheless expressing his great respect for likely appointee Margie Matthews, Councilman Don Rocha called for a longer application process with the Council taking up the option to appoint a temporary  replacement in District 4 on January 13th, when everyone is back from the holiday break. Read more »


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